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LGBT rights by country or territory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

LGBT rights worldwide
A color photograph of the Stonewall Inn, taken in the summer of 2016; the doorway and windows are decorated with rainbow flags
The Stonewall Inn in the gay village of Greenwich Village, Manhattan, site of the June 1969 Stonewall riots, the cradle of the modern LGBT rights movement.[1][2][3]
Location
Worldwide
Caused byHomophobia and transphobia
GoalsIncreasing legal rights for LGBT people
Increasing acceptance of LGBT people
Countering internalized homophobia and internalized transphobia
MethodsCivil resistance
Coming out
Consciousness raising
Direct action
Resulted inSuccess at many of the aims
Legalized same-sex marriage and other LGBT rights in some jursidictions
Backlash
Continuing widespread homophobia and transphobia
vte Worldwide laws regarding same-sex intercourse and freedom of expression and association  Same-sex intercourse legal    Marriage1    Marriage recognized but not performed1    Civil unions1    Limited legal recognition1    Same-sex unions not recognized    Laws restricting freedom of expression and association Same-sex intercourse illegal    Unenforced penalty2    Imprisonment    Life imprisonment    Death penalty Rings indicate areas where local judges have granted or denied marriages or imposed the death penalty in a jurisdiction where that is not otherwise the law or areas with a case-by-case application. 1Some jurisdictions in this category may currently have other types of partnerships. 2No arrests in the past three years or moratorium on law.
Worldwide laws regarding same-sex intercourse and freedom of expression and association
Same-sex intercourse legal
  
Marriage1
  
Marriage recognized but not performed1
  
Civil unions1
  
Limited legal recognition1
  
Same-sex unions not recognized
  
Laws restricting freedom of expression and association
Same-sex intercourse illegal
  
Unenforced penalty2
  
Imprisonment
  
Life imprisonment
  
Death penalty
Rings indicate areas where local judges have granted or denied marriages or imposed the death penalty in a jurisdiction where that is not otherwise the law or areas with a case-by-case application.
1Some jurisdictions in this category may currently have other types of partnerships.
2No arrests in the past three years or moratorium on law.
LGBT rights at the United Nations vte      Support States which supported the LGBT rights declaration in the General Assembly or on the Human Rights Council in 2008 or 2011    Oppose States which supported an opposing declaration in 2008 and continued their opposition in 2011    Neither States which did not support either declaration    Subsequent member South Sudan, which was not a member of the United Nations in 2008    Non-member states States that are not voting members of the United Nations
LGBT rights at the United Nations
  
Support States which supported the LGBT rights declaration in the General Assembly or on the Human Rights Council in 2008 or 2011
  
Oppose States which supported an opposing declaration in 2008 and continued their opposition in 2011
  
Neither States which did not support either declaration
  
Subsequent member South Sudan, which was not a member of the United Nations in 2008
  
Non-member states States that are not voting members of the United Nations

Laws affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people vary greatly by country or jurisdiction — encompassing everything from the legal recognition of same-sex marriage to the death penalty for homosexuality.

Laws that affect LGBT people include, but are not limited to, the following:

Notably, as of 2018, 25 countries, all of which being developed or developing democracies, recognized same-sex marriage. By contrast, as at 5 April 2019, 14 countries or jurisdictions, all of which are Islamic and ruled by sharia, impose the death penalty for homosexuality. These include Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, parts of Nigeria, parts of Somalia, parts of Syria and parts of Iraq.[4]

In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed its first resolution recognizing LGBT rights, following which the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report documenting violations of the rights of LGBT people, including hate crimes, criminalization of homosexual activity, and discrimination. Following the issuance of the report, the United Nations urged all countries which had not yet done so to enact laws protecting basic LGBT rights.[5][6]

History of LGBT-related laws

Ancient Celts

According to Aristotle, although most "belligerent nations" were strongly influenced by their women, the Celts were unusual because their men openly preferred male lovers (Politics II 1269b).[7][8] H. D. Rankin in Celts and the Classical World notes that "Athenaeus echoes this comment (603a) and so does Ammianus (30.9). It seems to be the general opinion of antiquity."[8] In book XIII of his Deipnosophists, the Roman Greek rhetorician and grammarian Athenaeus, repeating assertions made by Diodorus Siculus in the 1st century BC (Bibliotheca historica 5:32), wrote that Celtic women were beautiful but that the men preferred to sleep together. Diodorus went further, stating that "the young men will offer themselves to strangers and are insulted if the offer is refused". Rankin argues that the ultimate source of these assertions is likely to be Poseidonius and speculates that these authors may be recording "some kind of bonding ritual ... which requires abstinence from women at certain times".[8]

