south africa named one of the safest places in the world for the lgbtqia+ community
By Awa Gueye
April 10, 2019
The results of a survey conducted by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) has named South Africa “one of the safest places in the world” for the LGBTQIA+ community. In addition to their annual State-Sponsored Homophobia Report, ILGA creates a map that details the laws that affect people worldwide due to their sexual orientation.
This news makes South Africa one of only nine countries in the world recognized as “safe havens” for same-sex and trans couples. The only African country remotely near South Africa’s number one status on the continent is Angola, although still it is nowhere near as friendly to the LGBTQIA+ community.
South Africa is considered one of the most inclusive spaces for this LGBTQIA+ community primarily for its recognition of homosexuality as a lawful practice. Though anything less than this should be unacceptable, this makes South Africa one of the few countries whose constitution recognizes this. In addition, the South African Bill of Rights states discriminatory behavior against a gay citizen is punishable by law. This progressive protection is shared by Malta, Portugal and Sweden. While Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, Fiji and Nepal share this constitutional right, they fail to recognize marriage or adoption rights for the LGBTQIA+ community. While most European countries have legalized marriage and adoption rights, they have no official language in their constitution protecting LGBTQIA+ lives.
In a world where there are 70+ countries who criminalize homosexuality, the work and awareness spread by ILGA is vital. We hope this is the beginning of a future in which we protect LGBTQIA lives everywhere. This is a solid beginning and we hope these efforts are mimicked and evolved globally.
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