In decades past, many countries have made significant strides in fostering a welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community through new anti-discrimination laws and supporting rights movements. In the hospitality industry, more hotel brands are paving the way to prioritise safety as we continue to see the increasing value of the LGBTQ+ travel and tourism market. More so now than ever before, LGBTQ+ travellers are often feeling seen and safe.
But which countries are the safest for the queer community? London-based SEO agency Reboot recently revealed the top 10 safest nations to live and travel to if you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community. After gathering data from 170 countries, it is no surprise that Europe (particularly in Scandinavia) came out on top, except for one North American entry.
All these countries have legalised LGBTQ+ marriage, and gender reassignment, along with promoting LGBTQ+ opportunities. As a result, the employment and housing possibilities are nearly similar to those of a cisgender straight person, and there are lower hate crime reports in these areas.
1: The Netherlands
The Netherlands has long been regarded as a progressive and LGBTQ+-friendly nation because it was one of the first nations to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001. Since then, a number of additional laws and policies have been enacted by the Dutch government to further safeguard the rights of LGBTQ+ people and to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Canada has made significant progress in protecting LGBTQ+ rights in recent years. Since the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2005, the Canadian government has implemented a number of policies and programs to combat discrimination and promote equality. Additionally, there is a thriving LGBTQ+ community in Canada, and numerous cities are renowned for their support and inclusivity.
Sweden is frequently regarded as a pioneer in LGBTQ+ rights and protections, like the Netherlands. The legalization of same-sex marriage in 2009 and the implementation of anti-discrimination laws that cover sexual orientation and gender identity are two examples of the many initiatives the Swedish government has taken to advance equality and inclusion.
4: New Zealand
The first nation in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage was New Zealand in 2013. The nation has continued to place a high priority on LGBTQ+ rights and protections ever since, including the passage of laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Uruguay has made significant progress in advancing LGBTQ+ rights and protections despite its relatively small size. The country made same-sex marriage legal in 2013 and passed laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, housing, and healthcare.
Another Scandinavian nation that has made strides in advancing LGBTQ+ rights and protections is Norway. Since 2009, same-sex marriage has been legal in Norway. In addition, the government has implemented policies to combat discrimination and encourage inclusion in a variety of social settings.
Belgium became the second nation to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003. The Belgian government has continued to implement LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion policies ever since, such as laws that outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Numerous Spanish cities are renowned for their inclusivity and support for the LGBTQ+ community. In 2005, the nation made same-sex marriage legal and has since enacted additional laws and policies to protect LGBTQ+ rights.
Small but committed to LGBTQ+ rights and protections, Iceland is a country. In addition to legalizing same-sex marriage in 2010, the Icelandic government has enacted policies and laws to combat discrimination and promote equality.
Another nation that has made significant progress in recent years in promoting LGBTQ+ rights and protections is Portugal. In 2010, same-sex marriage was made legal, and the Portuguese government has since passed laws that say that people can’t be treated differently because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, there is a thriving LGBTQ+ community in the country, as well as numerous events and organizations that work to support diversity and inclusion.