Sweden, known for its progressive stance on LGBT and gender equality, was named best international destination of 2013 by the magazine “Out Traveler.”
Spain was awarded second place; Sweden also beat locations such as the UK, Argentina, New Zealand and Vietnam.
“Out Traveler” lauded Sweden for its ABBA museum and gay-themed Christmas celebration, adding that the “wonders aren’t limited to SoFo, Old Town, or any of Stockholm’s diverse neighborhoods: there’s the legendary Ice Hotel near the Arctic Circle, where guests sleep on blocks of frozen water, and the Kolmarden zoo, the largest wildlife park in Scandinavia.”
Sweden’s progressive outlook was exemplified at Stockholm Pride in 2013 when, after Russia’s controversial homophobic policies, they sent Russian President Vladimir Putin a “Lovie Award,” with the inscription “To a man with a heart of stone, here’s a heart of gold.”
The joke award was the final act of the #GoWest campaign, aided by celebrities such as Tegan and Sara and Boy George, urging people to ditch LGBT events in Russia and come to Sweden instead.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Sweden since May 1, 2009, following a new gender-neutral marriage law that made it the seventh country worldwide to enact marriage equality.
The full article can be read here.