I often post about rankings for Auckland or New Zealand, especially when they’re good ones. The new Spartacus International Gay Guide has Auckland ranked as the 15th best city in the world to be gay in, according to a story on GayNZ.com.
The ranking was based on the number of gay businesses per million inhabitants. Auckland was the only New Zealand city on the list, and ahead of both Sydney and Melbourne (which kind of figures, since they’re much larger cities, but always nice to beat the Aussies…). The guide says Auckland is "a clean, modern city with excellent restaurant, hotel and tourist services. The inner city suburbs of Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Mt. Eden and Parnell have significant gay populations."
That’s certainly true, but it leaves out many of the things that make Auckland a gay-friendly city—and New Zealand a gay-friendly country. For starters, New Zealand’s immigration laws are much more sane than, say, the US. Then, there’s the fact that the civil and human rights of gay people are protected throughout the country. And, should the gay tourist find love, civil unions provide full legal recognition to same-sex couples (and did I mention how the immigration laws don’t discriminate against gay couples?).
I honestly don’t know—or even really care—how accurate or realistic the ranking is. The point, for me, is that Auckland and New Zealand are still far better places to be gay than the place I left behind. And that’s a story that can’t be told too often, or in too many places.