Malta is the best place in Europe to be gay, according to its laws. Azerbaijan is the worst, but Latvia and Poland, which are EU members, do not rank much higher, while overall progress is “stagnating”.Those were the findings of the annual Rainbow Europe survey published on Tuesday (15 May) by Ilga-Europe, an NGO in Brussels. Malta scored 91 percent in the ranking, which looks at countries’ pro-LGBTI rights laws and policies, after it passed legislation on marriage equality and gender-neutral passports. It was followed by Belgium (79 percent), Norway (78 percent), Finland (73 percent), France (73 percent), and the UK (73 percent). Denmark, Portugal, and Spain also scored well, completing an arc of gay-friendly states, shown in green on Ilga-Europe’s map, in northern and western Europe. Marriage equality also became reality for same-sex couples in the EU heartland last year, but faint-green Germany (59 percent) still lacked laws to protect LGBTI people from hate speech. The situation became more grim as one headed south to Italy (27 percent) and east to Poland (18 percent), where the map turned yellow and amber. “LGBTI people in Poland continued to encounter discrimination,” and the Polish government was putting pressure on rights NGOs, Ilga-Europe said. “Physical attacks reported by individual LGBTI people [in Poland] are not just statistics. They are personal cases,” it said.
The map turned red the further east and south one travelled to Russia (11 percent), Turkey (9 percent), Armenia (7 percent), and Azerbaijan (5 percent).
via euobserver: Gay rights under threat in divided Europe