International Living (IL) correspondents identified the top 13 gay-friendly countries for vacation or retirement in Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia.
We describe five of them here.
1. Costa Rica is one of the most progressive countries in Central America and the first to legalize same-sex marriage. According to Kathleen Evans, IL correspondent in Costa Rica, there is national legislation that provides domestic partner benefits and same-sex partners are also covered by the healthcare system. She also said that there are hotels, tour groups and events that cater to “gaycations” and more.
2. Vietnam has the most progressive laws in Southeast Asia. According to Wendy Justice, IL correspondent in Southeast Asia, gay marriage is legal in Vietnam and it is provided the same protection as opposite-sex marriage. Gender-reassigned individuals can legally change their gender on official documents and gay characters appear in mainstream films and television shows. Gay Pride parades are held in different cities, with the largest turnouts in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
3. Spain is an openly gay-friendly country. According to Marsha Scarbrough, IL correspondent in Spain, same-sex marriage and LGBT adoption legalized in 2005. Barcelona and Madrid have been included in many lists of most gay-friendly cities while Gran Canaria is a world-renowned LGBTQ+ travel destination. Spain hosts the biggest Pride Parade in Europe.
4. Uruguay has an LGBT legislative history that values tolerance and inclusiveness. It is the first country in Latin America to offer same-sex civil unions that provide the same legal rights as to marriage. According to David Hammond, IL correspondent in Uruguay, any couple who have been together for at least five years can apply for a civil union at the Civil Registry.
5. France is the thirteenth country in the world to legalize gay marriage in 2013. It has also passed several laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Paris is the first European capital to elect an openly gay mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, in 2001. According to Tuula Rampont, IL correspondent in France, Côte d’Azur city of Nice has proclaimed itself the Gay Capital of the French Riviera. Several other larger cities are also known for their gay-friendly climates including Lyon and Montpellier.