LGBT rights and freedoms: second place for Belgium


The laws and administrative procedures that do or do not protect the LGBT community have been the subject of a European comparative analysis. Belgium ranked second out of 49 countries in this "Rainbow Index".

As is the case every year, ILGA-Europe (International Lesbian and Gay Association) has published a ranking that determines the situation regarding the rights of homosexual, transgender, bisexual and intersex people in 49 European countries. Malta remained in the lead in 2019. And, like the previous year, Belgium retained its second place.

This ranking is based on the study of more than 70 criteria relating to legislation against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as equality in marriage, adoption, recognition of second parents or the opportunity for transsexual persons to change their civil status.

Belgium demonstrated its constant willingness to adapt its legislation on LGBT rights issues, as evidenced by the recent gender law which emphasises respect and self-determination for transgender persons and demedicalises gender identity. In early 2020, the law was amended to criminalise discrimination against intersex persons based on gender characteristics.

Luxembourg, Finland and Denmark complete the top 5 in this ranking.