SYDNEY, Australia — Global travel insurance provider World Nomads has released a map of (in)tolerance — revealing which countries are potentially dangerous for LGBTQ travelers because of legal status and societal attitudes. The company said it is important for gay travelers to make conscious and informed decisions about the places they choose to travel.
Seventy-two countries and territories worldwide criminalize same-sex relationships, including 45 in which sexual relationships between women are outlawed. In eight of those countries being gay can result in a death penalty, and there are dozens more in which gay sex acts can result in a prison sentence.
Rainbow flag colors are used to classify the levels of tolerance. Information is available online. Color codes are:
Red: Being an LGBTQ individual is illegal. The death penalty may apply.
Orange: In these countries being gay is legal, but by default. They have never enacted legislation specifically outlawing it. Its perhaps more accurate to describe the legal situation as “not officially illegal.”
Yellow: Have legalized being gay, but there is no other protection for the LGBTQ community, and there is often open hostility from the majority of the population.
Green: Have legalized gay acts, but have a very limited number of other protections against discrimination.
Blue: Have legalized being gay and have a wide range, but not all, protections in place.
Purple: These countries have legalized and codified same-sex marriage and offer (generally) a full suite of protection of rights.
“Of course you may still encounter individuals with intolerant attitudes in those countries, but mostly the society is accepting and inclusive,” said World Nomads travel safety expert Phil Sylvester. He pointed out that there was no coverage under World Nomads policies if a traveler was arrested, detained or fined under anti-gay laws. “As much as we abhor these laws, all travel insurers are prohibited from covering illegal activity, and legality is defined by the laws of the country you’re in.” he said, adding, “It pays to be aware of these places of intolerance so you can avoid falling foul of discriminatory laws by mistake. Better to be informed and safe.”
Pink News reported that LGBTQ people spend almost $100 billion on travel just in the U.S. alone that Grindr found in a study it conducted. Globally, LGBTQ consumer spending numbers top $5 trillion.