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Legalizing same-sex marriage makes your nation’s soccer team better at the World Cup

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75% of playoff qualifiers have marriage equality.

England v Belgium: Group G - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Belgium is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly nations in the World Cup. They won all three of their games in Group G.
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The World Cup’s final field of 16 teams is set, and countries with legalized same-sex marriage are over-represented by a ton.

Three-quarters of the teams still vying for the trophy have legalized marriage equality at the national level. That 75% is over four times the average for countries worldwide that have legalized same-sex marriage — 18%.

Conversely, 69% of the teams that were eliminated after pool play do not have marriage equality. Of the countries that qualified for the World Cup, 53% had failed to legalize same-sex marriage.

Yes, the nations that have marriage equality have done better at the World Cup than those who have not.

Only one country — host Russia — that has not decriminalized homosexual sex has made out of group play. That’s an abysmal 13% of the countries in the World Cup with federal punishments just for being gay.

It’s great to see nations that embrace LGBTQ equality succeeding on the world sports stage.