Ancient India

Throughout Hindu and Vedic texts, there are many descriptions of saints, demigods, and even the Supreme Lord transcending gender norms and manifesting multiple combinations of sex and gender.[9] There are several instances in ancient Indian epic poetry of same sex depictions and unions by gods and goddesses. There are several stories depicting love between those of the same sex, especially among kings and queens. Kamasutra, the ancient Indian treatise on love talks about feelings for same sexes. Transsexuals are also venerated including Lord Vishnu as Mohini and Lord Shiva as Ardhanarishwara (which means half woman).[10]

Ancient West Asia

Ancient Israel

The ancient Law of Moses (the Torah) forbids men lying with men (intercourse) in Leviticus 18 and gives a story of attempted homosexual rape in Genesis in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities being soon destroyed after that. The death penalty was prescribed. In Deuteronomy 22:5, cross-dressing is condemned as being "abominable".

Ancient Persia

In Persia homosexuality and homoerotic expressions were tolerated in numerous public places, from monasteries and seminaries to taverns, military camps, bathhouses, and coffee houses. In the early Safavid era (1501–1723), male houses of prostitution (amrad khane) were legally recognized and paid taxes. Persian poets, such as Sa'di (d. 1291), Hafiz (d. 1389), and Jami (d. 1492), wrote poems replete with homoerotic allusions. The two most commonly documented forms were commercial sex with transgender young males or males enacting transgender roles exemplified by the köçeks and Sufi spiritual practices in which the practitioner admired the form of a beautiful boy in order to enter ecstatic states and glimpse the beauty of God.

Assyria

In Assyrian society, sex crimes were punished identically whether they were homosexual or heterosexual.[11] An individual faced no punishment for penetrating someone of equal social class, a cult prostitute, or with someone whose gender roles were not considered solidly masculine.[11][12] Such sexual relations were even seen as good fortune, with an Akkadian tablet, the Šumma ālu, reading, "If a man copulates with his equal from the rear, he becomes the leader among his peers and brothers".[13][14] However, homosexual relationships with fellow soldiers, slaves, royal attendants, or those where a social better was submissive or penetrated, were treated as bad omens.[15][16]

Middle Assyrian Law Codes dating 1075 BC has a particularly harsh law for homosexuality in the military, which reads: "If a man have intercourse with his brother-in-arms, they shall turn him into a eunuch."[17][18][19] A similar law code reads, "If a seignior lay with his neighbor, when they have prosecuted him (and) convicted him, they shall lie with him (and) turn him into a eunuch". This law code condemns a situation that involves homosexual rape. Any Assyrian male could visit a prostitute or lie with another male, just as long as false rumors or forced sex were not involved with another male.[20]

Ancient Rome

The "conquest mentality" of the ancient Romans shaped Roman homosexual practices.[21] In the Roman Republic, a citizen's political liberty was defined in part by the right to preserve his body from physical compulsion or use by others;[22] for the male citizen to submit his body to the giving of pleasure was considered servile.[23] As long as a man played the penetrative role, it was socially acceptable and considered natural for him to have same-sex relations, without a perceived loss of his masculinity or social standing.[24] The bodies of citizen youths were strictly off-limits, and the Lex Scantinia imposed penalties on those who committed a sex crime (stuprum) against a freeborn male minor.[25] Acceptable same-sex partners were males excluded from legal protections as citizens: slaves, male prostitutes, and the infames, entertainers or others who might be technically free but whose lifestyles set them outside the law.

"Homosexual" and "heterosexual" were thus not categories of Roman sexuality, and no words exist in Latin that would precisely translate these concepts.[26] A male citizen who willingly performed oral sex or received anal sex was disparaged, but there is only limited evidence of legal penalties against these men, who were presumably "homosexual" in the modern sense.[27] In courtroom and political rhetoric, charges of effeminacy and passive sexual behaviors were directed particularly at "democratic" politicians (populares) such as Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.[28]

Roman law addressed the rape of a male citizen as early as the 2nd century BC, when a ruling was issued in a case that may have involved a man of same-sex orientation. It was ruled that even a man who was "disreputable and questionable" had the same right as other citizens not to have his body subjected to forced sex.[29] A law probably dating to the dictatorship of Julius Caesar defined rape as forced sex against "boy, woman, or anyone"; the rapist was subject to execution, a rare penalty in Roman law.[30] A male classified as infamis, such as a prostitute or actor, could not as a matter of law be raped, nor could a slave, who was legally classified as property; the slave's owner, however, could prosecute the rapist for property damage.[31]

