A country is considered LGBT-friendly based on how progressive its laws are and how inclusive it is of the community. It also takes into account whether a nation celebrates Pride events and has officially recognised Gay Villages.
From legalising same-sex marriage to accepting adoption rights, these countries display a rainbow of acceptance. Vibrant LGBTQ+ scenes and popular Pride festivals, these countries are the best places to be if you’re an LGBTI person.
In Iceland, one of the world’s most LGBT friendly countries, gay rights have long been a priority. Since a committee report brought attention to societal questions surrounding homosexuality in 1994, the country has moved progressively toward equality. For example, it has banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and allowed same-sex couples equal access to adoption and IVF. Its church has redefined marriage as between two individuals, and it has passed laws to protect LGBTQIA+ citizens from hate crimes.
The capital, Reykjavik, boasts the “biggest little Pride in the world” and a number of LGBTQIA+ bars, including Kiki Bar, Pink Iceland, and Lady Brewery. The city also hosts a variety of LGBT events, including Rainbow Reykjavik and a winter version called Winter Pride.
Finland is another one of the most LGBT friendly countries, offering a picturesque landscape and progressive LGBTQ rights. In fact, it was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage and is home to a thriving queer community, including Helsinki’s famous Pride parade. It has also made it possible for trans people to change their gender through medical treatment and has banned discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Uruguay is one of the most LGBT friendly countries in Latin America and a leader on the continent. The country has laws in place to protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and same-sex marriage is legal. Additionally, same-sex couples have the right to adopt and can access in vitro fertilisation.
A monument to sexual diversity stands in the city of Montevideo, reading: “Honrar la diversidad es honrar la vida”. Gay bars are prevalent throughout the country, and Montervideo is often referred to as the gay capital of South America. Gay men and women can be seen holding hands along the rambla, the city’s 25-km promenade.
The Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires is another LGBT friendly country. Argentinian laws protect against workplace discrimination and the government supports transgender people. Moreover, same-sex marriage is legal and gay people are allowed to serve in the military. Additionally, the government has banned conversion therapy. In a recent study on the best countries for LGBT employees, Argentina and Uruguay were ranked number two. The study was conducted by Silver Swan Recruitment and compared factors such as anti-discrimination legislation, employee rights, minimum wage and LGBT-friendly policies.
Sweden is one of the most LGBT friendly countries in the world. It is known for its support of LGBT rights and the safety of its citizens. The country has strict anti-discrimination laws and allows gay marriage. It also provides a wide range of educational opportunities for LGBTQ people. Stockholm is also home to many popular LGBT bars and clubs.
Denmark is another LGBT friendly country. It legalised same-sex marriage in 2012 and supports gay rights. It is also the first country to recognize LGBT partnerships. It also lets gay and lesbian couples adopt children and offers access to artificial insemination. In addition, 66 percent of Danes agree that homosexual parents are as good as any other parent.
Belgium is another safe country for LGBT people. It has a large LGBT community and is one of the most LGBT friendly countries in Europe. ILGA-Europe ranked it number two for LGBT rights protection in 2021. It is also the only European country that allows gender change without surgery. In addition to this, 84 percent of the population supports same-sex marriage.
With the world’s first same-sex marriage laws introduced in 2001, the Netherlands is considered a leader in LGBT rights. They’re also trailblazers when it comes to anti-discrimination laws. The Dutch are known for their tolerance and acceptance of other people’s lifestyle choices, which is reflected in their popular Pink Saturday event in Amsterdam.
While the Dutch have made significant strides, there’s still work to be done to promote equality for LGBT citizens. For instance, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is common. It’s important to raise awareness in migrant communities as well as encourage education on LGBT issues.
Despite this, the Netherlands is still one of the best countries to be gay. Its picturesque canals, multiculturalism and international open mindset have made it a desirable place to live for many LGBT residents. Gay-friendly destinations in the country include Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht with a range of clubs, bars and saunas. Moreover, Dutch people who know someone with the same sex are 60% more likely to support their equality. The Netherlands is also ranked as the most LGBT friendly country by Spartacus Travel.
Portugal is a gay friendly country with a progressive approach to LGBT rights. This north-European nation has a strong reputation for inclusivity, and it ranked fourth in the Spartacus Gay Travel Index 2023. While there are still challenges to overcome, the country has many gay friendly spaces, cultural events, and support groups that promote diversity and equality.
In Lisbon, gay-friendly neighborhoods include Bairro Alto, Principe Real, and Arroios. These areas are home to a variety of bars, clubs, and discos that cater to the LGBTQ community. They also host popular Pride parades.
In addition, gay friendly places in Lisbon offer a wide range of housing options. According to Joao Passos, a manager of the Lisboa Pride – Homes for Everyone project and a real estate consultant at Remax for over 10 years, “the favorite LGBTI+ neighborhood to live in is still Principe Real/Misericorida, although the center of town has been gaining ground with new gay friendly businesses opening up in Arroios as well.
In terms of legal rights, same-sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual ones, including visa issues and inheritance laws. Additionally, married gay couples are eligible for Portuguese citizenship after three years of residency.