These are the best countries in Europe for LGBT+ rights

For the most legal LGBT+ rights, you once again have to look to a Southern European country this year. The annual report on European LGBT+ rights by the advocacy organisation ILGA reveals a stable top 3 and a few notable climbers. On the other hand, there is one country known as one of the early advocates for LGBT+ rights that has fallen again this year.
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Malta, België en Denemarken zijn net als vorig jaar de top drie landen in Europa als het gaat om LGBT+-wetgeving, alleen heeft België Denemarken ingehaald. Vorig jaar was Denemarken tweede, maar aangezien België genderidentiteit en geslachtskenmerken als verzwarende factoren in het wetboek van strafrecht heeft opgenomen staat dat land nu op de tweede plaats.

Grote stijgers in de lijst zijn Spanje, IJsland en Moldavië. Een belangrijke reden voor de stijging van Spanje (van 10 naar 4)  is het invoeren van

Malta, Belgium, and Denmark are still the top three countries in Europe when it comes to LGBT+ legislation, although Belgium has overtaken Denmark. Last year, Denmark held the second position, but since Belgium has included gender identity and sex characteristics as aggravating factors in the penal code, it now holds the second place.

Significant climbers on the list are Spain, Iceland, and Moldova. A key reason for Spain's rise (from 10th to 4th) is the introduction of self-determination rights for transgender individuals, which means that no medical professional or psychologist is required to change the gender marker on passports. In Iceland (from 11th to 5th), gender identity and sex characteristics have been included as aggravating factors in criminal law, and the country has developed an action plan to impose stricter penalties for violence and discrimination against LGBT+ individuals. Moldova (from 37th to 23rd) is also making great strides towards legislation to protect LGBT+ individuals.

Notably, the Netherlands, once a pioneer in LGBT+ rights, has dropped from 13th to 14th place. This decline has been ongoing for several years. The country, which was the first to legalise same-sex marriage, provides relatively little legal protection for both transgender and intersex persons. Non-binary individuals are also not legally recognized in the Netherlands, and there is a lack of legal recognition for transgender parents. ILGA observes an increase in anti-transgender rhetoric in the Dutch parliament. Additionally, the Netherlands does not have specific legislation to punish violence and hate speech against LGBT+ individuals. It's not so much that the rights of LGBT+ individuals are deteriorating in the Netherlands, but the country lags behind in terms of new legislation.

Poland, Russia, Armenia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan rank at the bottom of the list.

Read the full report here


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