In the Roman army of the Republic, sex among fellow soldiers violated the decorum against intercourse with citizens and was subject to harsh penalties, including death,[32] as a violation of military discipline.[33] The Greek historian Polybius (2nd century BC) lists deserters, thieves, perjurers, and "those who in youth have abused their persons" as subject to the fustuarium, clubbing to death.[34] Ancient sources are most concerned with the effects of sexual harassment by officers, but the young soldier who brought an accusation against his superior needed to show that he had not willingly taken the passive role or prostituted himself.[35] Soldiers were free to have relations with their male slaves;[36] the use of a fellow citizen-soldier's body was prohibited, not homosexual behaviors per se.[37] By the late Republic and throughout the Imperial period, there is increasing evidence that men whose lifestyle marked them as "homosexual" in the modern sense served openly.[38]

Although Roman law did not recognize marriage between men, and in general Romans regarded marriage as a heterosexual union with the primary purpose of producing children, in the early Imperial period some male couples were celebrating traditional marriage rites. Juvenal remarks with disapproval that his friends often attended such ceremonies.[39] The emperor Nero had two marriages to men, once as the bride (with a freedman Pythagoras) and once as the groom. His consort Sporus appeared in public as Nero's wife wearing the regalia that was customary for the Roman empress.[40]

Apart from measures to protect the prerogatives of citizens, the prosecution of homosexuality as a general crime began in the 3rd century of the Christian era when male prostitution was banned by Philip the Arab. By the end of the 4th century, after the Roman Empire had come under Christian rule, passive homosexuality was punishable by burning.[41] "Death by sword" was the punishment for a "man coupling like a woman" under the Theodosian Code.[42] Under Justinian, all same-sex acts, passive or active, no matter who the partners, were declared contrary to nature and punishable by death.[43]

Congo

E. E. Evans-Pritchard recorded that in the past male Azande warriors in the northern Congo routinely took on young male lovers between the ages of twelve and twenty, who helped with household tasks and participated in intercrural sex with their older husbands. The practice had died out by the early 20th century, after Europeans had gained control of African countries, but was recounted to Evans-Pritchard by the elders to whom he spoke.[44]

Feudal Japan

In feudal Japan, homosexuality was recognized, between equals (bi-do), in terms of pederasty (wakashudo), and in terms of prostitution. The younger partner in a pederastic relationship often was expected to make the first move; the opposite was true in ancient Greece. In religious circles, same-sex love spread to the warrior (samurai) class, where it was customary for a boy in the wakashū age category to undergo training in the martial arts by apprenticing to a more experienced adult man. The man was permitted, if the boy agreed, to take the boy as his lover until he came of age; this relationship, often formalized in a "brotherhood contract",[45] was expected to be exclusive, with both partners swearing to take no other (male) lovers. The Samurai period was one in which homosexuality was seen as particularly positive. Later when Japanese society became pacified, the middle classes adopted many of the practices of the warrior class.

Lesotho

Anthropologists Stephen Murray and Will Roscoe reported that women in Lesotho engaged in socially sanctioned "long term, erotic relationships" called motsoalle.[46]

Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea, same-sex relationships were an integral part of the culture of certain tribes until the middle of the last century. The Etoro and Marind-anim for example, even viewed heterosexuality as wasteful and celebrated homosexuality instead. They believed that in sharing semen, they are sharing their life force, yet women simply wasted this force any time they didn't get pregnant after sex. In many traditional Melanesian cultures a prepubertal boy would be paired with an older adolescent who would become his mentor and who would "inseminate" him (orally, anally, or topically, depending on the tribe) over a number of years in order for the younger to also reach puberty.[47]

Global LGBT rights maps

Timeline

Decriminalization of homosexuality timeline
Countries/Territories/States
Never been illegal
18th century
19th century
20th century
21st century


LGBT-related laws by country or territory

Africa

List of countries or territories by LGBT rights in Africa
This table:

