Thanks to legal improvements for trans- and intersex persons as well as anti-hate crime initiatives, Portugal for the first time managed to jump from 27th place to the top of the Spartacus Gay Travel Index, and now shares the 1st place with Sweden and Canada. The Spartacus Gay Travel Index, updated annually, aims to inform travellers about the situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in 197 countries and regions.
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According to index, India's decriminalization of homosexuality and an improved social climate, has seen it rise from 104 to 57 on the Travel Index. In 2018 the criminalization of homosexual acts was abolished in Trinidad and Tobago and Angola as well.
South Africa is ranked 28th, together with Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Slovenia - see the full list here.
However, the situation for LGBT travelers in Brazil, Germany and the USA has worsened.
In both Brazil and the USA, the right-wing conservative governments have introduced initiatives to revoke LGBT rights achieved in the past. These actions have led to an increase in homophobic and transphobic violence.
As a result popular initiatives, including this campaign by Coke to turn derogatory homophobic speech into a positive affirmation for people of different sexual orientations, have been popping up in the affected countries.
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There has also been an increase in violence against LGBT people in Germany. Inadequate modern legislation to protect transgender and intersex persons as well as the lack of any action plan against homophobic violence have caused Germany to drop from 3rd to 23rd place.
In Latin America, the decision by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR/CIDH) to require nearly all Latin American countries to recognize same-sex marriage has caused a sensation. So far, same sex marriage is legal only in the countries of Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay and in some individual states of Mexico.
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Some of the most dangerous countries for LGBT travelers in 2019 include again Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia and the Chechen Republic in Russia, where homosexuals are widely persecuted and threatened with death.
The Spartacus Gay Travel Index is assembled using 14 criteria in three categories, including civil rights, whether gays and lesbians are allowed to marry, having anti-discrimination laws in place, and whether the same age of consent applies to both heterosexual and homosexual couples.
The index evaluated sources include the human rights organisation 'Human Rights Watch', the UN 'Free & Equal' campaign, and year-round information on human rights violations against members of the LGBT community.
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