The 2014 Rainbow Europe human rights survey was released yesterday and it brought some good news – the UK is the leading place in Europe for protecting the rights of LGBT people.
The survey is published once a year by ILGA-Europe, the European network of LGBT organisations. It tracks the status and rights of LGBT individuals and publishes a rights map each year. Britain has held top spot for the past three years, but this year saw it increase by five percentage points, moving from 77 to 82%. See the map below:
The survey states: "The UK continued to close existing legal gaps related to the protection of the human rights of LGBT people, hence further progressing towards full legal and political recognition of LGBT equality. England and Wales adopted marriage equality with the first same-sex weddings due to start in March 2014, while Scottish parliamentarians overwhelmingly adopted the measure during a first vote in November."
Minister for equalities Sajid Javid said: “The UK has a strong record of protecting and promoting equality. I am pleased that our work to protect people from discrimination because of their sexuality has been recognised as some of the best in the world. The first same-sex weddings in March were a momentous step for equality that we should be proud of.” He also went on to cite the educational infrastructure now in place: "We are supporting schools to tackle homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic bullying and launched a new project to understand the most effective ways to reduce this type of bullying and its impacts."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its disinterest in protecting LGBT rights, Russia scored a shocking 6%. Ukraine could only muster 12% and Turkey didn't fare much better with a rating of 14%. A poll conducted last month suggested that Spain was the most tolerant country in the world, but it comes third in this poll behind Belgium.
Watch Rainbow Europe's video below: