In a new report released today by the Peter Tatchell Foundation, countries with anti-gay laws are missing out on billions of dollars in lost tourism, investment and international aid.
The Economic Cost of Homophobia was launched in the House of Lords and uses data to argue that anti-LGBTQ legislation that currently exists in 71 countries across the globe has a direct impact on their economy.
Peter Tatchell said that they focussed on the economic impact on countries with anti-gay laws because it was more effective than arguing about the humans rights aspect.
In short, he implied that they’ve had more success speaking to countries when they realised that it could affect their bank balance, rather than giving their citizens basic rights.
It will come as little surprise that out of the global $211 billion LGBTQ travel market, it’s countries that have equal rights for LGBTQ people who profit the most.
The top destinations are Australia, Canada, France, the UK and the US, according to data compiled in 2016 by OUTNow.
American LGBTQ couples like to travel to European destinations for their honeymoons, with bookings rising by 276% between 2011 and 2016 – the years when major Western nations started to legalise equal marriage.
On the flip side, Uganda was used as an example of a country where anti-gay legislation directly impacted their economy.
When the African nation passed its Anti-Homosexuality Act, Western aid redirected or withdrawn. They later annulled the law, but the damage was already done.
United Nations have reported that on their list of the world’s least developed countries, homosexuality is a crime in 60% of them.
What’s more, the Peter Tatchell Foundation cited LGBTQ people emigrating from their home country as having an impact on that nation’s economy.
Highly educated LGBTQ people are leaving their home country to live in gay-friendly ones, causing a so-called ‘brain drain’ in their home nations.
This causes a negative impact on tax receipts and innovation, as well as deterring inward aid and investment.
The Organisation for Refuge, Asylum and Migration have stated that there has been a 400% rise in foreign people citing sexuality as their reason for seeking asylum.
The most common nations these people were fleeing from include Pakistan, Jamaica, Nigeria and Ghana.
The Peter Tatchell Foundation stated that a nation’s LGBTQ community can “make a very valuable contribution to the economy”.
They added: “Anti-LGBTQ laws present not only social and economic drawbacks for individual LGBTQ people, but their very existence impedes the wider economic development and long-term prosperity of a nation.”
The proof is in the pudding, too.
Last year, a report from the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has revealed that LGBTQ-owned businesses inject approximately $1.7 billion into the US economy.
LGBTQ business owners certified by the organisation have created approximately 33,000 new jobs, with their average revenue coming to an impressive $2,475,642.