Malta named most LGBTQ-friendly country in Europe

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Malta named most LGBTQ-friendly country in Europe

By
21 May 2019

By | 21 May 2019

The Mediterranian archipelago country topped the Europe Rainbow Index for the fourth year in a row

Malta is famous for its 300 sunny days per year, crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean sea and picturesque architecture entangled with narrow streets. And according to a new ranking, the archipelago state is also the most LGBTQ-friendly country in Europe.

Malta has even more to offer than 300 sunny days per year, crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean — Shutterstock Malta named most LGBTQ-friendly country in Europe Group Created with Sketch. Malta has even more to offer than 300 sunny days per year — Shutterstock

Every year, the Europe Rainbow Index evaluates countries in six different categories. It measures the state of equality and absence of discrimination of LGBTQ individuals, as well as the level of family acceptance, civil society space, legal gender recognition and body integrity, hate crime and hate speech, and asylum opportunities.

From the categories, the index calculates an overall score in per cents where zero per cent represents gross violations of human rights and discrimination while 100 per cent reflects the respect of human rights and full equality.

In this year’s ranking, Malta has managed to get an overall score of 90.35 per cent. This makes it the most LGBTQ-friendly country in Europe for the fourth time in a row.

The country topped the European Rainbow Index for the fourth time in a row — Shutterstock Group Created with Sketch. The country topped the Europe Rainbow Index for the fourth time in a row — Shutterstock

Belgium came in second followed by Luxembourg

“The Maltese have a reputation for kindness and excellent hospitality, and this is absolutely reflected in how they welcome all travellers to the island, including the LGBTQ market,” said Peter Vella, director UK and Ireland of Malta Tourism Authority.

Malta holds a unique combination of traditional and historical culture with a contemporary and welcoming mindset towards LGBTQ travellers and our people continue to set an impressive example for other European countries to follow.”

In the overall ranking, Belgium came in second place at 73 per cent. Luxembourg came third at 70 per cent and Finland fourth at 69 per cent.

On the opposite side of the list lies Azerbaijan with only 3.33 per cent. Turkey scored 5.61 per cent and Armenia 6.49 per cent.

Spartacus Gay Travel Index names Portugal the top country

Europe Rainbow Index is not the only tool that helps the LGBTQ community to determine the level of acceptance in various countries. Recently, the annual Spartacus Gay Travel Index, which evaluates 197 countries and regions around the world, has named Portugal the very best gay-friendly destination.

Portugal topped the Spartacus Gay Travel Index — rrfranca / Shutterstock Group Created with Sketch. Portugal topped the Spartacus Gay Travel Index — rrfranca / Shutterstock

The index underlined improvements in law for trans- and intersexuals in the country as well as initiatives against hate crime. Portugal has managed to rise up from the 27th position to share the first rank with Denmark and Canada.  

Malta ended up in shared second place in the Spartacus rating.

Europe’s top 10 most LGBTQ-friendly countries according to Europe Rainbow Index

  1. Malta — 90.35 per cent
  2. Belgium — 73.08 per cent
  3. Luxembourg — 70.40 per cent
  4. Finland — 69.27 per cent
  5. Denmark — 67.86 per cent
  6. Norway  — 67.62 per cent
  7. Portugal — 66.35 per cent
  8. France — 62.78 per cent
  9. United Kingdom — 61.78 per cent
  10. Sweden — 61.70 per cent