LGBT rights by country or territory

(Redirected from Gay rights)

Rights 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.

Worldwide laws regarding same-sex intercourse, unions and expression
Same-sex intercourse illegal. Penalties:
  Death
  Prison; death not enforced
  Death under militias
  Prison, w/ arrests or detention
  Prison, not enforced1
Same-sex intercourse legal. Recognition of unions:
  Extraterritorial marriage2
  Limited foreign
  Optional certification
  None
  Restrictions of expression
Rings indicate local or case-by-case application.
1No imprisonment in the past three years or moratorium on law.
2Marriage not available locally. Some jurisdictions may perform other types of partnerships.
LGBT rights at the United Nations
  
Neither States which did not support either declaration
  
Non-member states States that are not voting members of the United Nations
  
Oppose States which supported an opposing declaration in 2008 and continued their opposition in 2011
  
Subsequent member South Sudan, which was not a member of the United Nations in 2008
  
Support States which supported the LGBT rights declaration in the General Assembly or on the Human Rights Council in 2008 or 2011
Laws concerning gender identity-expression by country or territory
  Legal identity change, surgery not required
  Legal identity change, surgery required
  No legal identity change
  Unknown/Ambiguous

Notably, as of July 2022, 32 countries recognized same-sex marriage. By contrast, not counting non-state actors and extrajudicial killings, only one country is believed to impose the death penalty on consensual same-sex sexual acts: Iran. The death penalty is officially law, but generally not practiced, in Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia (in the autonomous state of Jubaland) and the United Arab Emirates. As well as, LGBT people face extrajudicial killings in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule, and in the Russian region of Chechnya.[2] Sudan rescinded its unenforced death penalty for anal sex (hetero- or homosexual) in 2020. Fifteen countries have stoning on the books as a penalty for adultery, which would include gay sex, but this is enforced by the legal authorities in Iran and Nigeria (in the northern third of the country).[3][4][5][6]

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.[7][8]

A 2022 study found that LGBT rights (as measured by ILGA-Europe's Rainbow Index) were correlated with less HIV/AIDS incidence among gay and bisexual men independently of risky sexual behavior.[9]

Scope of laws

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

History of LGBT-related laws

Ancient India

Ayoni or non-vaginal sex of all types are punishable in the Arthashastra. Homosexual acts are, however, treated as a smaller offence punishable by a fine, while unlawful heterosexual sex carries much harsher punishment. The Dharmsastras, especially the later ones, prescribe against non-vaginal sex like the Vashistha Dharmasutra. The Yājñavalkya Smṛti prescribes fines for such acts including those with other men. Manusmriti prescribes light punishments for such acts.[10][11] Vanita states that the verses about punishment for a sex between female and a maiden is due to its strong emphasis on a maiden's sexual purity.[12]

Ancient Israel

The ancient Law of Moses (the Torah) forbids men from lying with men (i.e., from having intercourse) in Leviticus 18 and gives a story of attempted homosexual rape in Genesis 19, in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, after which the cities were soon destroyed with "brimstone and fire, from the Lord"[13][14] and the death penalty was prescribed to its inhabitants – and to Lot's wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt because she turned back to watch the cities' destruction.[15][16] In Deuteronomy 22:5, cross-dressing is condemned as "abominable".[17][18]

Assyria

In Assyrian society, sex crimes were punished identically whether they were homosexual or heterosexual.[19] 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.[19] 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".[20][21] However, homosexual relationships with fellow soldiers, slaves, royal attendants, or those where a social better was submissive or penetrated, were treated as bad omens.[22][23]

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."[24][25][26] 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.[27]

Ancient Rome

In ancient Rome, 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.[28] 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.

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.[29] 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.[30]

Roman law addressed the rape of a male citizen as early as the 2nd century BC, when 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.[31] 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.[32] 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.[33]

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,[34] as a violation of military discipline.[35] 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.[36] 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.[37] Soldiers were free to have relations with their male slaves;[38] the use of a fellow citizen-soldier's body was prohibited, not homosexual behaviors per se.[39] 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.[40]

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.[41] 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.[42]

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.[43] "Death by sword" was the punishment for a "man coupling like a woman" under the Theodosian Code.[44] Under Justinian, all same-sex acts, passive or active, no matter who the partners, were declared contrary to nature and punishable by death.[45]

British Empire

The United Kingdom introduced anti-homosexuality laws throughout its colonies, particularly in the 19th century when the British Empire was at its peak.[46] As of 2018, more than half of the 71 countries that criminalised homosexuality were former British colonies or protectorates.[47]

Netherlands

In 2001, the Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage.[48]

