All the top 10 happiest countries in the world have the best LGBTI rights

They’re gay in both senses of the word

The World Happiness Report 2019 has been released and all of the top ten countries have an exemplary record on LGBTI rights.

The report, produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network in partnership with the Ernesto Illy Foundation, has ranked 156 countries on how happy their citizens think they are.

Finland came out on top as happiest place, followed Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

All of the top 10 didn’t just come up top for happiness, but they all have extensive laws and legal protections to protect LGBTI people.

The only exception is Switzerland (6), who have civil partnerships instead of same-sex marriages. Joint adoption is illegal, as only married couples can adopt. However, same-sex partners can adopt step-children.

Finland also have a law requiring transgender people to be sterilized before they can legally change their gender. This has been challenged by the country’s legal watchdogs and is expected to change soon.

They are all in the Spartacus Gay Travel Index‘s joint top first position or fourth position, except Switzerland, which is joint seventeenth. Spartacus judge their list on protections and laws for LGBTI people against state-sponsored homophobia.

The United Kingdom came in at 15th, whereas the United States ranked 19th. Both countries are experiencing political turmoil at the moment, which may explain why they aren’t higher.

So the next time you’re planning your big gay trip away, you might want to bear this in mind.

1 Finland
Legal: Since 1972

Equal age of consent: Since 1999

Legal gender change: Only after sterilization

Serve in military: All LGBTI people can serve

Discrimination protections: Yes

Same-sex adoption: Yes

Same-sex marriage: Yes

2 Denmark
Legal: Since 1933

Equal age of consent: 1977

Legal gender change: Self-identification

Serve in military: Gay, lesbian and bisexual people can serve

Discrimination protections: Yes

Same-sex adoption: Yes

Same-sex marriage: Yes

3 Norway
Legal: Since 1972

Equal age of consent: Since 1972

Legal gender change: Legal gender change

Serve in military: All LGBTI people can serve

Discrimination protections: Yes – including specific intersex protections

Same-sex adoption: Married and committed same-sex partners

Same-sex marriage: Yes

4 Iceland
Legal: Since 1940

Equal age of consent: Since 1992

Legal gender change: Self-identification

Serve in military: No army

Discrimination protections: Yes

Same-sex adoption: Couples

Same-sex marriage: Yes

5 Netherlands
Legal: Since 1811

Equal age of consent: Since 1971

Legal gender change: Only after a diagnosis but without surgery/hormone therapy

Serve in military: All LGBTI people are allowed to serve

Discrimination protections: Protections for sexual orientations

Same-sex adoption: Couples

Same-sex marriage: Yes

6 Switzerland
Legal: Since 1942

Equal age of consent: Since 1992

Legal gender change: Yes

Serve in military: Gay, lesbian and bisexual people are allowed to serve

Discrimination protections: Yes

Same-sex adoption: Step-child only

Same-sex marriage: Civil Partnerships

7 Sweden
Legal: Since 1994

Equal age of consent: Since 1972

Legal gender change: Legal change

Serve in military: All LGBTI people can serve

Discrimination protections: Yes

Same-sex adoption: Couples

Same-sex marriage: Yes

8 New Zealand
Legal: Male since 1986

Equal age of consent: Since 1986

Legal gender change: Change without surgery

Serve in military: Gay, lesbian and bisexual people can serve

Discrimination protections: Yes

Same-sex adoption: Yes

Same-sex marriage: Yes

9 Canada
Legal: Since 1969

Equal age of consent: Since 1969

Legal gender change: Without surgery

Serve in military: All LGBTI people can serve

Discrimination protections: Yes

Same-sex adoption: Yes – varies per region

Same-sex marriage: Yes

10 Austria
Legal: Since 1971

Equal age of consent: Since 202

Legal gender change: Without surgery

Serve in military: All LGBTI people can serve

Discrimination protections: Yes

Same-sex adoption: Couples

Same-sex marriage: Yes

by Tom Capon
Source – Gay Star News

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