The New York Times’ Travel section set out an ambitious travel plan for readers recently with their “52 Places to Go in 2014.” But how LGBT-friendly are these exotic locales? Which places will have your back, and what destinations are not worthy of your patronage? We'll be breaking down the places on the list over the next few weeks. See the first five below:
Cape Town, South Africa
Compared to parts of the U.S., Cape Town will feel like a gay rights paradise. Marriage equality was established nationwide in South Africa in 2006, change of gender has been legal since 2003, and adoption by gay couples and step-parents is permitted.
Christchurch, New Zealand
As of last year, marriage equality in New Zealand is a go, and gays and lesbians have been protected under the country's Human Rights Act since 1993. If you want to adopt in New Zealand, however, you better put a ring on it: only married gay couples are permitted, not unwed or single gay parents-to-be.
North Coast, Calif.
Just over 100 miles from gay haven San Francisco, North Coast has your trademark California gay protections. Gay and lesbian sexual activity has been legal since 1976 thanks to the Consenting Adult Sex Bill, and marriage has been equal since Prop. 8 went down in a burst of Supreme Court flames last summer.
While Albania recognizes its LGBT persons enough to allow them to serve openly in the military, the country does not recognize same-sex unions. Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalized in 1995, however, and there are legal protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The wildlife may be gorgeous, but being LGBT in this African country is dangerous. Sodomy has been illegal since 1927, and same-sex unions are not recognized.
Stay tuned for more on the Gray Lady's list.