Malta ranks first in European ‘rainbow map’ of LGBTIQ rights

Malta ranks first in ILGA-Europe's latest rankings for LGBTIQ+ rights, overtaking the United Kingdom and Belgium. 

Malta has shot up to a historic first place in the International Lesbian-Gay Association’s ‘Rainbow Europe’ league for LGBTIQ rights, overtaking the United Kingdom and Belgium.

According to the table, Malta grants 89% of the total rights due to LGBTIQ people, ahead of the UK (85.55%) and Belgium (82.3%). 

Civil liberties minister Helena Dalli hailed the results as proof of Malta’s progression in civil rights since Labour’s election to government in 2013.

In a statement, she took a dig at the civil rights record of the previous Nationalist administration, recounting how it had appealed a court’s decision to allow transgender Joanne Cassar to marry her boyfriend.

The latest ranking culminates a dramatic rise for the island in the ILGA rankings. Malta only ranked 18th place in May 2013, but rose to 13th in May 2014 and shot up to 3rd in May this year, following the government’s introduction of civil unions and gender identity laws. 

At the other end of the latest ILGA rankings lies Azerbaijan, who reportedly grants just 5% of the total rights due to LGBTI people, followed closely by Russia (8.35%) and Turkey (8.9%).