Global travel insurance provider WorldNomads.com has released a map of ( in )tolerance revealing which countries are potentially dangerous for LGBTQI travelers because of legal status and societal attitudes.
The company says it's important gay travelers make conscious and informed decisions about the places they choose to travel. They say 72 countries and territories worldwide criminalise same-sex relationships, including 45 in which sexual relationships between women are outlawed.
In eight of those countries homosexuality can result in the death penalty, and there are dozens more in which homosexual acts can result in a prison sentence.
There is a spectrum when it comes to legal recognition and the provision of protection through anti-discrimination laws, and this color-coded map ( attached ) is designed to help LGBTQI travelers make informed decisions about where they go.
WorldNomads.com has attempted to integrate legal staus with attitudes from the general public For example Russia, where homosexuality is legal, is colored YELLOW because of open hostility and the prevalence of violence towards LGBTQI people.
You can see the map and read a full description at World Nomads, www.worldnomads.com/in-the-news/travel-and-lgbtqi .
RED: Homosexuality is illegal. The death penalty may apply.
ORANGE: In these countries homosexuality 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 homosexuality, but there is no other protection for the LGBTQI community, and there is often open hostility from the majority of the population.
GREEN: Have legalised homosexual acts, but have a very limited number of other protections against discrimination.
BLUE: Have legalised homosexuality and have a wide range, but not all, protections in place.
PURPLE: 3 cheers for these countries, they've legalised 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 travel safety expert at WorldNomads.com Phil
Mr Sylvester pointed out that there was no coverage under WorldNomads.com 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."