UK ranked top in Europe for LGBT rights for third year in a row

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The UK has been ranked number one in Europe for LGBT rights by a leading European network of LGBT organisations.

The 2014 ‘Rainbow Europe’ human rights survey was released today by ILGA-Europe, the Europe-wide network of LGBTI organisations.

The UK has been ranked number one in Europe for LGBT rights by ILGA Europe.

The ILGA tracks the status and promotes the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people, publishing its rights map each year.

Britain has been placed in the top spot for the last three years scoring 82% this year, an increase of 5 percent since 2013.

Minister for Equalities Sajid Javid commented, saying: “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 recognized 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 went on to say “Key action taken in this area so far includes:

  • The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act received Royal Assent last year and the first marriages took place on 29 March 2014.

  • In December 2011, we changed the law to allow same-sex couples to register their civil partnership on religious premises on a permissive basis

  • We now recognise 75 overseas same sex partnerships as equivalent to UK civil partnerships, 50 more than when the Civil Partnership Act 2004 was enacted

  • We have delivered our commitment to bring forward legislation to disregard consensual gay sex convictions, and those affected can now submit applications to the Home Office

  • 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

Commenting on the report, Lib Dem MEP candidate for South East England and spokesperson for Liberals 4 Equality Giles Goodall said: “I’m delighted that the UK has again come top of this ranking, thanks in part to equal marriage entering into law this year.

“It is also great news that the situation for LGBTI people has improved in the majority of the EU’s member states (18 out of 28) and in countries hoping to join the EU, such as Serbia and Montenegro.

“The EU is a huge force for progress but we must not be complacent. Homophobia and transphobia continue to blight thousands of lives around Europe and populist parties are threatening to roll back protection for LGBTI communities.”

The ILGA Europe Rainbow Europe Map is available to view below, along with a short introduction.

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