Global LGBT rights maps

Laws regarding same-sex sexuality by country or territory
 
Worldwide laws regarding same-sex intercourse, unions and expression
Same-sex intercourse illegal. Penalties:
  Death
  Prison; death not enforced
  Death under militias
  Prison, w/ arrests or detention
  Prison, not enforced1
Same-sex intercourse legal. Recognition of unions:
  Extraterritorial marriage2
  Limited foreign
  Optional certification
  None
  Restrictions of expression
Rings indicate local or case-by-case application.
1No imprisonment in the past three years or moratorium on law.
2Marriage not available locally. Some jurisdictions may perform other types of partnerships.
LGBT rights at the United Nations
 
  Support
Countries which have signed a General Assembly declaration of LGBT rights or sponsored the Human Rights Council's 2011 resolution on LGBT rights (96 members)
  Oppose
Countries which signed a 2008 statement opposing LGBT rights (initially 57 members, now 54 members after withdrawal of Fiji, Rwanda and Sierra Leone)
  Neither
Countries which, as regards the UN, have expressed neither official support nor opposition to LGBT rights (44 members)
Homosexual "propaganda" and "morality" laws by country or territory
 
Homosexual "propaganda" and "morality" laws by country or territory
  Countries or territories that do not have homosexual "propaganda" or "morality" laws
  Fine[49]
  Unknown punishment
  Imprisonment
Decriminalization of same-sex sexual intercourse by country or territory
 
  1791–1850
  1850–1945
  1946–1989
  1990–present
  Unknown date of legalization of same-sex intercourse
  Same-sex sexual intercourse always legal
  Still criminalized
Equalization of age of consent laws for same-sex couples by country or territory
 
  1790–1829
  1830–1839
  1840–1859
  1860–1869
  1870–1879
  1880–1889
  1890–1929
  1930–1939
  1940–19491
  1950–1959
  1960–1969
  1970–1979
  1980–1989
  1990–1999
  2000–2009
  2010–present
  Unknown date for equal age of consent laws for opposite and same-sex couples
  No consent laws/equal age of consent laws always equal for opposite and same-sex couples
  Unequal age of consent laws for same-sex couples
  Same-sex sexual intercourse illegal
1During World War II, Nazi Germany annexed or occupied territory, extending Germany's laws against same-sex sexual intercourse. Age of consent was previously equalized for same-sex couples in the following countries or territories before the war: Belluno (legal in 1890), Friuli-Venezia Giulia (legal in 1890), Poland (decriminalized in 1932), and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol (legal in 1890).[citation needed] During World War II Germany did not consistently enforce anti-homosexual laws in all occupied countries.[50] All countries and territories listed that where annexed or established into reichskommissariats by Nazi Germany during World War II where restored as independent countries or reincorporated into their previous countries during or after the war and thus re-legalized equal age of consent laws for same-sex couples in those areas.[citation needed]
Legal status of same-sex marriage
 
  Marriage open to same-sex couples (rings: individual cases)
  Mixed jurisdiction: marriage recognized by the state but not by tribal government for residents who are members of the tribe
  Legislation or binding domestic court ruling establishing same-sex marriage, but marriage is not yet provided for
  Same-sex marriage recognized with full rights when performed in certain other jurisdictions
  Civil unions or domestic partnerships
  Limited legal recognition
  Local certification without legal force
  Limited recognition of marriage performed in certain other jurisdictions (residency rights for spouses)
  Country subject to an international court ruling that recognizes same-sex marriage
  Other countries where same-sex unions are not legally recognized
Legal status of adoption by same-sex couples by country or territory
 
  Joint adoption allowed
  Second-parent adoption allowed
  No laws allowing adoption by same-sex couples and no same-sex marriage
  Same-sex marriage but adoption by married same-sex couples not allowed
LGBT service in national militaries by country or territory[citation needed]
 
  All LGBT people can serve
  GBT men can serve
  LGB people can serve
  GB men can serve
  Ambiguous/unknown policy
  LGBT people are banned from serving
  No military
Employment discrimination laws by sexual orientation or gender identity by country or territory
 
  Sexual orientation and gender identity: all employment
  Sexual orientation with anti–employment discrimination ordinance and gender identity solely in public employment
  Sexual orientation: all employment
  Gender identity: all employment
  Sexual orientation and gender identity: federal public employment and federal contractors
  Sexual orientation and gender identity: public employment
  Sexual orientation: public employment
  No national-level employment laws covering sexual orientation or gender identity
Anti-discrimination laws covering goods and services by sexual orientation and/or gender identity by country or territory
 
