In 2015, the UK was number one in the ILGA Europe Rainbow Europe rankings. It’s an annual study of the LGBTQ-friendliness of European countries, and for a long time the UK was proud to lead the way.
The latest rankings have just been published. The UK has fallen to 17th. And it’s doing its best to fall further.
This is a story about stagnation in the UK and progress across Europe. Our score has stayed steady, while other countries modernise their legal protections for LGBTQ+ people. The UK now sits at the bottom of the middle & countries like Slovenia and Croatia will soon overtake us.
The index covers issues such as gender recognition legislation, hate crime protections and so on – things that, since 2022, have become demonstrably worse as the UK government chips away at LGBT+ people’s legal protections and the media fuels ever rising anti-LGBT+ sentiment; what started as an anti-trans moral panic, sadly and predictably, is now targeting the LGBT+ community more widely as the UK seems hell-bent on becoming a rainy version of Florida.
The UK used to be, could be and should be better than this.