The most LGBTQ-friendly countries in the world: the ranking

The LGBTQ movement has been gaining momentum around the world in recent years. Many countries have made great strides in protecting the rights of individuals belonging to the gender and sexual minority population.
lgbtq countries

The LGBTQ movement has been gaining momentum around the world in recent years. Many countries have made great strides in protecting the rights of individuals belonging to the gender and sexual minority population. They provide them with legal recognition, protection from discrimination, and freedom of expression

Here is a list of five countries that have taken progressive steps toward creating an inclusive society for the LGBTQ community.


Portugal has a long and proud history of promoting equality for LGBT people. The country is widely considered to be one of the most LGBTQ-friendly nations in Europe. It is renowned for its progressive stance on LGBT rights.

Portugal’s modern Constitution was approved in 1982. It specifically prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, which has paved the way for the advancement of civil rights for LGBT individuals. Additionally, LGBT people in the country enjoy a range of benefits, including access to free healthcare.

In 2001, Portugal became the sixth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage and also allow gay couples to adopt children. Furthermore, transgender individuals can legally change their gender without needing a medical diagnosis or surgery. In more recent years, Portugal has become increasingly aware of gender identity issues and is making progress toward greater acceptance and understanding of gender diversity. 

Not just this, Portugal also has many LGBT organizations within its borders and a vibrant culture, with numerous LGBT-friendly bars, clubs, restaurants, events, and other establishments in bigger cities like Lisbon and Porto.


When it comes to LGBTQ rights and treatment, Finland has a long history of being regarded as one of the most progressive nations. Since 1971, same-sex sexual activities between consenting adults have been decriminalized in Finland, making it one of the first countries to legalize same-sex relationships. The age of consent for homosexual relations is 15 years old, which is the same as for heterosexual relations.

In 1995, Finland passed a law that provided same-sex couples with many of the same rights as married opposite-sex couples. This includes the right to inherit property, adopt children and make medical decisions for each other. 

In 2002, a new law was introduced which allowed registered partnerships between two individuals of the same sex. This law also gave same-sex couples additional rights, such as the right to receive a partner’s pension and the right to take in jointly adopted children. 

In 2014, Finland legalized same-sex marriages. This meant that same-sex couples had access to all the legal benefits afforded to married couples. The same-sex marriage law was updated in 2017, making it easier for transgender people to change their legal gender without having to go through a lengthy court process. 

Read also: Top 10 most gender-equal countries: what do they have in common


Spain is an incredibly LGBTQ-friendly country with a legal framework that supports and protects its citizens. Spanish law has made significant progress in recent years, from marriage equality to workplace protections. It will continue to ensure that all LGBTQ individuals are treated equally and fairly.  

Spain is currently one of the most progressive nations for LGBTQ rights. In 2005, it became the third country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage. The Spanish Constitution includes a clause protecting citizens from discrimination on the basis of ‘sexual orientation.’ There are several laws protecting the rights of LGBTQ individuals, such as those relating to adoption, pensions, and gender identity recognition. 

In terms of adoption, same-sex couples have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples in Spain and can apply to adopt children in the same way. In 2018, a new law allowed individuals who are transgender or intersex to change their gender on official documents. This includes birth certificates and passports.  

Furthermore, Spain offers a wide range of legal protections for LGBTQ individuals in the workplace. Employers are legally required to treat all employees equally regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and it is illegal to discriminate against someone on these grounds. In addition, there are numerous social welfare benefits available to LGBTQ citizens. There are also a number of support organizations and events throughout the country. 


Norway is the world’s fourth most welcoming and LGBTQ-friendly country. The government has passed a series of measures to ensure that everyone in Norway, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, can live freely and feel respected. 

The Norwegian Constitution guarantees equal rights to all citizens, making it illegal for anyone to face discrimination. This includes discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. To ensure the protection of all LGBTQ persons, the Norwegian Government has implemented a number of initiatives. 

The Gender Equality Act of 1978 is one such initiative that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression. It applies to all areas of life. The Norwegian Equal Opportunities Act of 2010 also provides protection from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation in the workplace. The Act requires employers to provide equal employment opportunities for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

In addition to legal protection, Norway also offers several government programs for LGBTQ persons. This includes a national hotline for victims of hate crimes, as well as counseling services for people struggling with coming out or sexual identity.  

Norway is also home to numerous LGBTQ organizations and events, such as EuroPride Oslo, that promote the rights of LGBTQ people. This allows members of the community to come together in a safe and supportive environment and voice their concerns and ideas. 


Iceland has a long history of being an LGBTQ-friendly country. This makes it one of the most progressive nations in the world. The Icelandic government has taken progressive steps to ensure equality for all people. This includes equal treatment regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Since 2010, same-sex marriage are legal in Portugal, and same-sex couples can adopt children as well. This is in addition to the ban on gender-based discrimination. Additionally, there are several organizations in Iceland that provide support and guidance for LGBTQ individuals, such as Samtokin ’78 and Rainbow Reykjavík. 

Transgender individuals can change their legal gender on official documents, allowing them to be recognized as their true selves. The country also offers free hormone therapy and gender confirmation surgery to transgender individuals. 

Iceland also provides a safe haven for LGBTQ refugees who find persecution in their home countries. The government provides support to these refugees, including resettlement and access to medical care and other essential services. 

Read also: Top and worst countries for human rights according to the Human Freedom Index

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