It’s easy to think we have this whole civil rights issue in check—to listen to President Obama speak in support of gay marriage and watch state after state legalize gay marriage.
Then you head to the Guardian's infographic "Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights around the world." You see a rainbow drawn mostly in dead, data-less gray. And you realize, things are still bad. Horrifically bad.
The graphic represents the world as a rainbow, and it turns five LGBT rights (consensual sex, workplace non-discrimination, marriage, adoption, and protection against hate crimes) into their own colors in this rainbow. The idea is simple: If there are colors, there are rights. (Oh, and by hovering over the rainbow, you can see which country is which.)
What you learn is, almost nowhere in the world does the LGBT community have full rights. (It’s mostly just Europe and Canada.) South America on whole is fairly progressive, too. But in much of Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, rights are nonexistent (and often only getting worse). Furthermore, if the world's two most populous countries, India (where it’s illegal to even have sex) and China (where sex is okay, but everything else is either banned or not legally protected), supported the full spectrum of LGBT rights, then we’d have something like a third more of the world covered in Roy G. Biv.