World Rankings on LGBT Rights

I did a little bit of this when I wrote my ‘Best Countries to Live In‘ post a few weeks ago and figured I would do a complete list ranking every single country and territory on their LGBT laws.  Now, I didn’t have time to look through some 200+ legal codes, so I used the LGBT Rights page on Wikipedia.  That said, this is not gospel, but it does give a good view of the world.

The Basis:

Much like the HRC’s Corporate Buyers’ Guide, I assigned point values to some pretty basic things

Sexual Activity

  • Fully legal : 30
  • Women only: 15
  • Illegal with Imprisonment: maximum sentence in years multiplied by -5
  • Illegal with life imprisonment or death penalty: -100


  • Full Marriage Equality: 30
  • Civil Unions or Equivalent: 15

Same Sex Adoption

  • Adoption without restrictions: 10
  • Adoption with restrictions (i.e. biological children only, step children only, single gay adoption only): 5

Ability to Serve Ppenly in the Military: 10

Anti-Discrimination Laws

  • Complete LGBT protections: 10
  • Incomplete LGBT protections: 5

Transgender Acceptance

  • Able to Change Sex or Gender without Restrictions: 10
  • Able to Change Sex or Gender only after surgery: 5
  • Able to Change Sex or Gender only after sterilization: 0  (This one was common enough to merit being mentioned)

Maximum Score: 100

Minimum Score: -100

Top Scores:

100 – Argentina, Belgium, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay

95 – Canada, South Africa

90 – Portugal, Brazil, Denmark, France (and most French Territories)

Bottom Scores:

-90 – Guyana

-100 – Afghanistan, Barbados, Burma, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

Most Friendly Continent:

North America:

  • Canada: 95
  • St. Pierre et Miquelon (France): 90
  • Mexico: 80
  • United States: 62
  • Bermuda (UK): 50

LGBT in the world


The large acceptance of transgender individuals is largely due to China, who makes up almost 20% of the world by itself.  I was actually surprised by how this chart turned out.  It’s not great, but it’s definitely better than it was even just a few years ago.

Full link is here.  Green highlights mean legislation pending to improve the law.  Red highlights mean legislation pending to further restrict LGBT.


About Alex

I am awesome.

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