Canada is the seventh most gay-friendly destination in the world, according to a new MyDatingAdviser report ranking the "Best countries for LGBTQ+ Travel in 2021".
The report compared key indexes of attitudes toward LGBTQ2+ people across 34 countries. Canada ranked seventh based on social acceptance, sexual activity rights, civil union rights, marriage rights, adoption rights and military service rights, as well as anti-discrimination and gender identity laws.
Canada ranks seventh, after mostly European countries
The top five countries on the list were in Europe. Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain made the top three.
According to the report, Canada's provinces only introduced same-sex civil union rights in the early 2000s, while Sweden registered same-sex civil partnerships in 1995.
However, Canada was faster than Sweden to adopt gay marriage rights. Canada legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2005 — with some provinces legalizing it as early as 2003 — while Sweden legalized it in 2009.
Compared to Sweden's 94% social acceptance rating, 85% of Canadian society was found to be socially accepting of LGBTQ2+ communities.
Gender identity and anti-discrimination laws
Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain all have anti-discrimination laws for LGBTQ2+ people, the report shows.
The report says that in Spain, since 2007, all documents can be amended to a person's 'recognized gender.'
Comparatively, in Canada, transgender people have been able to change their gender and name (but not their sex) since 2017 — the same year Bill C-16 came into effect, making gender identity and expression a Constitutional right.
'Conversion therapy' has been illegal in Manitoba and Ontario since 2015, and Vancouver and Nova Scotia since 2018, according to the report.
How Canadian cities compare
The list also recognizes Ottawa as home to the first public gay and lesbian demonstration in Canada, dubbed 'We Demand,' in 1971.
In 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued an official apology for Canada's past persecution of the LGBTQ2+ community.
Also in 2017, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver ranked among the top 20 cities in the world for LGBTQ2+ people, according to Nestpick.