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Scotland: Best Place In Europe For LGBT Rights

Scotland Is the Best Place In Europe For LGBT Rights

Scotland Is the Best Place In Europe For LGBT Rights

The 2015 Rainbow Europe Index saw the small northern nation come out on top

2014 was a year of ups and downs, twists and turns for Scotland, but one thing remained constant throughout—the nation's dedication to LGBT rights. Every year, the international advocacy group IGLA-Europe releases its Rainbow Index, which ranks countries on 48 points to assess the rights and protections their LGBT citizens possess. Having so recently ushered in marriage equality, Scotland scored a 92% this year, higher than the rest of the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. The remainder of the UK suffered because of the lack of protections for intersex and transgender people in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland's persistent refusal to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Equality Network, Scotland's leading LGBT human rights group, welcomed the announcement, but also warned that there remains much to be done. Tom French, Policy and Public Affairs Coordinator for the Equaltiy Network, had this to say:

"The fact that Scotland now ranks best in Europe overall on LGBTI legal equality is welcome recognition for the efforts of campaigners and the willingness of our politicians to properly consult with LGBTI people and then act on the evidence by passing progressive measures. However, the Equality Network warns against any complacency, as we know there is still much more to do to achieve full equality for LGBTI people in Scotland. As ILGA’s review shows there are still areas where Scotland is failing to respect LGBTI human rights and falling behind the progress in other countries, particularly when it comes to the rights of trans and intersex people. 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.”

After Scotland, the rest of the UK came in second with 86%, Belgium scored 83%, Malta 77%, and Sweden 72%. The five countries to score the lowest scores in Europe were Azerbaijan (5%), Russia (8%), Armenia (9%), Ukraine (10%) and Monaco (11%). 

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