Saturday, 18 June 2011

LGBT rights by country

Yesterday, after being accused of being (along with Dan Choi) a closet GOPer (lol), I was told to name countries that allowed gay marriage, with the note that NZ is not one of them. Thanks, I'm aware of that - I live here, and when I'm ready for a relationship it'll be with someone of the same gender the government thinks I am. Mind you, I had already told this person that their previous statement was so ridiculous that I was going to go and look at pictures of bunnies, so I did not reply. When I had exhausted trademe's bunny section, though, I did go to the fastest information source there is - wikipedia. LGBT rights by country or territory provides tables, subdivided by region, of (as you can imagine) rights that LGBT people have in various countries.

It's not a perfect list, I'll say that first. It focuses largely on recognition of relationships, while other rights such as protection from unfair dismissal or eviction, or the right to visit loved ones in intensive care, or the access to hormone treatments and surgery, tend to be grouped under a single column or two. It's a decent overview, though, and provides a very simple way to rank countries.

Firstly I'm going to list the countries named as allowing gay marriage (not civil unions, as New Zealand has), and then I'm going to give a descending list of the number of ticks countries have until I reach the US, as the original argument was centered on the relatively few rights that queers have there.

South Africa, Canada, Mexico City, Argentina, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain
Pending, partial or under consideration:
Uruguay, Israel (recognised, but not performed within country), India (not outlawed, and some cases reported), Nepal, China, Cambodia (technically prohibited but there has been at least one case), Finland, Ireland, UK, Luxembourg

Number of ticks by country:
South Africa (7), Canada (7), Norway (7), Sweden (7), Netherlands (7), Spain (7);
Israel (6.5);
Uruguay (6), Iceland (6), Isle of Man (6), UK (6), Belgium (6), Croatia (6), Portugal (6);
Australia (5.5);
New Zealand (5), Argentina (5), Brazil (5), Colombia (5), South Georgia (5, one "unknown"), Denmark (5), Poland (5), Slovenia (5), Pitcairn Islands (5);
United States (4.5), Finland (4.5), Greenland (4.5).

Finland and Greenland are good company, I'm sure, but it interests me to see which countries are much higher up in the list - Uruguay is probably not a country that springs to mind when you think gay rights, let alone Croatia. At any rate I think it's safe to say that the US is not the leader in LGBT rights that these guys were trying to paint it as.

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