2018 in particular brought some key moments in history for LGBTIQ+ rights – the LGBTIQ+ community in Australia were able to ring in the new year and rejoice in the knowledge Australians across the country had said ‘yes to love’ after same-sex marriage legislation was passed; transgender people were no longer considered to be mentally ill after the World Health Organisation reclassified ‘gender incongruence’; and, in a landmark ruling, the European Court of Justice granted same-sex spouses the same freedom of movement rights as straight couples.
"Research found a correlation between rights related to homosexuality in a country and that country’s level of economic development."Yet despite momentous movement forward over the years, there are still a number of countries where LGBTIQ+ people face widespread stigmatisation and persecution. In the 1900s, countries such as Iran carried out punishments for homosexual activity which included 74 lashes for immature men and the death penalty for mature men, 50 lashes for women as well as life in prison and the death penalty for the fourth conviction.
The thought that someone could be lashed or sentenced to death because of their sexuality may seem implausible today but there are some parts of the world where the death penalty for homosexuality still exists.
Not only is that an issue of fundamental humanity, it is an economic issue: a 2018 worldwide study conducted by the Williams Institute UCLA School of Law evidenced a clear link between the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and economic performance.
The research documented the violence, discrimination, and social stigma experienced by LGBTIQ+ people in every country within the study. Individually, these experiences created a barrier for LGBTIQ+ people to access jobs, schooling, health care, political and family participation.
When the link between LGBTIQ+ inclusion and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita at a macroeconomic level was tested, a positive correlation was discovered. More to the point, research found a correlation between rights related to homosexuality in a country and that country’s level of economic development – meaning more rights are associated with higher GDP per capita.
It’s evident LGBTIQ+ inclusion has a progressive effect on the economy but what exactly is meant by “inclusion”?
Inclusion is reflected in opportunities that might be embedded in the law, such as employment non-discrimination. It can also be measured by whether LGBTIQ+ people achieve equal outcomes compared with non-LGBTIQ+ people, such as receiving the same earnings as others with the same job qualifications.
In the below infographic, bluenotes takes a look at the state of employment discrimination across the globe.
Key charts were taken from the 2018 LGBT + First Job survey and Equaldex, a collaborative online LGBTIQ+ knowledge base. The research from LGBT + First Job survey, undertaken and implemented into 18 countries, includes comparative sampling from people of different age groups and measures the extent to which being open about one’s own sexual orientation or gender identity at work can cause issues of concern for LGBT employees.
Startlingly (or not so surprising given the current US administration’s history on the subject and future threats of further anti-LGBT bills), 58 per cent of the United States of America, the so-called free world, still have no protection laws in place when it comes to employment discrimination.