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13 May 2022

How the UK has dropped down the ranks for LGBT equality

Britain was the top European country for LGBT equality in 2015 but now it is 14th.

By Polly Bindman

The UK has dropped down the European ranks for LGBTQ+ equality for the third year running, moving from 10th place in 2021 to 14th in 2022.

The annual “Rainbow Map” produced by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) ranks 49 countries in Europe based on laws and policies that have a direct impact on LGBTQ+ rights. Countries are assessed on categories including equality and non-discrimination, hate crime and hate speech, asylum and legal gender recognition.


Malta retained its top spot in 2022, followed by Denmark in second and Belgium in third. The UK’s fall to 14th place is particularly striking considering that it held the top stop in 2015.

In its annual report accompanying the rankings, the ILGA cited increasing anti-trans rhetoric as among the reasons for the UK’s lower ranking, along with the government’s failure to ban conversion therapy. It also argued that the UK government’s plan to send asylum applicants to Rwanda (or even back to the country they have fled) “would expose LGBTQI asylum seekers to unprecedented risk of violence”.

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