Go-to gay-travel guide Spartacus has released its latest International Gay Travel Index and the ratings include some surprising results.
The index includes all 138 destinations Spartacus covers, but rather than judge them based on their gay nightlife, the publishers rated them according to the laws and customs of each country as the relate to marriage equality, HIV travel restrictions, hate-crime murders, laws against homosexuality and other criteria. Each nation was assigned a positive or negative number value for each category.
Topping the list was Sweden, which scored points for having anti-discrimination laws, recognition of gay unions, an equal age of consent, travel marketing aimed at gays and no institutional persecution of the LGBT community.
Other top-10 rated nations include Belgium, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Spain.
The United States landed in the middle of the pack at #38—thanks to anti-gay laws, a lack of marriage equality, and some unfriendly corners of the Land of the Free—and tied with Aruba, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Croatia, Curacao, Hungary, Italy, Mexico and Thailand.
Here’s a look at the bottom of the pack—countries with hostile locals, anti-gay laws, hostile locals and, in the case of Iran and the United Arab Emirates, the death penalty for homosexuality.
For more international travel information, including more than 100 city guides, visit GayCities.com