It’s a rating system intended to give people a general feel of whether the country they are travelling to is, overall, somewhere where LGBT+ people are likely to feel welcome, and to be safe. As I said, the US’ position reflects the fact that while it scores highly for the positive outcomes, it also scores more highly on some of the negative ones.
Exactly why I was curious with both the original blanket statement, presented as fact, that Europe ‘has less diversity than in US’, and Jim’s assertion that Europe is ‘leagues behind’ when (attitudes to) sexual preference is used as an indicator of diversity.
I don’t think either of those statements holds any meaningful value, partly because I think both the US and Europe, as you say, are geographically large and are diverse, meaning different areas are better than others at different things. Individual states in the US, and countries in Europe, provide examples of both excellent progress, but also areas of real concern.
In 2016, the UK Foreign Office took the relatively unusual step of amending its advice to LGBT+ nationals travelling to the US to reflect exactly that:
“The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country. Laws vary from state to state. When you are physically present in a state, even temporarily, you are subject to that state’s laws. You must carry a passport showing that you have leave to enter or remain with you at all times.
LGBT travellers may be affected by legislations passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi.”
Jim might think that Europe is ‘leagues behind’ the US when it comes to the specific issue of LGBT+ rights and attitudes; I don’t agree. Would I feel more comfortable in New York City compared to North Carolina? Sure - as Gar says, I think the world’s ‘Alpha Cities’ probably have more in common with each other in many ways than they may do with the more outlying areas of their own countries. But, overall, I’d feel more comfortable being seen to be openly gay across modern Ireland than I would across the whole of the modern USA … a country where my risk of being murdered because of my sexuality is significantly higher than in most of its peers, and where my death by murder would be more likely to receive a less severe sentence if the perpetrator were convicted if they claimed “gay panic” made them do it.
And I do think that arbitrary statements presented as fact deserve to be challenged and to be asked to be supported with data, otherwise this is simply an exercise in who shouts the loudest isn’t it?