By Richard AmmonGlobalGayz.comJanuary 11, 2011 (1/11/11) Imagine this: arriving at the Malmo, Sweden train station (30 minutes east from Copenhagen) for the first time and looking around at the kiosks, cafes, ticket offices, bustling commuters. Nothing unusual–until I wandered into the variety store (called Interpress, a la 7-Eleven) and beheld a blizzard of print–probably a
Sweden is considered to be one of the most gay-friendly countries in Europe and possibly the world when it comes to laws surrounding homosexuality. The Swedish Constitution bans discrimination on grounds of "sexual orientation". Due to the strong sense of secularism dominating in most of the country and government, Sweden today is seen as a campaigner of gay rights. Despite this, same-sex marriage is still not legal, although civil unions are looked upon as a form of marriage within Swedish law. Sweden may be the seventh country to legalize SSMs, sometime in 2009. Since 1972, there has been an equal age of consent set at 15, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender.
Intro: Compared to virtually any other country on the planet, being born gay, lesbian or bi in Sweden is a stroke of good luck. The issue of alternative sexuality that evokes hysteria, hatred and bigotry in so many other cultures is, in Sweden, a non-issue. Homosexual behavior was legalized in 1944. and the first LGBT organization started in 1950–a time when the rest of the world hardly knew that homosexuality existed. Today, of course, Sweden has some of the most progressive laws and leadership regarding LGBT affairs. (See story #1 below.) This is not to say that all gay Swedes have smooth-sailing on this; there is ignorance everywhere in the world and rural Sweden is no exception. And not every gay youth flies out of the closet fully self-identified. (See stories #2 and #3 below) But once out, he or she is well protected by the law and is surrounded by a wide variety of rainbow organizations. Gay loving and living is mostly relaxed and safe here–about as good as it gets anywhere.
Sweden is the third largest country by area in Western Europe and fourth in all of Europe, with a total population slightly over 9 million. Sweden is considered to be one of the most gay-friendly countries in Europe and possibly the world when it comes to laws surrounding homosexuality. Due to the strong sense of