Britain’s The Independent newspaper has named San Francisco as the leader in its “ten best places in the world to be gay in” feature.

The newspaper proclaimed that the city “…is a welcoming environment for gay men and women.”

“San Francisco’s reputation as a centre for tolerance dates back to a time when navy ships would off-load any suspect homosexuals in the harbour. Now that California is one of only two states in the US which permits same-sex marriage, San Francisco has become a favourite venue to get hitched.”

The other nine cities recommended by the newspaper as being extremely gay friendly are Mykonos; Sydney; New York; Paris; Barcelona; Amsterdam; London; Copenhagen and Berlin.

Cape Town is named, along with Delhi, Shanghai, Tel Aviv and Havana, as the “five most improved places for gay tolerance”.

“Homosexuality was legalised in South Africa in 1994 and in 2006 it became the first African country to legalise gay marriage. Cape Town is proud of its expanding gay scene,” said the newspaper.

The worst places to be gay in are listed as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Nigeria (all of which can punish homosexuality with the death penalty) as well as rampantly homophobic Afghanistan and Jamaica which also have harsh penalties.

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