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Gay Travel Index 2020 | In 15 countries, homosexuals face the death penalty

This story has been Google translated into English. Click here to read the original German version.

The new Gay Travel Index compares over 200 countries. Result: Some vacation destinations are not as heavenly as they seem. Laws against homosexuals are being tightened in many places. Stoning to death threatens in one country.

In 15 of 202 countries and regions worldwide gays are currently facing the death penalty.

In at least 45 countries, people were murdered last year for homosexuality or transsexuality. This emerges from the recently published Spartacus Gay Travel Index 2020, which has now appeared for the eighth time since 2012.

The Russian sub-republic of Chechnya is worst performing with 20 minus points (place 202). Somalia (rank 201, 19 minus points) is penultimate. 

With 18 minus points each, Iran and Saudi Arabia, which opened for the first time to western tourists in 2019, jointly ranked 199th.

The Sultan of BruneiThe United Arab Emirates (195th place, 15 minus points) and Qatar (190th place, 14 minus points) also perform poorly - both countries in which tourism plays an important role.

Death penalty for homosexuals enshrined in law

The regions and nations mentioned here have in common that they have enshrined the death penalty for homosexuals in the law, even if it is not always practiced. 

Other countries where the Gay Travel Index threatens the death penalty for homosexuality include Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mauritania, Pakistan and parts of Nigeria and Indonesia where Islamic Sharia law applies. 

The Sultanate of Brunei officially introduced the death penalty by stoning in 2019, but has not yet practiced it after international protests.

Countries and regions in which a conspicuously large number of trans and homosexuals were murdered include, in addition to Muslim countries (such as Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen), African countries (such as Malawi, Cameroon, Zimbabwe) and parts of Latin America (such as Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Guatemala) and the Caribbean (such as Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Jamaica).

"The ranking shows that the global liberalization process has slowed down significantly," Christian Knuth, who is responsible for the Gay Travel Index at the Spartacus media group, told WELT.

The index is published annually, plus and minus points are assigned and a nation ranking based on 17 criteria ( there were 14 aspects by 2019 ).

The criteria catalog includes, for example, anti-discrimination laws, marriage for all, religious influence, persecution, murder rate and death penalty.

The ban on the controversial "homo-healing" (conversion therapy) and the acceptance of intersex as an additional gender option in addition to male and female are now being evaluated for the first time.

Gay Travel Index of interest to all vacationers

The Gay Travel Index not only serves lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people as an orientation for planned trips, “It is also intended to motivate heterosexual travelers to think about the moral and legal standards of their travel destination - and a vacation in a badly rated holiday Exclude country if necessary, ”says Knuth. One can consciously go on vacation in countries "in which the queer community is an accepted and beloved part of society".

The index considers, for example, the touristic countries of Egypt and Tanzania (both rank 181, 13 minus points) as difficult travel destinations, in which homosexuals not only have to reckon with LGTB-hostile sentiment, but also with prison.

Uganda has the same miserable status in the ranking, where homosexuality is not only taboo and is punishable. In the country that advertises tourists as the "Pearl of Africa", politicians are constantly calling for the death penalty for homosexuals.

Gay Pride parade in Paris, June 2019The Gay Travel Index largely coincides with the evaluation of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), which states that at the end of 2019 there were 70 countries and territories with anti-homosexual laws worldwide. 

In 35 UN member states, the laws that punish consensual same-sex sex have even been tightened in the past two years.

Poland has slipped significantly in Europe

If you look to Europe, according to the Gay Travel Index, Russia does the worst (161st place, twelve minus points). 

Homosexuality is not officially prohibited here, but “propaganda” for same-sex is.

Abuses against gays are common, the Orthodox Church considers homosexuality to be "immoral", and a ban on same-sex marriages is to be enshrined in the new Russian constitution that is currently being drafted.

Compared to the previous year, Poland slipped significantly in the index (rank 103, six minus points).

In 2019, the country still ranked 83rd. 

According to Knuth, the main reason for this is the establishment of so-called "LGTB-free zones", which now cover around a third of the country's territory.

Gay marriage allowed, conversion therapy prohibited

But there is also good news. 

For example, that Malta moved up from fourth place in the Gay Travel Index last year to the first place that the country occupied together with Sweden and Canada (twelve plus points each). 

For Malta, for example, the anti-discrimination laws (since 2004) speak that homosexual marriage and adoption are permitted, conversion therapies are prohibited and intersex people are recognized.

Three-man clandestine Gay Pride in Tehran, Iran.The climbers include Argentina and Uruguay, who share fifth place with the Netherlands, Spain and Great Britain. South Africa (best-ranked country in Africa) and Israel and Taiwan (best-ranked countries in Asia) are ranked 23rd .

Taiwan was the first Asian country to legalize marriage for same-sex couples. 

Angola improved from 104th to 65th place due to the abolition of homosexuality.

Germany does better than 2019

Germany climbed to tenth place in the current Gay Travel Index - due to improved intersex rights and the emerging legal ban on conversion therapy. 

In 2019, the Federal Republic ranked 23rd.

The USA also made a leap forward from rank 47 (2019) to 31 (2020). 

However, the situation varies from state to state, which is why the Gay Travel Index evaluates the USA not only in the nation ranking, but also in the context of a separate state index.

California ranks first, followed by Nevada and New York State (both number two). 

The worst result came from Ohio (rank 51).

Despite all the negative developments, the ILGA also positively assesses that at the end of 2019 exactly 123 UN member states (plus Taiwan) viewed consensual same-sex sex as legal. 

In 28 countries, same-sex marriage is equivalent to marriage between a man and a woman.

And according to the ILGA, eleven nations have laid down a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation, including Sweden, Portugal, South Africa, Nepal and Bolivia.

You can find the entire Spartacus Gay Travel Index 2020 here.

Source: welt.de, Sönke Krüger, March 12, 2020

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