Sexual minority rights situation in Latvia is the poorest in EU

The situation concerning the rights of sexual minorities in Latvia is still the worst in the European Union, according to the latest Rainbow Europe Index on sexual minority rights in the EU published by ILGA Europe.

The report rates how the rights of the LGBTI community are observed in each EU member state, with zero percent as the lowest score and 100% as the highest score.

According to the ILGA Europe report, Latvia’s rating is 17%, the lowest in the EU, but one percentage point higher than in 2018. Meanwhile, Lithuania had a score of 23% and Estonia of 46%.

The reports points out that a total of 29 anti-LGBT hate crimes were reported in Latvia this year, of which most (17) targeted gay men. The crimes included

sexual and physical assault, blackmail, and arson. The victims did not report the cases to the police. The number of crimes signal an increase – in 2018, 22 cases were reported.

The Eurobarometer 2019 survey found that even though social acceptance of LGBTI people in Latvia has slightly increased in  the past four years, it continues to lag far behind the EU average. 72% of those in the EU say there is nothing wrong with same-sex relationships, compared to only 25% in Latvia, the report points out.

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