by Cristina Costea – Monday July 6th, 2016
The 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting was one of the most heinous crimes ever committed against the LGBT community. Just as the world seemed to be more open-minded and accepting of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the Orlando shooting reminded everyone that for the LGBT community things are still hard, discrimination and violence are still very much a part of the life of LGBT community.
BookSinglesHolidays.com is an LGBT ally and in this post, we’re going to take a look at the 6 most LGBT friendly countries and the 6 least friendly. We hope the insights we share here will help you in determining your next travel destinations!
6 Most LGBT Friendly Countries
According to a poll shared just a few days ago, Spain was declared to be the most LGBT friendly country in the world. So, if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and you want to feel safe and free to express yourself, be sure to visit Spain and have the time of your life.
In 2013, Brazil legalized same sex marriage, and the country itself is very pro LGBT. One of the most famous and important events in Brazil is the Pride Parade, which has become in itself a tourist attraction. Around 2 million people attend the parade, so you won’t feel left out if you join the parade!
Are you wondering how progressive Iceland is? Well, know this: the head of government, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is openly gay, and she is the first ever head of government to be so. The capital, Reykjavík holds an LGBT History and Culture Walk which is an awesome way to learn about all things LGBT in the country.
You’d be interested to know that Germany is known for being progressive and even though same sex marriage is not yet legal, civil partnerships and gay adoptions are. Germany also has one of the largest and most active gay communities in Europe, which means that you won’t have any issues finding acceptance.
The Netherlands and Belgium are also extremely LGBT friendly! In case you didn’t know, the Netherlands is the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage. So if you want a fun-filled and safe vacation with your significant other, these two make great options.
6 Least LGBT Friendly Countries
On the other side of the coin, there are a total of 77 countries around the world that criminalize homosexuality, punishable by law with prison time and in some cases, even death. In all of these countries, homophobia is widespread and, as an LGBT traveler, you will be affected by it.
Even though in Europe, there are no laws that criminalize homosexuality anymore, there are two countries that have adopted an anti-gay propaganda law, which basically states that one can be fined or even jailed for positively mentioning homosexuality in the presence of underage persons; these countries are Russia and Lithuania and the adoption of the law has sparked heated debate around all over the world.
In Africa, there are 33 countries where homosexuality is illegal. Among them, Nigeria and Uganda are among the least LGBT friendly. Uganda sentences its citizens to life in prison if proof is found that they are indeed gay. The country is also famous for its Kill the Gays law that fortunately did not pass; the law was proposing a death sentence to all gay and lesbian Ugandans. Nigeria has no legal protection against discrimination and it also does not recognize LGBT rights.
Leaving Africa and Europe behind and moving on to the Americas, there are two countries where tourism is flourishing, however the LGBT community is not only not welcomed, but homosexuality is punishable by law: Jamaica and Barbados. According to Wikipedia, in Jamaica, sexual acts between men are punishable with up to ten years imprisonment. Sexual acts between women are legal. Well, that’s a fun double standard! In Barbados, the law says that homosexuality is punishable by life sentence, even though the law is very rarely enforced. Steps are being taken to promote a more inclusive and friendlier environment for LGBT people in both countries, but the road ahead is long and until homosexuality stops being against the law, these two countries will not offer a safe environment.
If you want to learn more information about these countries that ban homosexuality, any updates that might occur, we highly recommend 76Crimes.
Cristina is the Community Manager of BookSinglesHolidays.com, a themed travel website offering a vast collection of singles vacations & solo holidays. She is also a passionate traveler, cat aficionado and novice writer.