Northern Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Algeria Algeria
No
Illegal since 1966
Penalty: Fine and up to 2 years imprisonment.[49][50]
No
No
No
No
No
No
Canary Islands Canary Islands
(Autonomous community of Spain)
Yes
Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
De facto unions legal since 2003[51]
Yes
Legal since 2005[52]
Yes
Legal since 2005[53][54]
Yes
Spain responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[55]
Yes
Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[56]
Ceuta Ceuta
(Autonomous city of Spain)
Yes
Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
De facto union since 1998[57]
Yes
Legal since 2005[58]
Yes
Legal since 2005[59]
Yes
Spain responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[60]
Yes
Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[56]
Egypt Egypt
Yes
/
No
Male de jure legal, but de facto illegal since 2000
Penalty: Up to 17 years imprisonment with or without hard labour and with or without fines under broadly-written morality laws.
Emblem-question.svg
Female uncertain.[49][61]
No
No
No
No
No
No
Libya Libya
No
Illegal since 1953[62]
No
No
No
No
No
No
Madeira Madeira
(Autonomous region of Portugal)
Yes
Legal since 1983
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
De facto union since 2001[63][64]
Yes
Legal since 2010[65]
Yes
Legal since 2016[66][67][68]
Yes
Portugal responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[55]
Yes
Since 2011, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[69]
Melilla Melilla
(Autonomous city of Spain)
Yes
Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
De facto union since 2008[70]
Yes
Legal since 2005[58]
Yes
Legal since 2005[59]
Yes
Spain responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[60]
Yes
Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[56]
Morocco Morocco
(including Southern Provinces)
No
Illegal since 1962
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[49][71]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
(Disputed territory; excluding Southern Provinces)
No
Illegal since 1944 (as part of the Overseas Province of Spanish Sahara)
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[49][72][73]
No
No
No
No
No
No
South Sudan South Sudan
No
Illegal since 1899 (as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment.[49][50]
No
No
Constitutional ban since 2011[citation needed]
No
No
No
No
Sudan Sudan
No
No
Illegal since 1899 (as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
Penalty: Death penalty on third offense for men and on fourth offense for women.[49]
No
No
No
No
No
No
Tunisia Tunisia
No
Illegal since 1913 (as the French protectorate of Tunisia)
Penalty: 3 years imprisonment.[49][74]
Legalization proposed[75]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No

Western Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Benin Benin
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);[49][76]
Age of consent discrepancy[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[49]
No
No
Constitutional ban since 1991
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Cape Verde Cape Verde
Yes
Legal since 2004
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
Yes
Bans some anti-gay discrimination[49]
Emblem-question.svg
The Gambia Gambia
No
Illegal since 1888 (as the Gambia Colony and Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to Iife imprisonment.[49][77][50]
No
No
No
No
No
No
Ghana Ghana
No
Male illegal since 1860s (as the Gold Coast)
Penalty: 10 years imprisonment or more.
Yes
Female always legal[49][78][50]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Guinea Guinea
No
Illegal since 1988
Penalty: 6 months to 3 years imprisonment.[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau
Yes
Legal since 1993[49]
+ UN decl. sign.
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Ivory Coast Ivory Coast
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Liberia Liberia
No
Illegal since 1976
Penalty: 1 year imprisonment.[49][79]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Mali Mali
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Mauritania Mauritania
No
No
Illegal since 1983
Penalty: Death by stoning.[49][80]
No
No
No
No
No
No
Niger Niger
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Nigeria Nigeria
No
Illegal under federal law since 1901 (as the Northern Nigeria Protectorate and the Southern Nigeria Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment.
No
Death in the states of Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.[49][81][50]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Senegal Senegal
No
Illegal since 1966
Penalty: 1 to 5 years imprisonment.[49][82]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone
No
Male illegal since 1861 (as the Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment (Not enforced).
Yes
Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Togo Togo
No
Illegal since 1884 (as Togoland)
Penalty: Fine and 3 years imprisonment.[49][50]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No

Central Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Cameroon Cameroon
No
Illegal since 1972
Penalty: Fines to 5 years imprisonment.[49][50]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Central African Republic Central African Republic
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
Constitutional ban since 2016[83]
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Chad Chad
No
Illegal since 2017
Penalty: 3 months to 2 years imprisonment.
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[49]
No
No
Constitutional ban since 2005
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Gabon Gabon
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Saint Helena Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes
Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Legal since 2017
Yes
Legal since 2017[84][85]
Yes
Legal since 2017
Yes
UK responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay on discrimination
Emblem-question.svg
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe
Yes
Legal since 2012
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg

Southeast Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Burundi Burundi
No
Illegal since 2009
Penalty: 3 months to 2 years imprisonment.[49][86]
No
No
Constitutional ban since 2005
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Kenya Kenya
No
Illegal since 1897 (as the East Africa Protectorate)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment.[49][50]
No
No
Constitutional ban since 2010[87]
No
No
No
No
Rwanda Rwanda
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[49]
+ UN decl. sign.
No
No
Constitutional ban since 2003
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Tanzania Tanzania
No
Illegal since 1864 (only Zanzibar)
Illegal since 1899
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment.[49][50]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Uganda Uganda
No
Male illegal since 1894
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment.[88][88]
Emblem-question.svg
Female uncertain
No
No
Constitutional ban since 2005
No
No
No
No

