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Global LGBTQ Rights Score an 'F'

Written by Susan Dicklitch-Nelson, Berwood Yost and Scottie Thompson


Our research gives most countries in the world a failing grade in LGBTQ rights, reflecting widespread persecution of sexual minorities. Only one country in 10 actively protects the human rights of sexual minorities.

The Extremes Are Stunning

In 2017, 23 countries have legalized same-sex marriage, yet 71 countries still criminalize same-sex acts. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria and Yemen score lowest on our scale, with an overall GBGR score of 3 out of a possible score of 100, while Luxembourg, Malta and New Zealand score highest, with 100 percent. A score of 100 percent doesn’t mean a country is perfect in its treatment of LGBT individuals, but it does mean they protect LGBTQ rights. Our initial findings suggest that higher income, lower rates of religiosity, higher life expectancy, a higher freedom rating by nonprofit Freedom House and having a democratic political system are the best predictors of how much a country respects or abuses the rights of sexual minorities. This suggests that a country’s attitude toward gay rights is strongly related to its level of socioeconomic development, political development and religiosity. That makes the U.S.‘ low score an even greater anomaly. READ MORE

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