The LGBTQ+ community has been fighting against discrimination for decades, advocating bills that would protect their rights and end prejudice against their sexuality. Today, the community is seeing wider acceptance around the world, as more and more countries pass legislation that not only provides them with equal basic rights but also allow them to marry.
There is still a lot of work to do to completely eliminate discrimination, but there is "undoubtedly, momentum toward equality,” according to Jean Freedberg, the Human Rights Campaign’s director of global partnerships. Even the countries that are widely considered as LGBTQ-friendly still need to improve their battle against inequality.
Still, there are places that are more accepting of people regardless of gender. Below are the most LGBTQ+ traveler-friendly countries in the world, based on the Spartacus Gay Travel Index 2019 released earlier this year.
|CANADA / Photo by: Aqnus Febriyant via Shutterstock|
Canada, Portugal, Sweden
These three countries are tied at the top of the friendliest countries for LGBTQ+ travelers. Notably, Portugal jumped to the top spot after ranking 27th in last year's index, boosted by its legal improvements for trans- and intersex persons, as well as anti-hate crime initiatives. Canada, Portugal, and Sweden received high marks for their marriage or civil partnership legislation, the passage of right to adopt, and the recognition of transgender rights.
|AUSTRIA / Photo by: canadastock via Shutterstock|
Austria, United Kingdom, Reunion
The Spartacus index found that 12 European countries tied at the fourth spot for being the friendliest countries for LGBTQ+ travelers. Reunion is the only non-European nation to rank second with its recognition of the community's rights. Austria and Malta both made a huge leap from their places last year (15th and 21st, respectively) with their legal recognition of same-sex marriage.
|FRANCE / Photo by: Valery Egorov via Shutterstock|
France, Gibraltar, Greenland
Along with Ireland, Switzerland, and Uruguay, these countries share the 17th spot on the ranking with eight points each. Switzerland is still under special observation, according to Spartacus, while Uruguay dropped from its 15th spot despite its legalization of same-sex marriage, along with Gibraltar and Greenland. France also made a massive slip, falling from the sixth spot in last year's ranking.
|ISRAEL / Photo by: Sean Pavone via Shutterstock|
Germany, Colombia, Israel
These countries share the 23rd spot with French Polynesia and New Caledonia, as they posted seven points each. Germany continues to slip from the ranking as the situation for LGBTQ+ travelers worsen. The lack of an action plan against homophobic violence in Germany and inadequate legislation to protect transgender and intersex are the reasons for the country's drop.
|SOUTH AFRICA / Photo by: ModernNomad via Shutterstock|
Argentina, Australia, South Africa
At the 28th spot, these countries have six points each based on the index's criteria. Along with them are four other countries: Andorra, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Slovenia. Scores for the country's anti-discrimination law varies: Andorra, Slovenia, and South Africa have three points; Guadeloupe and Martinique have two; and Argentina and Australia with one apiece.
|ESTONIA / Photo by: kavalenkava via Shutterstock|
The Czech Republic, Estonia, Guam, Puerto Rico
These four countries are all tied at the 35th spot, falling one place lower from their previous rank in the 2018 index. Their total point remained the same from last year's listing (five) and there were no changes in their scoring for each criterion as well.
|SLOVAKIA / Photo by: Mapics via Shutterstock|
Liechtenstein and Slovakia
Securing the 39th spot, both Liechtenstein and Slovakia made notable leaps from their 45th place last year. Liechtenstein improved its anti-discrimination legislation while Slovakia ended its anti-gay laws. The rest of their scores remained the same for each criterion.