Horn of Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Djibouti Djibouti
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Eritrea Eritrea
No
Illegal since 1957 (as part of the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea)
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[49][89]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Ethiopia Ethiopia
No
Illegal
Penalty: 10 years imprisonment or more.[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Somalia Somalia
No
No
Illegal since 1962
Penalty: Up to death.[90]
No
No
No
No
No
No
Somaliland Somaliland
(Disputed territory)
No
No
Illegal
Penalty: Up to death.[90]
No
No
No
No
No
No

Indian Ocean states

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Comoros Comoros
No
Illegal since 1982
Penalty: 5 years imprisonment and fines.[49][91]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
French Southern and Antarctic Lands French Southern and Antarctic Lands
(Overseas territory of France)
Yes
Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the territory)[49]
Yes
Civil solidarity pact since 1999
Yes
Legal since 2013
Yes
Legal since 2013
Yes
France responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination
Yes
Under French law
Madagascar Madagascar
Yes
Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
Mauritius Mauritius
No
Male illegal since 1838 (as part of British Mauritius)
Penalty: Up to 5 years imprisonment.
Yes
Female always legal[92]
+ UN decl. sign.[49][93]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[94][95]
Emblem-question.svg
Mayotte Mayotte
(Overseas region of France)
Yes
Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the region)[49]
Yes
Civil solidarity pact since 1999
Yes
Legal since 2013
Yes
Legal since 2013
Yes
France responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination
Yes
Under French law
Réunion Réunion
(Overseas region of France)
Yes
Legal since 1791[49]
Yes
Civil solidarity pact since 1999
Yes
Legal since 2013
Yes
Legal since 2013
Yes
France responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination
Yes
Under French law
Seychelles Seychelles
Yes
Legal since 2016[96]
+ UN decl. sign.
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
Yes
Bans some anti-gay discrimination[49]
Emblem-question.svg

Southern Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Angola Angola
Yes
Legal since 2019 [97]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[98]
Emblem-question.svg
May possibly change gender under the Código do Registro Civil 2015[99]
Botswana Botswana
No
Illegal since 1885 (as part of the Bechuanaland Protectorate)
Penalty: Fine to up to 7 years imprisonment (Not enforced).[49][50]
Legalization pending[100]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
Yes
Bans some anti-gay discrimination
Yes
Legal gender change recognized as a constitutional right since 2017[101]
Eswatini Eswatini
No
Male illegal since the 1880s
Yes
Female always legal[49][50]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Lesotho Lesotho
Yes
Male legal since 2012
Female always legal[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Emblem-question.svg
May possibly change gender under the National Identity Cards Act 9 of 2011[102]
Malawi Malawi
No
Illegal since 1891 (as part of the Shire Highlands Protectorate and the Nyasaland Districts Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment and whippings (Law suspended from usage since 2012).[49][103][50]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Mozambique Mozambique
Yes
Legal since 2015[104][105]
No
No
No
No
Yes
Bans some anti-gay discrimination[49][94]
Emblem-question.svg
Namibia Namibia
No
Male illegal since 1920 (as part of South-West Africa)[50]
Yes
Female always legal[49][106][107]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
Yes
Under the Births, Marriages and Deaths Registration Act 81 of 1963[108]
South Africa South Africa
Yes
Male legal since 1998
Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Limited recognition of unregistered partnerships since 1998; same-sex marriage since 2006
Yes
Legal since 2006
Yes
Legal since 2002
Yes
Since 1998
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination
Yes
Anti-discrimination laws are interpreted to include gender identity; legal gender may be changed after surgical or medical treatment
Zambia Zambia
No
Illegal since 1911 (as part of the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment.[49][50]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
No
Male illegal since 1891 (as part of the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia)
Yes
Female legal[49][50]
No
No
Constitutional ban since 2013
No
Emblem-question.svg
No
No

Americas

List of countries or territories by LGBT rights in the Americas



Tables:

