Society is changing. There
are an increasing number of countries that have adapted their laws to
recognize the rights of its homosexual population. There is a
multicoloured wave that is sweeping the planet and what was once
inexplicably taboo is becoming openly accepted. With the legalization of
same sex-marriages last year in Brazil, France, England and Wales the
total number of countries where same-sex marriage is legal has risen to
17. If you include countries where it is legal in certain areas, like
the U.S., where 18 states and the District of Columbia have adopted a
law and in Mexico where 2 states are on board, the population that now
lives in an area where same-sex marriages are legal has risen
dramatically in a twelve-month span. Tony Pitman, a Melbourne based
activist has compiled a list of these countries along with their
population estimates. As of January 1st 2014, 700 million people live
in a country where same-sex marriages are legal. The current worldwide
population is approximately 7 billion; basically 10% of all individuals
on the planet now live in a country where same-sex unions are legal.
2013 was a banner year for the legalization of same-sex union
movement, but laws are not the only aspect to look at when wondering
whether or not a country is gay friendly. There is also general
societal acceptance, services and events that must be considered when
attempting to rank the top gay-friendly nation. A recent Pew Research
Centre survey asked citizens in 39 countries a simple question: whether
or not homosexuals should be accepted in society. Although some of the
traditionally gay-friendly countries were omitted from the survey, it
does provide insight into general views on homosexuality by regions.
Europe is by far the most accepting, while the African continent is
behind in its views.
While modern trends seem to be pointing toward increased acceptance,
there remain certain countries that are still enacting laws to restrict
homosexual behaviour, often countries led by conservative religious
practices, continue to enforce criminal penalties for homosexual acts.
The list compiled here is based on a variety of factors. The legal
aspect and its population’s acceptance of gays played a big role, as did
its gay and lesbian scene and events. However, certain emphasis was
also placed on the role the country is attempting to play in the
worldwide acceptance of gays and lesbians. 10 % of the world’s
population living in a country where same-sex marriages are legal is
great but it is still just a beginning. Here is the list of the top ten
gay friendly countries in the world.
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