The following seven countries have one thing in common — they’re all popular travel destinations, for gay and straight tourists alike. One of them even had a winner in the user-decided Best of GayCities 2014 — Tel Aviv nabbed the prize for Best Pride Without Marriage (which we’ll get to later).
We were interested in looking at the legal protections and same-sex marriage rights in the world’s most visited places, and here’s some of what we found.
How important is local legal equality when you plan out your world travels? Does this make you think twice before booking trips to any of these places?
While cities like Rome have their obvious charms, Italy does not recognize any type of same-sex unions. Several regions have formally supported efforts for national law on civil unions and some municipalities have passed laws providing for civil unions. While some of these do provide real benefits they are mostly of symbolic value.
Anti-discrimination laws protect LGBT people in many areas of employment and service access, and same sex couples enjoy many of the same rights and benefits as non-same sex couples – with the notable exception of marriage. Still, events like Sydney Mardi Gras and Melbourne’s European charm are hard to pass up.
No civil rights law exists to address discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. China recognizes neither same-sex marriage nor civil unions.
Tokyo may be a world-class shopping destination, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are ineligible for the legal protections available to opposite-sex couples. Although Japanese culture and major religions originated in and imported to Japan do not have a history of hostility towards homosexuality, Japanese citizens are reportedly divided on the issue of accepting homosexuality, with a recent poll indicating that 54 percent agreed that homosexuality should be accepted by society whilst 36 percent disagreed, with a big age gap.
Although same-sex marriages are not performed in the country, Israel recognizes same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. We’ll still consider hitting up Tel Aviv for the gorgeous men and beaches, though.
LGBT persons in Morocco face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Morocco. Morocco’s statute and culture towards LGBT issues stands in stark contrast to neighboring Spain.
LGBT people in India face the danger of being imprisoned up to a lifetime because of their sexual orientation. Homosexual intercourse is a criminal offense under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code since 1860. Mental, physical, emotional and economic violence against the LGBT community in India prevails.