ILGA-Europe has produced its latest “Rainbow Map” on which they rank European countries by an overview of the legal situation and acceptance of LGBT people. This is called the Rainbow Index. According to ILGA-Europe, a Brussels-based non-governmental organisation, the least accepting country in Europe is now Poland, and Hungary could do better as well.
Kafkadesk wrote about this index on their website, and they say that the map ranks countries by how laws and policies impact the human rights of LGBT people, and that ILGA-Europe also base their numbers on a given country’s social acceptance. The index ranks all 49 European countries by considering six categories. They are the following: equality and non-discrimination, family, hate crime and hate speech, legal gender recognition and bodily integrity, civil society space, and asylum. The ranking system is between 0% – which would imply the violation of basic human rights and strong discrimination – and 100% – which greatly respects human rights and provides total equality to people.
Although last time, Poland was the last but one country in the index, surpassing only Latvia, this year, the country has fallen and taken the last place on the list. This is surprising, especially if you consider that the country only acquired 16% on the index. This number is very low, and only non-European Union members can underperform this data. Namely, Russia has acquired 10%, Turkey is even more seriously underperforming with its 4%, but one of the least welcoming countries is Azerbaijan with a whopping 2%.
Hungary has some things to sort out for sure as it has dropped the most since last year’s index.
Hungary lost 8.46% of its original score due to the suspended legal procedures for gender recognition and because state protection is lacking at public events.
Nonetheless, Hungary still manages to rank the highest in some areas. Hungary is still the highest-ranking among the Visegrád countries, but it placed 18th overall with only 33% on the index. Slovakia and the Czech Republic follow close, at the 20th and 21st places respectively, with the former receiving 30% and the latter 26% on the index made by ILGA-Europe.
It is interesting that the highest-ranking country is Malta with 89%, but what is even more interesting is that this was the fifth year in a row that it was able to win the first place on this list. Belgium and Luxemburg immediately follow Malta, both countries with 73% on the index.
The report highlights how this year, Poland proposed a ban on abortion and sex education in the country. ILGA-Europe’s report also says that expressions from both the government and the Church went hand-in-hand with violent behaviour at Pride marches. The particularly low ranking could be because the
nationalist-conservative party used anti-LGBT ideas for their lead-up to the country’s elections in autumn. Insult to injury, the archbishop of Krakow said that the movement of LGBT people is a “rainbow plague”.
But there are also positive developments in Poland. Take, for example, the fact that there were 24 pride marches in Poland the previous year. Courts overcoming attempts to ban these marches and the establishment of a new party led by an openly gay politician are also great steps forward. In order to place better in the future, ILGA-Europe made some recommendations for Poland. They suggested the ban of conversion therapy, the introduction of hate speech and hate crime-related laws, freedom for LGBT organisations to operate, and the recognition and protection of same-sex couples, etc.
Hungary may be the highest-ranking country in the entire Central European region,
yet Hungary had the most striking drop since last year. Hungary lost 8.45% of its score compared to 2019. This was mainly caused by the suspended procedures for legal gender recognition and the fact that proper protection is lacking at events.
ILGA-Europe’s chapter on Hungary is full of bias-motivated incidents that ended up violent. Far-right militants have occupied Auróra for three hours, and a participant of the Budapest Pride March was spat on and kicked after the event by opposers. Another Visegrád country, the Czech Republic, also experienced an increase in hate speech against LGBT people, as well as some discrimination experienced in schools, etc. However, there has been positive growth in some areas in the Czech Republic as well. The annual Prague Pride attracted 30,000 people, and there were other Pride Marches in the country as well.