Rainbow Europe Map and Index 2020: A Make or Break Moment for LGBTI rights in Europe

ILGA Europe has published its yearly Rainbow Europe Index and Map, here is the executive summary of the report below.  The report states: “Turkey’s score has
been decreasing since 2015, due to restrictions on freedom of assembly and
association. Azerbaijan has also lost points over the past two years due to
irregularities on legal gender recognition.”

Source: “ILGA-Europe Rainbow Map Points To Make-or-Break Moment for LGBTI
Rights in Europe”,
http://www.ilga-europe.orgMay 14, 2020.  Map credit: ILGA Europe Twitter Account
Rainbow Europe – ILGA-Europe’s annual benchmarking tool – is comprised
of the Rainbow Map and Index and national recommendations. ILGA-Europe
have produced the Rainbow Map and Index since 2009, using it to illustrate
the legal and policy situation of LGBTI people in Europe.
The Rainbow Map and Index ranks 49 European countries on their respective
legal and policy practices for LGBTI people, from 0-100%.
In order to create our country ranking, ILGA-Europe examine the laws and
policies in 49 countries using a set of 69 criteria – divided between six
thematic categories: equality and non-discrimination; family; hate crime
and hate speech; legal gender recognition and bodily integrity; civil
society space; and asylum. More information on the list of criteria and their
weight on the total score can be found at http://www.rainbow-europe.org/about
Rainbow Europe 2020 individual criteria and the percentage ‘weight’ assigned
to them remain exactly the same as the 2019 version, meaning that it is easier
than ever before to compare a country’s momentum or regression on LGBTI
equality laws.
Policymakers, researchers and journalists are able to go ‘behind’ the points
and see the original information sources that we base our Map and Index
ranking on. This additional layer of information is available through our
updated Rainbow Europe web module, http://www.rainbow-europe.org.
The Rainbow Map and Index presents a picture of what the policy landscape
is like right now, while our country-specific recommendations attempt to
answer the question “what’s next?” These recommendations for national
policymakers are intended to encourage policymakers to address the most
pressing legal and policy priorities within the framework of our Rainbow Map
and Index. The recommendations were gathered following an online
consultation with a wide range of LGBTI organisations in the various
countries. As a result, the recommendations are tailored to the needs of
activists working on the ground.
TOP 5, Rainbow Europe 2020
1. Malta (89%)
2. Belgium (73%)
3. Luxembourg (73%)
4. Denmark (68 %)
5. Norway (68%)

BOTTOM 5, Rainbow Europe 2020
45. Monaco (11%)
46. Russia (10%)
47. Armenia (8%)
48. Turkey (4%)
49. Azerbaijan (2%)
For the fifth year in a row, Malta continues to occupy the number one spot on
the Rainbow Europe Map, with a score of 89%.
Belgium comes second place for the third time with a score of 73%.
Luxembourg receives the same score as Belgium and occupies the third
spot on the ranking for the second year in a row.
The three countries at the other end of the Rainbow Europe scale
are Azerbaijan (2%), Turkey (4%), and Armenia (8%). Turkey’s score has
been decreasing since 2015, due to restrictions on freedom of assembly and
association. Azerbaijan has also lost points over the past two years due to
irregularities on legal gender recognition.
Hungary is the country with the most dramatic drop in its score, losing
8.46% points in relation to the suspended procedures for legal gender
recognition and the lack of proper state protection at public
events. Poland has also dropped by 1.9% and is now the lowest EU country
on the map.
Another important deduction happened, with France losing 6.80% points due
to the expiration of the government’s action plan.

Montenegro, North Macedonia, and the Netherlands were the three countries
with the biggest jump in scores. Montenegro announced a comprehensive
action plan for the next four years and prohibited discrimination based on sex
characteristics. North Macedonia amended its equality and criminal codes,
adding sexual orientation and gender identity as protected grounds. In
the Netherlands, the Equal Treatment Act was amended with the inclusion of
gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics grounds.
Equality action plans have expired in Belgium, Finland, and France, while
Croatia, Ireland, and Kosovo have shortcomings and implementation
problems with their action plans. Serbia and Andorra included sexual
orientation and gender identity protection in healthcare legislation. Belgium
and the Netherlands were the only countries that recognised ‘sex
characteristics’ in their equality laws.

Recognition of family legislation is stagnating across Europe. This year,
only Northern Ireland (UK) introduced marriage equality and Monaco
recognised the right to cohabitation for same-sex couples (coming into effect
on 27 June 2020). Serbia imposed a ban on medically assisted insemination
services for people with a history of same-sex relationships.
Court judgements in several countries had groundbreaking effects on the
lives of LGBTI people, including Spain’s Constitutional Court’s ruling against
the age limit for gender marker change for trans
people; Switzerland’s Federal Court decision saying that the Constitution
protects ‘gender identity’ under ‘sex/gender’; and Kosovo’s Basic Court
decision approving the legal gender recognition of a trans man.

North Macedonia was this year’s only country extending protection from hate
crime, amending its Criminal Code to add sexual orientation and gender
identity grounds. Switzerland’s referendum approved the inclusion of ‘sexual
orientation’ grounds in hate speech legislation.

The right to self-determination for trans people has been recognised only
in Iceland with its new Gender Autonomy Act. Legal gender
recognition procedures have become more accessible through trans
activists’ efforts in Armenia, Cyprus, Kosovo, and Montenegro. The
implementation of existing procedures has worsened in Azerbaijan, Georgia,
Serbia, Turkey, and Northern Ireland (UK)

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