Scotland has been rated the best country in Europe for LGBT equality for the second year running.
According to ILGA-Europe’s annual review of equality, human rights laws, and government policies, Scotland continues its reign ahead of the rest of the UK and Europe for LGBT people.
The Rainbow Europe Index 2016 measures progress in 49 European countries against a 52-point criteria including discrimination protections, hate crime measures, gender recognition policies, and laws regarding family issues.
While Scotland sits at the top of the list with 90.4% of the criteria being met, the UK as a whole falls behind with only 81% overall, due to England and Wales meeting 82.3% of the criteria and Northern Ireland only meeting 70.75%.
It means that Malta and Belgium both overtake the UK in terms of equality, with 88% and 82% of the criteria met respectively.
Angela Crawley, SNP spokesperson for Women, Children and Equalities at Westminster, said: “The fact that Scotland continues to be rated the best country in Europe for LGBTI equality is welcome recognition for the progress we are making to ensure Scotland is a fair and equal country for everyone.
“The SNP is committed to equality and social justice for all. We were proud to pass Scotland’s progressive equal marriage and hate crime laws, but we know that the job of achieving full equality is not yet done.
“That’s why the SNP has pledged to reform gender recognition law to secure greater equality for transgender and non-binary people.
“It’s why the SNP Scottish Government is investing record levels of funding in projects to secure LGBTI, gender, race and disability equality, and it’s why the SNP is committed to ensuring education, healthcare, gender reassignment, policing and other public services are inclusive and meet the needs of all people, including LGBTI people.”
For more information about the Rainbow Europe Index visit ilga-europe.org