The UK broke into the top 10 for its significant efforts over the past few years in promoting the safety and rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Through the Equality Act of 2010, policies to protect the community were implemented, prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, education and other aspects. There are also education and awareness programs to address hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community.
Denmark is considered one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly countries, with a long-standing tradition of promoting and protecting the community’s rights. In 1989, Denmark became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex partnerships, and years later, same-sex marriage became legal. Denmark also prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, education, and housing. In addition, many resources and support systems include LGBTQ+ communities for the youth.
See our LGBTQ+ Copenhagen guide for the latest events, venues and areas to visit.
Sun-beamed Spain is one of Europe’s most culturally liberal destinations, especially for LGBTQ+ globetrotters. There is no censorship surrounding the community, with plenty of safe spaces and strict laws for homophobic behaviour. The Balearic Islands – especially Mallorca and Ibiza – draw in the queer crowds with the bustling gay bar scenes.
Canada has been at the forefront of LGBTQ+ rights for decades. Not only was it the first country outside Europe to legalize same-sex marriage, but it also has strong legal protections for LGBTQ+ people – including laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Unsurprisingly, three Canadian cities also made it to the top 10 list of the best places to live in the world in 2022.
Sweden is known to be one of the most progressive countries in the world, consistently advocating LGBTQ+ rights and safety through educated and awareness programs. Same-sex marriage has also been legal since 2009, and same-sex couples have the right to adopt children. The country also has gender-neutral marriage laws, allowing individuals to legally change their gender without undergoing surgery or hormone treatment.
Consistently recognised as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly countries in the world, Norway was one of the first to enact anti-discrimination laws. Every summer, the capital hosts a 10-day event for Oslo Pride – the largest LGBTIQ+ festival in the country. Expect concerts, exhibits, and film screenings all throughout over 150 individual events.
2. The Netherlands
The Netherlands was one of the first countries in the world to legalise same-sex marriage back in 2001. In addition, it has strong anti-discrimination laws and a long history of supporting LGBTQ+ rights. Throughout the year, the LGBTQ+ community holds multiple events focused on promoting and supporting the community, such as the infamous Canal Pride in Amsterdam.