UK newspaper The Independent has named San Francisco, California the best gay city in the world and Saudi Arabia the least gay-tolerant country.

Topping the list of most desirable places for gays and lesbians to live is San Francisco, California. The newspaper said it was chosen because of the city's long history of gay and lesbian inclusion and the State's recent adoption of gay marriage.

Sydney, Australia landed second best as the gay friendliest, despite only having legalized homosexuality since 1984. Australia does not recognize gay marriage, but the newspaper said the city offered a high degree of visibility for gays and lesbians.

Rounding the top three picks is another American city, New York. The newspaper says, “It's a place where lesbians and gay men of all ages and races are so integrated into work and political culture that their sexuality is often the least significant thing about them.” While gay marriage is illegal in the Empire State, legal marriages performed elsewhere – Massachusetts, California or Canada, to name a few – are recognized.

The remaining top ten cities in the world to be gay in:

_Mykonos, Greece. The island attracts hordes of gay tourists.

_Paris, France. Lesbians thrive in the City of Lights.

_Barcelona, Spain. Gay marriage was legalized in Spain in 2005.

_Amsterdam, Netherlands. The first country in the world to recognize gay marriage in 2001.

_London, Great Britain. The Brits offer gay civil unions and adoptions.

_Copenhagen, Denmark. The host city of the 2009 World Outgames.

_Berlin, Germany. A gay mayor, and Europe's first exclusively gay senior living home.

And now for the bad news. The worst countries in the world for gays and lesbians:

_Saudi Arabia. Homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death.

_Iran. Also illegal, and also punishable by death.

_Jamaica. Being gay (not lesbian) is illegal and punishable by ten years hard labor.

_Afghanistan. A Taliban death penalty is no longer “officially” enforced – but don't push it.

_Nigeria. Any mention of homosexuality is illegal. Even talking to a gay guy is an offense.

On the net: The Independent is at