The US is often thought of as one of the most progressive countries in the world, but thanks to Donald Trump it's not a place LGBTQ+ people are lining up to visit. An annual gay travel index has ranked the US is 47th in a list of the friendliest destinations for queer travelers, falling from it's 2018 ranking of 39.
Berlin-based Spartacus International Gay Guide is a handy resource for LGBTQ+ travelers, and releases the Spartacus Gay Travel Index annually, measuring countries' queer accessibility through a set of 14 criteria including anti-discrimination legislation, marriage equality, adoption rights, transgender rights, and religious influence.
Spartacus credits America's drop to "right-wing conservative governments and their initiatives to revoke LGBT rights that have been achieved, as well as the associated increase in homophobic and transphobic violence." When the US fell from the 34th position in 2018, Spartacus cited Trump's "attempts to curtail transgender rights in the military" as the main reason for the drop.
But there's a silver lining, as elsewhere in the world things are getting better for queer people. India moved up from 107th to 57th after decriminalizing homosexuality last September.
Canada, Portugal, and Sweden have all tied for first place (What is this, All Stars 4?), with Portugal rising from its #27 ranking in 2018 thanks to the country's new initiatives against hate crimes.
Unsurprisingly, the lowest-ranked country on the list is Chechnya, where homosexuality is punishable by the death penalty. In January, news broke that a new wave of gay purges had taken in the Russian republic. "We have known along the way that purges did not stop in 2017 and it's been ongoing ever since," Lyosha Gorshkov, co-president of RUSA LGBT, a Russian-speaking American LGBT Group, told Out. Although the focus of the international and media community has been shifted away while the world should have kept [their] eyes open."
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