Germany enters top 10 in European queer rights ranking, Malta first

A participant stands with an umbrella and a mouth-nose-protector in rainbow colors during the CSD (Christopher Street Day). Legal and social protections for members of the queer community in Germany have advanced in 2024, according to a new ranking by rights group ILGA-Europe. Gregor Fischer/dpa
A participant stands with an umbrella and a mouth-nose-protector in rainbow colors during the CSD (Christopher Street Day). Legal and social protections for members of the queer community in Germany have advanced in 2024, according to a new ranking by rights group ILGA-Europe. Gregor Fischer/dpa

Legal and social protections for members of the queer community in Germany have advanced in 2024, according to a new ranking by rights group ILGA-Europe.

In its annual Rainbow Map tracking discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, the organization placed Germany 10th out of 49 European countries, up from 15th in 2023.

Malta topped the 2024 list, followed by Iceland, Belgium, Spain and Denmark. Russia was last, below Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia.

The report - written by the European chapter of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association - examines legal developments for the queer community in seven areas, including family law, protection against hate crime and recognition of gender identity.

It warned that members of the LGBTI community are increasingly being targeted by far-right politicians across the continent ahead of European Parliament elections in June.

In Germany, ILGA-Europe praised achievements including a law preventing discrimination against homosexual, bisexual and transgender people donating blood, and protections for women and queer people from hate crimes.

Germany's commissioner for queer equality, Sven Lehmann, voiced his satisfaction with the ranking, saying "no other country in Europe has risen so much since last year."

Nevertheless, Germany still only fulfils 66% of the Rainbow Map's criteria. Lehmann said that the country's coalition government will aim to break into the top five places in the ranking with additional reforms.

Potential areas of further improvement in Germany include strengthening legal protections for queer parents and banning discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the constitution.