North America

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Bermuda Bermuda
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes
Legal since 1994;
Age of consent discrepancy
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Domestic partnerships since 2018[109]
Yes
Legal since November 2018 and between May 2017 and May 2018
Yes
Legal since 2015[110]
Yes
UK responsible for defence
No
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[111]
No
Canada Canada
Yes
Legal since 1969
+ UN decl. sign.[49][112]
Yes
Domestic partnerships in Nova Scotia (2001);[113]
Civil unions in Quebec (2002);[114]
Adult interdependent relationships in Alberta (2003);[115]
Common-law relationships in Manitoba (2004)[116]
Yes
Legal in some provinces and territories since 2003, nationwide since 2005[117]
Yes
Legal in some provinces and territories since 1996, nationwide since 2010[118]
Yes
Since 1992[119]
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal in Manitoba, Ontario and Vancouver
Yes
Transgender people can change their gender and name without completion of medical intervention and human rights protections explicitly include gender identity or expression within all of Canada since 2017[120][121][122][123]
Greenland Greenland
(autonomous constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark)
Yes
Legal since 1933
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Registered partnerships since 1996[124]
Yes
Legal since 2016
Yes
Stepchild adoption since 2009;[125]
joint adoption since 2016[126]
Yes
Since 1978 (Denmark responsible for defense)
Yes
Bans some anti-gay discrimination[49]
No
Mexico Mexico
Yes
Legal since 1871
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
/
No
Civil unions in Mexico City (2007), Coahuila (2007),[127] Colima (2013),[128] Campeche (2013),[129] Jalisco (2014),[130] Michoacán (2015) and Tlaxcala (2017)
Yes
/
No
Legal in Mexico City (2010),[131] Quintana Roo (2012),[132] Coahuila (2014), Chihuahua (2015), Nayarit (2015), Jalisco (2016), Campeche (2016), Michoacán (2016), Colima (2016), Morelos (2016), Chiapas (2017), Puebla (2017), Baja California (2017), Nuevo León (2019) and Aguascalientes (2019).
All states are obliged to honour same-sex marriages performed in states where it is legal.[131][133][134]
The Supreme Court has declared that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples in all states,[135] but as state laws were not invalidated, individual injunctions must still be obtained from the courts[136][137]
Yes
/
No
Legal in Mexico City (2010),[138] Coahuila (2014), Chihuahua (2015), Michoacán (2016), Colima (2016), Morelos (2016), Campeche (2016), Veracruz (2016), Baja California (2017), Querétaro (2017), Chiapas (2017) and Puebla (2017)[139][140]
Emblem-question.svg
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[141]
Yes
/
No
Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name in Mexico City (2008),[142] Michoacán (2017), Nayarit (2017) and Coahuila (2018)[143]
Flag of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.svg
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
(Overseas collectivity of France)
Yes
Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Civil solidarity pact since 1999[144]
Yes
Legal since 2013[145]
Yes
Legal since 2013[146]
Yes
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[60]
Yes
Under French law[147]
United States United States
Yes
Legal in some states since 1962, nationwide since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Domestic partnerships in California (1999),[148] the District of Columbia (2002),[149] Maine (2004),[150] Oregon (2008),[151] Maryland (2008),[152] and Nevada (2009);[153]
Civil unions in New Jersey (2007),[154] Illinois (2011),[155] Hawaii (2012),[156] and Colorado (2013)[157]
Yes
Legal in some states since 2004, nationwide since 2015[158]
Yes
Legal in some states since 1993, nationwide since 2016[159]
Yes
"Don't ask, don't tell" policy was abolished in 2011, meaning that since then LGB people have been allowed to serve openly in the military.[160]
Transgender people have been allowed to serve in the military since 2018[161][162][163]
Yes
/
No
Federal executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation for employees in the federal civilian workforce, along with government employment in the District of Columbia, and the United States Postal Service, since 1998 (see Executive Order 12968 and Executive Order 13087). Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation with minors by mental health professionals illegal in some states.
Included in the federal hate crime law since 2009.
Sexual orientation discrimination banned in public and private employment in 24 states + D.C.
Yes
/
No
Gender identity discrimination in healthcare insurance banned since 2012.[164][165]
Allowed to change gender under various conditions in 47 states + D.C.
Included in the federal hate crime law since 2009.
Gender identity discrimination banned in public and private employment in 23 states + D.C.

Central America

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Belize Belize
Yes
Legal since 2016[166]
No
No
No
No
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[167][168][169]
No
[170]
Costa Rica Costa Rica
Yes
Legal since 1971
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Unregistered cohabitation since 2014[171][172]
No
/
Yes
To become legal by 2020 at the latest
No
Pending[173]
Has no military
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[49]
Yes
Transgender persons can change their legal gender without surgeries or judicial permission since 2018[174]
El Salvador El Salvador
Yes
Legal since 1822
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
Constitutional ban pending;[175] court decision pending
No
Yes
[176][177]
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[176]
No
[178]
Guatemala Guatemala
Yes
Legal since 1871
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
Pending
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
Yes
Bans some anti-gay discrimination
No
[179]
Honduras Honduras
Yes
Legal since 1899
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
Constitutional ban since 2005;[180][181] court decision pending
No
No
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[182]
Emblem-question.svg
Nicaragua Nicaragua
Yes
Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
Yes
Bans some anti-gay discrimination[49]
No
Panama Panama
Yes
Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
Court decision pending
No
Court decision pending
No
Has no military
Yes
Bans some anti-gay discrimination[183][184]
Yes
Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2006[185][186]

