Yes, you read it right — the gayest countries in Europe. If you want to know what exactly do we mean by that, just keep on reading.
Gay people had a tough time until some of the rights were granted to them. Student protests of the 1970s were a period of change for the United States of America. It was the ideal time for activists to react fast and start creating special rights for gay people. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case with some of the other countries. One of the examples of negative attitude towards LGBTI community is definitely Russia. A few years ago, President Putin signed a law which bans gay ‘propaganda.’ This law forbids “giving children any information about homosexuality.” However, even though there are still some controversies about it, many countries have recognized gay people’s rights, giving them the same treatment as to straight people. Most of the countries that respect their rights are in Europe and, of course, the USA.
But, when we say “the gayest country” what does it mean? What comes first to our mind is how many gay people live in the certain country. We didn’t want to repeat ourselves and write about the countries with the biggest gay populations in the world. The same goes for the gayest countries in the world per capita. Therefore, we decided to do something else. There were a lot of suggestions that Germany is the “queerest country” in Europe. The others insisted on Scotland being the most gay-friendly country. The Independent even wrote about the worst countries to be gay in Europe. However, we concluded that for each of those rankings the methodology wasn’t clear enough.
In order to make our list of gayest countries in Europe, we consulted as the main source the Rainbow Europe. It is a website that deals with the LGBTQ-friendly countries in Europe and their rights. They have ranked 49 European countries based on laws and policies that have a direct impact on the LGBTI people’s human rights. Moreover, they also publish Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People in Europe. This organization was launched in 2015, and since then it eases the process of keeping up to date with the latest developments when it comes to LGBTI rights in Europe.
So, as there are many categories under which we can rank the gayest countries, we chose to mix two. Firstly, we ranked the countries based on their respect for human rights of the LGBTI population. Then, we checked laws on the marital status of gay people in each country. We singled out those countries with full marriage equality, and by comparing it to the previous list, we calculated the average and ranked them in that manner. We understood the concept of “gayest” as the gay-friendliest countries, and therefore the marital status is something that is not only important to gay people but to humankind in general: to love and to be loved. And of course to be able to do that legally with the person you choose by yourself. For the worldwide rankings of gay-friendly places, check out Top 15 Gayest Cities in the World.
Now, let’s check out our today’s list of gayest countries in Europe!
Last year, France adopted a new legal gender recognition procedure for LGBTI community. The gender recognition provisions included in the Law on Justice in the 21st century removed some of the requirements, but LGBTI activists still didn’t achieve full self-determination. However, the French parliament has voted that “trans people will no longer have to be sterilized before being legally recognised in their true gender.” Moreover, same-sex marital status is legal since 2013 in France.
This year, in March, same-sex marriages finally became legal in this country. Before this, there was just a bill for legalization that was approved by the Parliament in 2014 and signed by the President in 2015. More than 1500 registered same-sex partnerships changed their status to married in months following the legalization.
Did you know that same-sex marriage has been legal in Spain since 2005? With the help of Socialist Party Government and Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero who began a campaign for its legalization, after some time, and a number of protests, Spain was the third country in the world to allow same-sex couples to marry.
7. United Kingdom
Same-sex marriage is not recognized in all of the UK. The laws differ in England, Wales, and Scotland, while in Northern Ireland they are not legalized at all. However, the Irish Republic’s first gay prime minister stated, that is only a matter of time before same-sex marriage became legally approved in Northern Ireland. In England and Wales they came into force in 2014 and in Scotland in the same year but a bit later.
On the 6th place on the list of gayest countries in Europe is Portugal. The country legalized the gay marriage in 2010. It makes it a sixth country in the world to take this step.
Netherlands is known as one of the freest countries. In addition, the country was the first one to legalize the same-sex marriage in 2001. Legislation action started in this country in the 1980s.
In Denmark, which ranks 4th on our list of gayest countries in Europe, same-sex couples were recognized as registered partnerships until 2012 when it finally became legal for two gay persons to get married. In Greenland legalization took place in 2015, while in the Faroe Islands the law took effect this year.
In the third place on our list of the gayest countries in Europe is Malta. The country has legalized same-sex marriages this year! However, they had civil unions with similar rights, including the right of adoption.
Gay-marriage became legal in Norway in 2009. Back then, it was the first Scandinavian country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. As from this year, pastors in Norway’s Lutheran Church can marry same-sex couples.
On the top of our list of the gayest countries in Europe is Belgium! It was the second country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, after the Netherlands, in 2003. According to some sources, this country is one of the best places for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers.