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2020 LGBTQ+ Worldwide Equality Index

An easy-to-use worldwide index relating to the rights and laws affecting the LGBTQ+ community

2020 Equality Image

The LGBTQ+ equality index focuses on the status, rights and the legal treatment of the LGBTQ+ community by every country across the globe

52.4 million individuals live in countries in which it is illegal to carry out same-sex related acts
Disclaimer: The LGBTQ+ equality index has been compiled based on the rules and laws that exist at a national level, rather than for any given region, state or province. Though a country may score high on the index, it does not necessarily mean that they are not safe to travel to if personal discretion is applied. The LGBTQ+ worldwide equality index is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute advice. It is important that you carry out independent research on any countries you plan to visit prior to going as laws and regulations change frequently. Your country’s foreign office will provide advice on the status of any given country.

The Worldwide LGBTQ+ equality index is compiled reviewing a number of rules and laws that directly affect and have an impact on the LGBTQ+ community, areas such as the same-sex legal status, the right to marry, anti-discrimination laws etc. To understand all of the areas and how they contribute to the overall score, click here to view the how it was calculated page

Through the work of advocates and pioneers, many members of the LGTBQ+ community now have the rights and freedoms to be their true selves without fear of persecution; however, there are still inequalities and injustices occurring all over the world.

Many brave individuals and groups are working within those countries to change the laws and opinions, so hopefully, one day, everyone will have the freedom and protection under the law.

Simply put, the higher a country scores on the equality index, the worse they treat members of the LGBTQ+ community.

If you feel your life is in danger or fear persecution, go to the charities, and support groups page as many specialist charities and groups around the world can help


   Click on a specific country within the map to find out the equality score


You can quickly sort, filter and search the data within any table. To sort the columns into ascending or descending order, click on the heading. If you wish to filter, check the relevant tick box or enter a keyword into the filter box found below the available heading. If you want to learn more about any individual country, click on the country name which will take you directly to the country’s profile page within the Gayther site


In 2019: -
  • Angola, Bhutan and Botswana decriminalised homosexuality
  • Gabon is the only country to introduce a ban on homosexuality
  • Austria, Taiwan and Ecuador legalised same-sex marriages
  • A number of Methodist, Evangelical, Lutheran and National Churches are now recognising blessings of same-sex marriages
  • Sweden introduced a law banning hate speech based on "transgender identity or expression."
  • San Marino bans discrimination based on sexual orientation by the constitution
  • Germany introduced a law allowing third gender option ("diverse") on official documents

2020 Classifications

In 2020, in terms of the worldwide equality index: -

  • 33% of all countries are classified as high or very high
  • 38% of all countries are classified as medium-high or medium-low
  • 29% of all countries are classified as low or very low

  • 26.1% or 52.4 million individuals live in countries in which it is illegal to carry out same-sex related acts
  • 42% of countries have laws concerning gender identity/expression

  • For members of the LGBTQ+ community living in countries in which same-sex related activities are illegal if prosecuted: -
    • 17 countries still criminalise same-sex activities, however, do not enforce prosecutions
    • 4 countries issue penalties up to 2 years imprisonment
    • 35 countries issue penalties of 2 years to life imprisonment
    • 13 countries issue death penalties
  • In terms of anti-discrimination laws: -
    • 85 countries have extensive laws in place
    • 26 countries have some laws in place
    • 122 countries have no laws in place
  • In terms of LGBTQ+ individuals serving openly in the military: -
    • 113 countries allow individuals to serve
    • 120 countries do not allow individuals to serve

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