Europe is generally considered to be very LGBTI-friendly, but how well are countries really doing?
That’s the question the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) is looking to answer with their annual Rainbow Index and the Rainbow Europe Map.
This year’s edition was released today (17 May), just in time to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT).
Out of the 49 countries, 18 have full marriage equality and one – Estonia – recognizes same-sex marriages entered abroad.
Out of the rest, a majority of countries offer at least civil partnerships, and LGBTI protections are widespread.
Or so we think.
Topping this year’s list is Malta, with 88% equality.
At the bottom of the list sits Azerbaijan, where the LGBTI community is deemed 5% equal to their straight and cisgender counterparts.
Out of the Scandinavian countries, once hailed some of the most LGBTI-friendly countries in Europe, only Norway still has a score of 78%.
In 2012 Sweden was fourth-best in Europe – and best in Scandinavia – for LGBTI right, but this year they slipped to 12th place.
One of the reasons, an ILGA spokesperson told The Local Sweden, was that trans people in Sweden still need to undergo medical procedures before they can legally change their name.
The Netherlands, who were the first country in the world to open marriage to same-sex couples, just about made the top 10.
While they are currently discussing laws inclusive of families with more than two parents, the Dutch Constitution and the country’s hate crime laws do not explicitly protect LGBTI people.