Gay rights campaigners have welcomed a report showing that Scotland is the best country in Europe for LGBTI legal equality. The 2015 Rainbow Europe Index was compiled by ILGA-Europe, an international human rights association.
Scotland comes ahead of the rest of the UK and Europe in the legal protections it offers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
What is Being Measured?
The annual index measures progress in European countries on LGBTI equality against 48 criteria, including legal protections from discrimination in work and services, measures to tackle hate crime, rights and recognition for transgender and intersex people, and equality in family law, such as same-sex marriage and parenting rights. Following the legalisation of same-sex marriage last year, Scotland meets 92% of the criteria, compared with 86% for the UK as a whole.
Countries in the UK that Have Dismal Rights
Scottish LGBTI equality and human rights charity the Equality Network, which released details of the European study, said the UK’s overall figure was brought down by a “lack of protections for intersex people in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland’s failure to respect LGBTI human rights in a range of areas, including its refusal to legalise same-sex marriage”.
“There is also a big difference between securing legal rights and full equality for LGBTI people in their everyday lives. Despite real progress in the law, LGBTI people in Scotland are still facing unacceptable levels of prejudice, discrimination and disadvantage throughout their lives.”
Scotland is joined in the top five by the rest of the UK, Belgium (83%), Malta (77%), and Sweden (72%). The five countries ranked worst for LGBTI legal equality in Europe were Azerbaijan (5%), Russia (8%), Armenia (9%), Ukraine (10%) and Monaco (11%). ILGA-Europe represents 417 member organisations in 45 European countries.