Britain's recognition of civil partnerships and its anti-discrimination laws have propelled it to the top of the European International Lesbian and Gay Association Europe (ILGA-Europe) index, which rates 49 countries on more than 40 categories.
Scotland played a "leading role" in the UK's success, said an ILGA-Europe spokesperson, who pointed out that hate crimes "aggravated" by gender identity are explicitly recognised by Scottish law. "The UK is among the countries where LGBTI people feel much safer and more secure," he said, adding that social and cultural attitudes were not considered in the report.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary and equalities minister, said she was "delighted" to see Britain "leading the way" and "breaking new ground". She added that the coalition's consultation on same-sex marriage, its sports charter and "the world's first transgender action plan" were part of the same project.
She added: "We must not be complacent and will continue to work to make Britain a great place to live for everyone."