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Sweden Named the Safest Country in the World for LGBTQ Travelers

News LGBTQIA+ Travel
by Eben Diskin Dec 2, 2019

In one of the most useful new resources, a new index ranks the world’s safest countries for LGBTQ travelers. The LGBTQ+ Danger Index ranks the 150 most-visited countries in the world, according to eight criteria:

  • Legalized same-sex marriage
  • Workers protection
  • Protection against discrimination
  • Criminalization of violence
  • Adoption recognition
  • Answers to Gallups’ poll question “Is it a good place to live for gay and lesbian people?”
  • Illegal same-sex relationships
  • Propaganda/morality laws

The ranking aims to provide LGBTQ travelers with an accurate idea of what to expect when making travel plans. For example, same-sex relationships are actually illegal in 38 of the countries on the list, and even punishable by death in five.

The index found the five most LGBTQ-friendly countries in the world in 2019 to be:

  • Sweden
  • Canada
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Belgium

The demarcation line between “safe” and “unsafe” countries isn’t black and white. Many countries may not explicitly make same-sex relationships illegal, but still employ censorship laws to limit LGBTQ representation in the media, are hostile to civil rights activists, and heavily discourage homosexual activity.

It’s worth noting that the US doesn’t even crack the top 20 safest countries for LGBTQ travelers. This is largely because LGBTQ rights vary by state, and lack progressive laws at the federal level.

The index found the five most dangerous countries in the world for LGBTQ travelers in 2019 to be:

  • Nigeria
  • Qatar
  • Yemen
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tanzania

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