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The Berlin-based Spartacus International Gay Guide annually updates their Travel Index with a detailed ranking which informs travelers about the LGBT environment in 197 countries and regions. Their 2019 edition reveals some unfavorable changes in key countries like the United States and Germany, but also superb updates from other countries such as Portugal, India, and Austria.
What this Travel Index measures is countries’ accessibility through a set of criteria including anti-discrimination legislation, marriage equality, adoption rights, transgender rights, religious influence, HIV travel restrictions, and current situation about how hostile locals are against LGBTQ+.
The ranking of the Spartacus Gay Travel Index 2019 is based on diverse sources such as Human Rights Watch, the UN campaign Free & Equal and collected information about human rights violations of members of the LGBTQ+ community throughout the past year.
What it tells us in it’s 2019 release, is that the US is now less travel-friendly for LGBT people. It is currently standing at spot 47, dropping eight points from 39 in 2018 and 34 in 2017.
Mexico stands at 57. Although it received points under the categories of antidiscrimination legislation, marriage/civil partnership, adoption allowed, and equal age of consent, it got points deducted for religious influence, locals hostile, and murders. Mexico is also lacking transgender rights points.
Spartacus credits America’s drop to “right-wing conservative governments and their initiatives to revoke LGBT rights that have been achieved, as well as the associated increase in homophobic and transphobic violence.”
Here is the good and the bad about the Gay Travel Index 2019:
India moved up from 107th to 57th after decriminalizing homosexuality last September. Additional to the legislation, an improvement of the public opinion towards the LGBTQ+ by Indian society.
Positive changes of legislation such as in Trinidad and Tobago result in an increase of the Gay Travel Index ranking as well.
Canada, Portugal, and Sweden have all tied for first place, with Portugal rising from its #27 ranking in 2018 thanks to the country’s new initiatives against hate crimes.
Thanks to the introduction of equal marriage in Austria and Malta, both countries now rank among the top 5 gay-friendly countries worldwide which means a huge jump of 10 ranks for Austria in 2019.
Germany drops 20 places in ranking from being one of the top three gay-friendly countries worldwide. Due to a significant increase of homophobic violence against the LGBTQ+ community, Germany ranks 23rd in 2019. “The absence of modern transgender legislation, as well as the absence of an action plan against homophobic violence, let Germany crash from the 3rd to the 23rd rank” – Blu Media
Brazil and the USA experience a similar decrease in 2019 due to the fact, that the Brazilian right-wing government and the US-administration running initiatives trying to take back accomplishments of LGBTQ+ rights. Brazil stands at 68.