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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 15, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 20
Scotland most pro-Gay country in Europe, ILGA says
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Scotland most pro-Gay country in Europe, ILGA says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Scotland scored the highest rating in ILGA's 2015 'Rainbow Europe Index,' the group said May 11.

The index measures progress on LGBT equality in European countries for 48 criteria - including legal protections from discrimination in employment and services, measures to tackle hate crime, rights and recognition for Transgender and Intersex people, and equality in family law including same-sex marriage and parenting rights. Scotland scored 92%, ahead of the United Kingdom as a whole, which rated 86%. Both countries legalized same-sex marriage last year, but the UK's rating was downgraded because it lacks protections for Intersex people in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland has failed to respect LGBTI human rights in a range of areas including its refusal to legalize same-sex marriage.

'The fact that Scotland now ranks best in Europe overall on LGBTI legal equality is welcome recognition for the efforts of campaigners and the willingness of our politicians to properly consult with LGBTI people and then act on the evidence by passing progressive measures,' Tom French, Policy and Public Affairs Coordinator for Scotland's Equality Network, said.

'However, the Equality Network warns against any complacency, as we know there is still much more to do to achieve full equality for LGBTI people in Scotland.

'As ILGA's review shows there are still areas where Scotland is failing to respect LGBTI human rights and falling behind the progress in other countries, particularly when it comes to the rights of trans and intersex people.

'There is also a big difference between securing legal rights and full equality for LGBTI people in their everyday lives.

'Despite real progress in the law, LGBTI people in Scotland are still facing unacceptable levels of prejudice, discrimination and disadvantage throughout their lives.'

Scotland and the UK were followed by Belgium (83%), Malta (77%), and Sweden (72%). The five countries ranked worst for LGBT legal equality in Europe include Azerbaijan (5%), Russia (8%), Armenia (9%), Ukraine (10%), and Monaco (11%). With a few exceptions, the human rights of LGBTI people are better respected in Western Europe than Central Europe, and are least protected in Eastern Europe, the ILGA said.

Like Northern Ireland, Scotland is internally self-governing with its own parliament. The Scottish National Party (SNP), which controls Scotland's government, is an explicitly socialist party and supports LGBT equality.

In addition to controlling 64 of 129 seats in Scotland's parliament, the SNP also won an unprecedented number of seats in the UK parliament, taking 56 of the 59 Scottish seats.

The UK (Westminster) parliament makes law for the UK as a whole in areas not under the jurisdiction of the Scottish or Northern Ireland parliaments, and it makes law for England's and Wales' internal affairs.

The ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association) is a federation of 1,100 LGBTI rights organizations in 110 countries.

Link courtesy of the SGN:
http://www.ilga-europe.org/sites/default/files/Attachments/side_b-rainbow_eurpe_index_may_2015_no_crops.pdf

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