Caribbean

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Anguilla Anguilla
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes
Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
No
Yes
UK responsible for defence
No
No
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda
No
Illegal
Penalty: 15-year prison sentence (Not enforced).[49]
No
No
No
No
No
No
Aruba Aruba
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Registered partnerships since 2016[187]
No
/
Yes
Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized[188]
No
Yes
The Netherlands responsible for defence
No
No
The Bahamas Bahamas
Yes
Legal since 1991;
Age of consent discrepancy
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
No
Yes
[49]
No
No
Barbados Barbados
No
Illegal
Penalty: Life imprisonment (Not enforced).[49] Legalization proposed
No
No
No
No
No
No
British Virgin Islands British Virgin Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes
Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
No
Yes
UK responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[189]
No
Caribbean Netherlands Caribbean Netherlands
(Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius; special municipalities of the Netherlands)
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the municipalities)
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
[190]
Yes
Legal since 2012[191]
Yes
[192]
Yes
The Netherlands responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[193]
Yes
[194]
Cayman Islands Cayman Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes
Legal since 2001; Age of consent discrepancy[49]
+ UN decl. sign.
No
No
No
Yes
UK responsible for defence
No
No
Cuba Cuba
Yes
Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
legalization pending [195]
No
Yes
[49][196]
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination [197][198][199]
Yes
Transgender people allowed to change gender after sex change operations[200]
Curaçao Curaçao
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
Pending
No
/
Yes
Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized[188]
No
Yes
The Netherlands responsible for defence
No
No
Dominica Dominica
No
Illegal
Penalty: 10-year prison sentence or incarceration in a psychiatric institution (Not enforced).
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
No
No
No
No
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
Yes
Legal since 1822
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
Constitutional ban since 2010[201]
No
No
[202]
No
No
Grenada Grenada
No
Male illegal
Penalty: 10-year prison sentence (Not enforced).
Yes
Female always legal[49]
No
No
No
Has no military
No
No
Guadeloupe Guadeloupe
(Overseas department of France)
Yes
Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Civil solidarity pact since 1999[144]
Yes
Legal since 2013[145]
Yes
Legal since 2013[146]
Yes
France responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[60]
Yes
Under French law[147]
Haiti Haiti
Yes
Legal since 1791 (as Saint-Domingue)[49]
No
No
No
Has no military
No
No
Jamaica Jamaica
No
Male illegal
Penalty: 10 years hard labor (Not enforced).
Yes
Female always legal.[49]
No
No
Constitutional ban since 1962
No
No
No
No
Martinique Martinique
(Overseas department of France)
Yes
Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Civil solidarity pact since 1999[144]
Yes
Legal since 2013[145]
Yes
Legal since 2013[146]
Yes
France responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[60]
Yes
Under French law[147]
Montserrat Montserrat
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes
Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
Constitutional ban since 2010[203]
No
Yes
UK responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[204]
No
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico
(Commonwealth of the United States)
Yes
Legal since 2003
Yes
Since 2015
Yes
Legal since 2015[205]
Yes
Legal since 2015
Yes
United States responsible for defense[160][163]
Yes
Bans some anti-gay discrimination
Yes
Gender change legal since 2018; does not require surgery
Flag of Saint Barthelemy (local).svg
Saint Barthélemy
(Overseas collectivity of France)
Yes
Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Civil solidarity pact since 1999[144]
Yes
Legal since 2013[145]
Yes
Legal since 2013[146]
Yes
France responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[60]
Yes
Under French law[147]
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis
No
Male illegal
Penalty: 10 years (Not enforced).
Yes
Female always legal[49]
No
No
No
No
No
No
Saint Lucia Saint Lucia
No
Male illegal
Penalty: Fine and/or 10-year prison sentence (Not enforced).
Yes
Female always legal[49]
No
No
No
Has no military
No
No
Flag of France.svg
Saint Martin
(Overseas collectivity of France)
Yes
Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Civil solidarity pact since 1999[144]
Yes
Legal since 2013[145]
Yes
Legal since 2013[146]
Yes
France responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[60]
Yes
Under French law[147]
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
No
Illegal
Penalty: Fine and/or 10-year prison sentence (Not enforced).[49]
No
No
No
Has no military
No
No
Sint Maarten Sint Maarten
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Yes
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
/
Yes
Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized[188]
No
Yes
The Netherlands responsible for defence
No
No
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago
Yes
Legal since 2018[206]
No
No
No
No
No
No
Turks and Caicos Islands Turks and Caicos Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes
Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
No
Constitutional ban since 2011[207]
No
Yes
UK responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[49]
No
United States Virgin Islands United States Virgin Islands
(Territory of the United States)
Yes
Legal since 1985
Yes
Since 2015[159]
Yes
Legal since 2015[159]
Yes
Legal since 2015[159]
Yes
United States responsible for defense[160][163]
No
No

