Sweden, Canada und Malta ranking highest / US federal states in a specific separate index
The diversification of evaluation criteria and thus resulting changes of ranks in the eighth SPARTACUS Gay Travel Index conceal the fact that the global liberalisation process has slowed down considerably. The new ranking of the US states provides travellers with detailed information and gives some surprising informaion about the striking regional differences in „God’s own Country“ after almost four years of Trump administration.
Thanks to the new evaluation criteria (intersex/conversion procedure), Germany has improved its overall ranking by one point and now ranks 10th in the index together with last year’s winner Portugal and also Denmark, New Zealand and Iceland. Portugal has lost two points due to the new criteria. These two countries are examples of what effect even small changes in the ranking have on the first 50 places in particular, but there is little movement towards colour code green in the overall situation worldwide.
One exception is Taiwan, which was the first Asian country to open marriage to same-sex couples and, with its otherwise relatively liberal legislation, rose from 41st to 23rd place. On the African continent, Angola was able to work its way up from 104th to 65th place by abolishing the classification of homosexuality as punishable.
Among the most dangerous countries for LGBT travellers in 2020 are again countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia and the Russian republic of Chechnya, where homosexuals are massively persecuted and threatened with death.
USA: a divided country
The legal situation for queer people varies widely within the 50 federal US states. We have therefore decided to publish the USA Index again this year and to examine each state individually. In doing so, we were able to adapt the categories specific to the whole country and thus guarantee a more precise look. It was our clear intention to highlight the differences between the individual federal states.
The winner is California: This state has an exuberant queer infrastructure and excellent LGBT laws. We have awarded a whole 11 out of 13 possible points for this. With total of 10 points each, New York and Nevada follow right behind. Maryland got 6 points and is therefore the best placed Southern state. Ten other Southern states even have a negative total balance.
Ohio is at the bottom of the league due to its very retrograde legislation. Apart from Tennessee, Ohio is the only state in which transgender people are not allowed to have their birth certificates modified, even after relevant operations have been carried out. There is currently a lawsuit pending on this matter, so we are curious to see if any legal changes have taken place in that state by the time the next index is published.