ILGA-Europe announced this week an updated rainbow map of Europe together with the results of the first survey of the LGBTI rights situation in Europe, and Denmark does not perform well.
Should we only assess the conditions of Europe’s LGBTIs from the rainbow map that has just been updated by ILGA-Europe then the grass is for sure greener in countries like Sweden, Norway, Germany, Finland, Holland, Belgium, Spain and England.
Meanwhile, ILGA-Europe published an accompanying annual report entitled “Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People in Europe 2011″, which describes in detail the political situation of LGBTI minorities in European countries .
The overall conclusion of the report is that no country in Europe have complete equality and equal rights for LGBTI persons, and from a scoring where 30 is the maximum, i.e. full equality – England scored the highest with 21 points, while Germany and Spain both are second runner-ups with 20 points, and Sweden is in fourth place with 18 points.
Denmark only got 9 points and performed much worse than our neighboring countries that we normally compare ourselves to, and we have asked Søren Laursen, political spokesperson at LGBT Denmark (The Danish national organisation for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons), what is keeping us from rating much better.
“First let me say that the study shows something about the laws of the countries and not about the situation of LGBT people”, Søren Laursen says.
“When Denmark is scoring so bad then it is mainly because our equality legislation is not very good. We have a minimum legislation according to the minimum requirements of EU. This means that sexual minorities are lawfully protected within the labor market – but not outside. Gender identity is not included at all in our legislation, although practically speaking it is, since gender identity is generally considered as either gender or sexual orientation. At LGBT Denmark we’re very eager to have the law changed so that both sexual orientation and gender identity is protected both inside and outside the labor market. So we agree with the study that the legislation is just not good enough although we recognize that the protection in practice is not at all terrible, ” Søren Laursen says to Homotropolis.
The report points out that Denmark has a serious issue when it comes to transpolitics. The continuous practice of requiring transgender individuals to undergo sterilization before a sex change is recognized and the fact that transgender is, clinically speaking, still considered a mental disorder are just some of the reasons why Denmark scores a low total.
“It is fully deserved that we get a negative feedback on our transpolitics. We still have a long way to go, but that is the case for most countries”, Søren Laursen from LGBT Denmark says who is also hopeful of upcoming political improvements for the LGBT community in Denmark.
“Fortunately, I can also say that in almost all of these areas work is being carried out at the Danish Parliament. So I think that we will be able to get a better score on the map soon,” Søren Laursen states, stressing that the report has several shortcomings and therefore should not be seen as a final result list.
The clear bottom rankings in the report and the accompanying rainbow map go to countries like Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan that have all been given minus points.