This time of year, we’re all just trying to finalize our shopping lists and New Year’s Eve plans. But many of us need to submit our vacation request for the new calendar year. Have you picked your 2020 vacation destinations?
The LGBTQ+ Danger Index ranks the 150 most-visited countries comparing eight different aspects of social/political/cultural practices within those nations. The microscope swings over the globe looking at issues that may impact LGBT travelers. These include the legalized same-sex marriage, worker protection, protection against discrimination, criminalization of violence, adoption recognition, and if there is a presence of anti-LGBTQ+ morality laws.
Of course adoption laws, marriage laws, worker protection laws will not affect all travelers, but they do help to paint a picture of where the country is on the scale of human rights for all.
The Places You Should Think Twice About?
Is the index of 150 nations the end all? Does this mean you should stay away from the worst on the list? We can’t tell you what to do or think, but, well, just think about it. Here are the lowest 6 from the list. Any surprises?
The research done for the LGBTQ+ Danger Index revealed the world’s most dangerous countries for us to visit (and live really) are Nigeria, Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, and Iran.
Notes on the Danger Index visual add more information than just the black voids in the first 5 categories and the faint purple noting that 0 to 25% of responders said these nations were a good place to live. Nigeria doesn’t allow talk of being LGBT and has either a death penalty or prison sentence for homosexual acts. Will they care if you are just passing through? We’re not sure we would tempt fate.
In Qatar, the country that is due to host soccer’s FIFA World Cup in 2022, homosexual acts are punished by between one and three years in prison, flogging, or the death penalty under Sharia law. Despite this, a leading Qatari World Cup official has said LGBTQ+ fans would be welcome to attend the tournament. However, he did stress that visitors “would have to respect Qatari customs.” – Forbes.com
The United States Has To Be Top 10, No?
And yes, that’s a big gay NO. The numbers on the left side go all the way up to the best nation listed at 150 and the US is at 127. So, doing gay math, 23 other nations are better to visit (and maybe live in) than ‘Merika.
Let’s do some more fun math. On the right side, the US is at 187 while the 150th and best nation has a tally of 322, not twice the total of the US (that would be 374) but damn!
One of the reasons the United States is so low is because it is not united. The issues of worker protection and protection against discrimination are not solidified across the nation, leaving it up to states to do the humane things that we as a nation cannot come together to do.
Who Is On Top?
Scandinavian countries rank high out of the 150 countries for LGBTQ+ travelers. Sweden is the number 1 nation that welcomes us with open arms and where we will most likely feel the safest and that has been the case for many years as Sweden made discrimination based on sexual orientation / gender identity and expression back in 1987, same-sex civil unions were approved in 1995, and marriage was legal in 2009, all of that building on the fact that same-sex sex was legalized in 1944.
Americans will not have to travel far to be in the number two nation, Canada, but we jump back over to Scandinavia for number 3 Norway and 7 Finland with Iceland at number 9 and Denmark at 14. What are they doing right over there? Human rights are for all humans it seems in Scandinavia.
So are you doing a trip to the great north next year? Will you take the trek to Scandinavia? Or will you brave the statistics and head to the Middle East?
For the full list of nations, head over to the LGBTQ+ Danger Index .