The Isle of Man has been ranked as one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly countries in the world.

The finding came from The Equality Index, which collates data from around the world about gay rights.

The index includes legal criteria, which scores the legal rights and freedoms that LGBTQ+ people face, and the public opinion index which scores how the general public feels in each region.

The Isle of Man, Iceland and Canada jointly had the highest score, followed by Uruguay and Norway.

The methodology behind the index provides a score of 1 to 100, averaging the legal index and public opinion index.

Some places, including the Isle of Man, do not have data on public opinion, and so the equality index is only representative of the legal rights that LGBTQ+ people have in the island.

The legal index measures the current legal status of 13 different issues, in this index the Isle of Man scored 90 out of 100.

The island passed 11 of the 13 legislative markers for the index which were: Legal to be homosexual, gay marriage is legal, no LGBTQ+ censorship, the changing of gender is legal with no surgery required, discrimination against LGBTQ+ people is illegal, there is legal protection to prevent employers discrimination and housing discrimination against an individual based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Additionally, it is legal for LGBTQ+ people to adopt children, join the military, conversion therapy is banned, and the age of consent is equal between those who are heterosexual, and those who are LGBTQ+.

One of the two markers that the index found the island has not incorporated is that non-binary gender has not been legally recognised, although it stated that pressure is being applied to change this.

The other marker is that it is banned for a man who has sex with a man to donate blood, according to the index in August 2022 the government explained that it is looking to update this law in early 2023.

Allan Bell, a former chief minister who is openly gay, said: ‘It is very heartening to see this chart, and it shows how much has changed in the past 30 years.

‘If you go back to the 1980s, the Isle of Man was an international pariah, because of its lack of LGBT rights and anti-gay laws, to the point that UK trade unions would boycott the island.

‘Once homosexuality was legalised in the 90s, progress was quite fast in terms of legal rights.

‘The island has come a long way in terms of LGBTQ+ rights, and attitudes are changing, the ostracisation of gay people isn’t as bad now.

He added: ‘We need to recognise what we have today can easily be taken away, however, it is great to enjoy the freedom we have, and enjoy the fact that the oppressive regime is gone.’