If you happen to be one of those illustrious few who gets to summer in Europe (and you know someone’s doing well for themself when they “summer"; not just visit, but summer) then this might interest you: the UK was named the best place in Europe to be openly gay by the International Lesbian and Gay Association, or the ILGA. Yeah, gays aren’t great when it comes to making acronyms. Russia, on the other hand, probably shouldn’t be high up on your travel list.
The ILGA Europe’s index rated a total of 49 countries on more than 40 categories. With a total of 21 points, the UK narrowly edged out both Germany and Spain, which earned a total of 20 points each, respectively. An ILGA-Europe spokesperson is quoted by The Independent as saying Scotland played a “leading role” in the UK’s success, as hate crimes “aggravated” by gender identity are explicitly recognized under Scottish laws.
On the opposite end of the ILGA’s scale were Russia and Moldova, each of which scored -4.5 points. Russia has come under fire in recent weeks for the introduction of a so-called “gay propaganda” law in its second-largest city, St. Petersburg. (Source)
As someone who has neither the money nor the ability to stay on a trans-Atlantic plane without going crazy, to go to Europe . . . Meh, this is kind of a lateral move for me. Although I’m sure this will go a long way to helping people decide where to visit and which countries to spend money in. Because simply put, people tend to vote more with their money than with their actual votes (see: Ford, Rob). So yes, maybe the appropriation of tourist dollars will help foreign countries realize that it pays to be gay.