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Rainbow nation: Where is the best place for LGBTI rights in Europe? UK in number one while the Republic of Ireland lags far behind - survey

By Antonia Molloy

The UK has been ranked number one in Europe for LGBTI rights - while Ireland lags far behind much of the rest of the continent.

Click here to see the the full Rainbow Europe map

The Rainbow Europe survey, carried out by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), named the UK the best out of 49 countries in terms of legislation and policies that have a “direct impact on the enjoyment of human rights by LGBTI people”.

With a tally of 82%, the UK scored highly across six categories: equality and non-discrimination; family; bias motivated speech/violence; legal gender recognition; freedom of assembly, association and expression; and asylum.

But the Republic of Ireland, lags far behind - scoring just 34% in the survey. It finished in 22nd place - just behind th Czech Republic

The UK result marks a five per cent increase since last year’s survey, helped in particular by marriage equality legislation, which saw the first same-sex couples tie the knot in March.

Belgium was in second place, with a score of 78%, followed by Spain with 73%. The Netherlands, Norway and Portugal came in joint fourth place with 70%, while Sweden, France and Iceland completed the top five with equal scores of 65%.

Unsurprisingly, Russia was revealed to be the worst place for LGBTI people to live, scoring just six per cent. It was closely followed by Monaco, Armenia and Azerbaijan with joint scores of 10%.

Launched to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17, the survey showed that the European average for LGBTI rights stands at 36% – with the average for EU countries only slightly higher at 46%.

But vast improvements were seen in Malta, which had a score 22 points higher than in last year’s survey, and Montenegro, which was up by 20 points.

However, the report's authors stressed that discrimination against LGBTI people continues to occur all across Europe. It also highlighted concerns regarding new anti-gay legislation, including Russia’s law banning gay “propaganda”.

Gabi Calleja, co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s executive board, said: "ILGA-Europe’s 2014 edition of its Rainbow Europe package shows that while the human rights of LGBTI people have undoubtedly gained great visibility across Europe, progress in terms of real legal, political and social changes vary considerably from one country to another, in large part depending on levels of societal acceptance, of political leadership and political will, as well as the strength of civil society in a given country."

For a full breakdown of the survey, click here.

Source: Independent

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