LGBT rights in Europe- does religion influence gay rights policy?

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Recently I came accross this map by ILGA-Europe:

lgbtrightseuropemap16sep

The percentages you see on each country represent an aggregated score calculated by ILGA; 0% would mean the lowest score for LGBT rights and 100% the highest.

The East-West divide seems striking, but why is it so?

Freedom House’s Zselyke Csaky discusses  the idea that it may have to do with religion:

“A somewhat more plausible explanation emphasises the conservative-religious component in many of the region’s countries. Religion definitely plays a role in Poland’s constitutional ban on gay marriage, which has been in effect since 1997 and is strongly supported by the Roman Catholic Church. Support from the church was essential to the success of Croatia’s referendum as well, with Catholic bishops urging Croatians to vote “yes” to the amendment outlawing gay marriage. In Romania, an Orthodox priest running on an antigay platform collected the 100,000 signatures necessary to stand as an independent candidate in the European Parliament elections in May. And Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been forging a conservative image for a country that had previously been the first in the region to allow the registration of same-sex partnerships, in 2007.”

Fair does, but let’s try to analyse the data a bit more closely:

So,the most gay-friendly countries: Continue reading

Monday Graph: Happiness and Human Development Accross the World

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In July this year, The Economist’s Graphic Detail blog has looked at the relation between Human Development Index (which ranks countries by life expectancy, education and income per person) and reported feelings of happiness /positive emotions, as reported in a Gallup poll.

happiness hdi

(click on the image to see the interactive map and read the original Economist article)

At first sight, there does not seem to be much of a link between HDI and experiencing feelings of happiness; apart from noting that people in Latin American/Carribean countries appear to experience positive feelings more often and in South, Central Asia and non-EU Europe less often, interesting patterns are not readily visible.

However, let’s look a bit more closely.

Continue reading