Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Countries Where Gays Are the Happiest- America is Well Down the List

Green = most happy; red + least happy
One hears about American exceptionalism for the Christofascists/Tea Party and their political whores in the Republican Party ad nausea.  Having just returned from a stay in France, the falsity of such claims was underscored for me yet again.   Yes, America is exceptional in some ways if you count soaring obesity, crumbling infrastructure, decreased upward social mobility, and the most expensive and least cost effective health care system as matters to brag about (more about these issues in a future post).  In America, we also hear much blather about America being the land where its citizen are endowed by their creator with the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."  As the Washington Post reports, on the happiness ranking, gay Americans rank a pitiful 26th in levels of happiness (a chart with the full rankings is below).  True, this beats the Hell out of somewhere like Uganda, but it certainly is not anything exceptional.  Here are article highlights:

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are still officially considered criminals in roughly one-third of countries worldwide, and homosexuality is punishable by death in seven countries. But other places, such as northern Europe, are very accepting of homosexuality.

Unsurprisingly, a new survey shows that gay men are happiest in those welcoming locations. Planet Romeo, an Amsterdam-based dating and community site, collaborated with the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany to carry out an online survey of 115,000 gay men around the world. They combined rankings on public opinion, public behavior and life satisfaction – how gay men feel about society’s view on homosexuality, how gay men feel they are treated by other people, and how satisfied gay men are with their own lives, respectively – into one worldwide ranking on gay happiness.

Iceland tops their list as the country where gay men are the happiest, followed by Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Uruguay, Canada, Israel, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg. The United States ranks 26th in the list. The 10 worst countries by this ranking are Kazakhstan, Ghana, Cameroon, Iran, Nigeria, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda. The map above shows that ranking, with the highest ranked countries appearing in green and the lowest ranked countries in red.

In the top 20 countries, 37 percent of respondents were currently in a committed relationship with another man, while 3 percent were in a relationship with a woman. In the 20 worst countries, only 22 percent were in a committed relationship with a man, and 5 percent were in a relationship with a woman.

Though many societies are growing more accepting of homosexuality, gay men in some countries report that things have gotten worse in the past few years. Uganda, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, Nigeria and Ethiopia top this list, though Russia, Turkey and Hungary have also seen a negative trend in the index.

click image to enlarge

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