Progress slow for gays in Eastern Europe

May 17, 2011 at 8:19 AM
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BRUSSELS, May 17 (UPI) -- No country in Europe can claim to provide full legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, a gay rights group said Wednesday.

To mark International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, the Brussels-based group ILGA-Europe published a colored map on its Web site illustrating which countries are the most and least gay friendly.

In the "red zone" or least gay friendly is Cyprus, followed by Italy, Latvia and Malta.

Other countries in the red zone are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Russia and Turkey.

ILGA said even countries in the "green zone" that scored highest, such as the United Kingdom, Sweden and Spain, still have work to do.

"It is very disappointing to see so many countries remain in the 'red zone' of violations and discrimination, and that not a single country in Europe can claim full legal equality for LGBT people," said Linda Freimane, co-leader of the group's executive board.

The ILGA-Europe map shows a clear east-west divide regarding legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, the EUobserver reported.

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