18th May 2020

The UK was once ranked the most LGBT-friendly nation in Europe. This year, it’s not even close!

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  • The UK was once ranked the most LGBT-friendly nation in Europe. This year, it’s not even close!

The latest ILGA (International Lesbian & Gay Association) Europe LGBT+ rights survey was released on Friday 15th May which highlights the improvement or sadly the regression of rights relating to LGBT+ people on the eve of IDAHOBIT (17th May) – International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia.

The rankings highlighted the four worst countries across Europe which are Russia, Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan – for which there has been active anti-LGBT rights movement in Russia recently, along with banned Pride marches in Turkey. Azerbaijan has the lowest score of all just 2.3% from across all the 49 Nations which are included in the survey.

The disappointing news is that the UK has plummeted down the rankings over the past few years, after holding top position in 2014 (at the end of the Coalition government in the UK). now we find ourselves down to 9th place. Overtaken respectively by Malta, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Portugal and Finland.

The UK has particularly lost out with its’ stalling around Trans and Intersex rights, whereby ILGA noted that the current Gender Recognition Act is not fit for purpose and the environment which has been created by Anti-trans organisations in the UK has fuelled the hostile climate around transgender people.

Finally, it is worth noting that the countries that have improved the most primarily because of their improvement in trans and intersex rights. ILGA praised Andorra, Belgium, Netherlands, North Macedonia and Switzerland for including gender identity and sex characteristics under equality laws. Iceland and Spain were also praised for their introduction of new gender recognition legislation and gender recognition for minors.