- Despite intense anti-LGBTI attacks in several countries, equality is still advancing across Europe.
- While the public discourse is becoming more polarised and violent, particularly against trans people, political determination to advance LGBTI rights is paying off. The largest gains on the map are for countries that introduced legal gender recognition using a self-determination model. Over the past 12 months bans on intersex genital mutilation (IGM) are also bringing countries up in the ranking.
- Spain jumped six places to number four with its introduction of LGR with self determination, alongside a ban on IGM, while Finland entered the top ten, again up six places, again with LGR based on self-determination. Greece has also moved up four places with its ban on IGM.
- Gender identity and sex characteristics are included in anti-discrimination and/or hate crime legislation, moving Belgium, Iceland and Moldova up the chart alongside Spain.
- Moldova has jumped 14 places because sexual orientation and gender identity have been positively included in legislation covering employment, education, provision of goods and services, health, hate crime and hate speech.
- Slovenia and Switzerland switched positions. Both countries introduced same-sex marriage and joint adoption. Switzerland also allows medically assisted insemination for couples. Croatia too moved up one spot with its introduction of adoption for same-sex couples.
Rainbow Europe – ILGA-Europe’s annual benchmarking tool – comprises the Rainbow Map and Index and national recommendations. ILGA-Europe have produced the Rainbow Map and Index since 2009, using it to illustrate the legal and policy situation of LGBTI people in Europe.
The Rainbow Map and Index ranks 49 European countries on their respective legal and policy practices for LGBTI people, from 0-100%.
In order to create our country ranking, ILGA-Europe examine the laws and policies in 49 countries using 74 criteria, divided between seven thematic categories: equality and non-discrimination; family; hate crime and hate speech; legal gender recognition; intersex bodily integrity; civil society space; and asylum. More information on the list of criteria and their weight on the total score can be found at www.rainbow-europe.org/about
Policymakers, researchers and journalists are able to go ‘behind’ the points and see the original information sources that we base our Map and Index ranking on. This additional layer of information is available through our updated Rainbow Europe web module, www.rainbow-europe.org.
The Rainbow Map and Index presents a picture of what the policy landscape is like currently, while our country-specific recommendations attempt to answer the question “what’s next?” These recommendations are intended to encourage policymakers to address the most pressing legal and policy priorities within the framework of our Rainbow Map and Index. The recommendations were gathered following an online consultation with a wide range of LGBTI organisations in the various countries. As a result, the recommendations are tailored to the needs of activists working on the ground.
- For the eighth year in a row, Malta continues to occupy the number one spot on the Rainbow Europe Map, with a score of 89%.
- With 76 points, Belgium now occupies the second place with a rise of four points due to the inclusion of gender identity and sex characteristics as aggravating factors in the country’s penal code.
- Denmark comes third palace with a score of 76 with the rise of two points due to its new equality action plan, which includes specific measures on sexual orientation and gender identity but falls short of inclusion of projects on sex characteristics.
- The three countries at the other end of the Rainbow Europe scale are Azerbaijan (2%), Turkey (4%), and Armenia (9%), exactly the same as the last three years. Among them, only Armenia increased an index point after revoking its ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men.
- Spain, Iceland, Finland, Moldova, Switzerland, and Croatia are the countries with the biggest jump in scores. Spain introduced a comprehensive law that regulates legal gender recognition (LGR) based on self-determination, banned genital mutilations on intersex minors, prohibited so-called “conversion” practices and outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics.
- Iceland adopted an equality action plan, included gender identity and sex characteristics in their equality law, and added sex characteristics protection in the penal code. Moldova also amended its equality law and penal code to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Finland adopted its Trans Law which regulates LGR based on self-determination.
- Switzerland’s legislation on marriage equality came into effect, which also gave the right to joint adoption and medically assisted insemination for same-sex couples. In Croatia, same-sex couples can now apply for joint adoption and second-parent adoption after a court decision.