According to a new survey, Croatia is now as gay-friendly as the USA. German-based Spartacus International Gay Guide released its 2019 figures ranking countries for their friendliness to gay people. Croatia was ranked in the ninth tier of countries, with the same joint scoring as the USA, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Thailand, Cuba and Bermuda.
The gay-friendly travel index was constructed using a large series of criteria. Countries were awarded a scoring based on a compilation of factors such as if they had anti-discrimination legislation, same-sex marriage or civil partnerships, adoption and transgender rights and an equal age of consent. Countries lost points if they held anti-gay laws, if homosexuality was illegal, if Gay Pride marches were banned, if locals were hostile to gay people and if religion intruded on freedom of sexuality.
The countries that were most friendly to gay people were Sweden, Canada and Portugal. In the second tier of countries were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom. All of the countries which were ranked highest were advanced democracies with superior education systems and where religion held no control over the democratic political process.
The countries that were least friendly to gay people were Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Chechnya, where homosexuality was punishable by death and where homosexuals could be openly murdered. The next worse tier of countries contained Cameroon, Malawi, Qatar, Afghanistan, Libya, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. All of the countries which scored badly in the survey displayed either poor education systems or systems of law which were strictly governed by religion, meaning that the bottom end of the list contained many African countries and strict Muslim countries.
The figures are reassuring news for gay people considering travelling to Croatia and contributing to the country's chief industry of tourism. In general, single gay people and same-sex couples have a higher spending power than their heterosexual counterparts as they are usually in full-time employment and are often not restricted by financial commitments such as having children.