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SA ranked among 50 safest countries for LGBTQ+ travellers

06 June 2022 - 15:29
SA is regarded as a safe country for LGBTQ+ travellers. Stock photo.
SA is regarded as a safe country for LGBTQ+ travellers. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/nito500

SA is regarded as a safe country for LGBTQ+ travellers regarding legal rights, anti-discrimination laws, adoption recognition and trans legal identity laws.

This is according to the latest LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Index created by Asher & Lyric, a family and travel journalism blog and news source that has ranked 203 countries and examined LGBTQ+ rights for each of them. The index is based on 10 ranking factors:

  • whether same-sex marriage is legalised;
  • worker protection;
  • protection against discrimination;
  • criminalisation of violence;
  • adoption recognition;
  • the poll question ‘Is it a good place to live?’;
  • transgender legal identity laws;
  • trans murder rates;
  • punishments for same-sex relationships; and
  • propaganda/morality laws.

SA ranked in the top 50 countries throughout the world and also emerged as the safest in Africa. It was awarded a B grade as the 21st safest country in the world on the list.

Map of the worst and safest countries for LGBTQ+ travellers
Map of the worst and safest countries for LGBTQ+ travellers
Image: Asher&Lyric

In comparison, the Democratic Republic of the Congo received an F grade, along with Rwanda, Liberia, Burundi, Eswatini, Ghana, the Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Chad, Algeria, Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Egypt, Mauritania, the Maldives, Zambia, Sudan, Tanzania, South Sudan, Gambia, Libya and Malawi, as well as the West Bank & Gaza.

Nigeria emerged as the worst country in Africa and ranked as the second-most dangerous country on the index, as homosexuality can receive 14 years in prison or the death penalty and authorities have criminalised discussion of LGBTQ+ rights and gender expression.

According to the index, Brunei is the most dangerous country for LGBTQ+ travellers, while Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, Malta, Portugal and the UK are among the safest.

“Being born this way can be rough, but one thing should not give you anxiety when you’re trans, bi, lesbian, queer, or gay: travel. Europe, North America, Oceania, Africa, Asia and South America all have LGBTQ-safe countries where it’s OK to just be you,” said Asher and Lyric Fergusson, who compiled the index.

“These are some of the best places for LGBTQ+ travel enthusiasts to go, where queer and trans individuals have important basic rights and protections like marriage equality, constitutional protections and hate-crime punishments for targeted violence.

“By looking at the legal rights of each country, we found these top 50 LGBTQ-friendly countries, which often serve as the top gay vacation destinations for travellers the world over.

“Instead of relying on hearsay and anecdotes from other travellers, we took a deep look at LGBTQ+ rights, country by country. After 350+ hours of research, we’ve reviewed all countries’ individual laws and gathered data from a variety of trusted international sources to create the definitive LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Index.”

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