Revealed: this is officially Europe’s most LGBTQ+ friendly country
Much of Europe is, thankfully, becoming a much safer and more welcoming place for LGBTQ+ people. In general (but, unfortunately, not everywhere), countries across the continent appear to be providing queer people of all stripes with greater rights and freedoms.
And that’s a trend shown by the latest Rainbow Europe study. Every year since 2009, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association (ILGA) has published this report, which is essentially a ranking of European countries based on their laws and policies protecting LGBTQ+ rights and freedoms. Each nation in the ranking receives a score on a scale of zero to 100.
And top of the rankings in 2022 is... Malta! Which, to anyone who’s followed the Rainbow Europe study before, won’t come as a surprise. With a score of 92, Malta has now topped the list for a whopping seven years in a row.
Down the other end of the scale, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Armenia and Russia all receive single-digit scores, while Poland gets the lowest ranking in the EU with 13. Few of these countries offer much protection for LGBTQ+ people against discrimination and violence, with Poland also dropping in the rankings due to authorities’ banning of Pride events.
The UK, meanwhile, dropped from tenth to 14th place – the most dramatic drop of any country in the list. The ILGA says that this was primarily caused by the UK’s ‘widespread political and media anti-trans sentiment’ and refusal to extend its conversion therapy ban to all LGBTQ+ people.
Here’s the full Rainbow Europe map: