Still in the Top Ten…

The UK has slipped to eighth in the annual ILGA Europe ranking of European countries.

The review, often called the Rainbow Map, rates nations by how LGBT-friendly and inclusive they are. The 2019 map has been published today at the start of the week that finishes on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHoBiT).

ILGA Europe say:

Rainbow Europe brings together both the legal index of LGBTI equality based on our Rainbow Europe Map and an overview of the social climate for LGBTI people in each country based on our Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People in Europe.

Rainbow Europe ranks all 49 European countries on a scale between 0% (gross violations of human rights, discrimination) and 100% (respect of human rights, full equality). We rank the countries on the basis of laws and policies that have a direct impact on the LGBTI people’s human rights in under 6 categories: equality and non-discrimination; family; bias motivated speech/violence; legal gender recognition; freedom of assembly, association and expression; and asylum.

Despite recent initiatives such as same-sex marriage, the UK scores just 65%. The front runner is Malta on 90% and the UK is also beaten by Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Portugal. Even for Malta that score shows there is room for improvement.

France, Sweden and Spain are the only other countries out of 49 scoring over 50%. Turkey and Azerbaijan occupy the bottom places in the table.

This year is the first that overall scores have fallen across the continent. In part this is due to a slide in social attitudes and political rhetoric in several countries – for example in the UK the increased prominence of transphobia in the media, and the attack on the Rainbow Project in Belfast last summer.

The UK score is interesting in covering a variety of situations between Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland – with different partnership laws and gender recognition laws between member nations as well as different curriculums in education meaning young people receive inconsistent information about LGBTI life.

The index has also been revised this year to add further nuances such as laws on blood donation and proper recognition of trans parents, adding finer gradation of scoring between countries.

Read more here.