Today is Pride in London, England, an event that kicks off a summer of fabulous Pride parades abroad. Pride London is, for some Londoners, a symbol of the country's progress on LGBT rights. We've talked before at Bilerico about how Europe is no paradise for LGBT people with regard to prejudice and treatment, but in terms of legally designated rights, the United Kingdom is ahead of the United States.
Same-sex couples can adopt children, anti-discrimination laws include sexual orientation and gender identity, and same-sex couples in domestic partnerships enjoy many of the same rights as married couples. Civil marriage and some transgender protections are still out of reach in the country. See a full table of rights that LGBT people are and are not afforded here.
The Independent also recently ranked London as the 8th "best place in the world to be gay."
The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, invoked these rights yesterday, when he heralded his city's commitment to Pride. He said:
It's a festival that also underlines our city's reputation as a place where you can be yourself, something we can be proud of. Pop stars, sports stars, academics, politicians - people at all levels and in all walks of life - including my own team - feel comfortable and confident to be out and to be themselves.
I want London to be the benchmark for LGBT equality, which is why we must not be complacent, especially when it comes to homophobic hate crime and bullying. My office will continue to work with LGBT groups as well as the police to tackle a problem that still affects too many lives. Pride has an important role to play in this, with individuals able to come together for an important community celebration, as well as a great day out for all in the heart of the capital. So have fun this Saturday and celebrate all that London has to offer. Happy Pride!
So, for anyone who's spent much time in London - is he right? Is LGBT equality in the UK leaps and bounds above equality here? Given the list of rights afforded to LGBT people in the UK, it certainly sounds that while the region's not perfect, it's more advanced than the United States.