South America

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Argentina Argentina
Yes
Legal since 1853
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Civil unions in Buenos Aires (2003),[208] Río Negro Province (2003),[209] Villa Carlos Paz (2007) and Río Cuarto (2009)
Cohabitation unions nationwide since 2015[210]
Yes
Legal since 2010[211]
Yes
Legal since 2010
Yes
Since 2009[212]
Yes
/
No
Legal protection in some cities;[213]
pending nationwide.
Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal since 2010
Yes
Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name without surgeries or judicial order since 2012[214]
Bolivia Bolivia
Yes
Legal since 1832
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
Constitutional ban on free unions since 2009;[215]
Family life agreement pending[216]
No
Constitutional ban since 2009[217]
No
LGBT individuals may adopt, but not same-sex couples[218]
Yes
Since 2015[219][220][221]
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[49]
Yes
Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name without surgeries or judicial order since 2016[222][223][224][225]
Brazil Brazil
Yes
Legal since 1831
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
"Stable unions" legal in some states since 2004; all rights as recognized family entities available nationwide since 2011[226][227]
Yes
Legal in some states since 2012, nationwide since 2013[228][229]
Yes
Legal since 2010[230]
Yes
[231]
Yes
Banned in all Brazilian states; comprehensive nationwide anti-discrimination law pending.[232] Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal since 1999[233][234]
Yes
Transgender people can change their legal gender and name before a notary without the need of surgeries or judicial order since 2018[235][236][237]
Chile Chile
Yes
Legal since 1999;
Age of consent discrepancy
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Civil union agreement since 2015[238]
No
Pending[239]
No
Pending[240]
Yes
Since 2012[241]
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[242]
Yes
Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name since 1974.
No surgeries or judicial order since 2019.[243]
Colombia Colombia
Yes
Legal since 1981
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
De facto marital union since 2007[244]
Yes
Legal since 2016[245]
Yes
Stepchild adoption since 2014;[246] joint adoption since 2015[247]
Yes
Since 1999[49]
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[248]
Yes
Since 2015, transgender persons can change their legal gender and name manifesting their solemn will before a notar, no surgeries or judicial order required[249]
Ecuador Ecuador
Yes
Legal since 1997
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
De facto unions since 2009[250][251]
No
Constitutional ban since 2009; court decision pending[252]
No
LGBT individuals may adopt, but not same-sex couples[253]
Emblem-question.svg
[254]
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[255]
Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal since 2014
Yes
Since 2016, transgender persons are allowed to change their birth name and gender identity (instead of the sex assigned at birth) on legal documents; no surgeries or judicial order required[256][257][258]
Falkland Islands Falkland Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes
Legal since 1989
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Civil partnerships since 2017[259]
Yes
Legal since 2017[259]
Yes
Legal since 2017
Yes
UK responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[260]
No
French Guiana French Guiana
(Overseas department of France)
Yes
Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Civil solidarity pact since 1999[144]
Yes
Legal since 2013[145]
Yes
Legal since 2013[146]
Yes
France responsible for defence
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[60]
Yes
Under French law[147]
Guyana Guyana
No
Illegal
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment (Not enforced).[49]
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
[261]
Yes
[262]
No
No
Paraguay Paraguay
Yes
Legal since 1880; Age of consent discrepancy
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
Constitutional ban since 1992[263]
No
Constitutional ban since 1992; court decision pending[264]
No
Yes
[265]
No
Proposed[266]
No
Peru Peru
Yes
Legal since 1924
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
No
Pending[267]
No
Court decision pending
No
Yes
Since 2009[268]
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[269][270][271][272][273]
Yes
Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name without the need for the completion of medical intervention since 2016. Judicial order required.[274][275]
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes
Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.
Yes
Legal since 2014[276]
Yes
Legal since 2014[276]
Emblem-question.svg
Yes
UK responsible for defence
Emblem-question.svg
No
Suriname Suriname
Yes
Legal since 1869 (as Dutch Guiana);
Age of consent discrepancy
+ UN decl.
No
No
No
Emblem-question.svg
Yes
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[277]
No
Court decision pending[278][279]
Uruguay Uruguay
Yes
Legal since 1934
+ UN decl. sign.[49]
Yes
Concubinage union since 2008[280]
Yes