The countries included in this gallery of LGBT-friendly nations were chosen based on the following criteria: the recognition of same-sex marriage and same-sex couple adoption, the right for gays to serve in the military, and the existence of laws against anti-gay discrimination. The list includes countries in both North and South America, as well as Europe and Africa.
Despite a large move toward same-sex equality with the 2011 repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which allows gays to serve openly in the military, the United States did not make the list of the most gay-friendly countries in the world.
Same-sex marriage in the United States is legal in only six of the 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, and same-sex partnerships, such as civil unions, are recognized in five more states. The laws of adoption by same-sex couples vary depending on the state—as does protection from anti-gay discrimination.
Click through for 10 countries that have taken steps toward equality on LGBT issues on a national level.
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