Countries and territories with LGBT anti-discrimination laws in goods and services
  Sexual orientation and gender identity covered
  Sexual orientation covered
  Gender identity covered
  No national or local level anti-discrimination laws covering sexual orientation and/or gender identity in goods and services
Constitutional discrimination laws by sexual orientation and/or gender identity by country or territory
 
  Sexual orientation and gender identity covered
  Sexual orientation covered
  Gender identity covered
  No national or local level constitutional discrimination laws covering sexual orientation and/or gender identity
LGBT hate crime laws by country or territory
 
  Sexual orientation and gender identity hate crime laws
  Sexual orientation hate crime laws
  No LGBT hate crime laws
Incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation and gender identity prohibited by country or territory
 
  Incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation and gender identity prohibited
  Incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation prohibited
  No prohibition on incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation and gender identity
Ban on conversion therapy for minors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by country or territory
 
  Ban on conversion therapy on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity
  De facto ban on conversion therapy
  Case-by-case bans
  Proposed ban on conversion therapy
  No ban on conversion therapy
Immigration equality by country or territory[citation needed]
 
  Recognition of same-sex couples in national immigration laws
  Unknown/ambiguous
Bans on same-sex unions by country or territory
 
  No specific prohibition of same-sex marriages or unions
  Constitution bans same-sex marriage
  Constitution establishes Islamic law or bans violations of "Islamic morality"
Blood donation policies for men who have sex with men by country or territory
 
Blood donation policies for men who have sex with men
  Men who have sex with men may donate blood; No deferral
  Men who have sex with men may donate blood; Temporary deferral
  Men who have sex with men may not donate blood; Permanent deferral
  No Data
Blood donation policies for female sex partners of men who have sex with men by country or territory
 
Blood donation policies for female sex partners of men who have sex with men
  Female sex partners of men who have sex with men may donate blood; No deferral
  Female sex partners of men who have sex with men may donate blood; Temporary deferral
  Female sex partners of men who have sex with men may not donate blood; Permanent deferral
  No Data
Laws concerning gender identity-expression by country or territory
 
  Legal identity change, surgery not required
  Legal identity change, surgery required
  No legal identity change
  Unknown/Ambiguous
Legal recognition of non-binary genders and third gender
 
  Nonbinary / third gender available as voluntary opt-in
  Opt-in for intersex people only
  Standard for third gender
  Standard for intersex
  Nonbinary / third gender not legally recognized / no data

Timeline

Decriminalization of homosexuality timeline
Countries/Territories/States
Never been illegal
18th century
List
19th century
List
20th century
List
21st century
List
Notes
  • Note that while this template lists several historical countries, such as the Kingdom of France, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, etc., for the sake of clarity, the flags shown are contemporary flags.


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   Illegal since 1966
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment with fines up to 10,000 dinars.[51] Torture,[52] beatings,[53] or vigilante executions are also common.
           
  Canary Islands
(Autonomous community of Spain)
  Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  De facto unions legal since 2003[55]   Legal since 2005[56]   Legal since 2005[57][58]   Spain responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[59]   Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[60]
  Ceuta
(Autonomous city of Spain)
  Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  De facto union since 1998[61]   Legal since 2005[56]   Legal since 2005[57]   Spain responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination   Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[60]
  Egypt   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.[54][62]
           
  Libya   Illegal since 1953 Penalty: Up to 5 years in jail or vigilante execution.[63][64]            
  Madeira
(Autonomous region of Portugal)
  Legal since 1983
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  De facto union since 2001[65][66]   Legal since 2010[67]   Legal since 2016[68][69][70]   Portugal responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[59]   Since 2011, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[71]
  Melilla
(Autonomous city of Spain)
  Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  De facto union since 2008[72]   Legal since 2005[56]   Legal since 2005[57]   Spain responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[73]   Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[60]
  Morocco
(including Southern Provinces)
  Illegal since 1962
Penalty: Up to 3 to 6 years imprisonment with hard labour.[54][74]
           
  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
(Disputed territory; excluding Southern Provinces)
  Illegal since 1944 (as part of the Overseas Province of Spanish Sahara)
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[54][75][76]
           
  South Sudan   Illegal since 1899 (as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment. (not enforced) [54][77]
    Constitutional ban since 2011[citation needed]         Forms of gender expression are criminalized.
  Sudan   Illegal since 1899 (as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
Penalty: Life imprisonment for a third offense of anal sex.[78]
           
  Tunisia   Illegal since 1913 (as the French protectorate of Tunisia)
Penalty: 3 years imprisonment.[54][79]
[80]
           

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   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);[54][81]
Age of consent discrepancy[54]
           
  Burkina Faso   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[54]     Constitutional ban since 1991        
  Cape Verde   Legal since 2004
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
          Bans some anti-gay discrimination[54]  
  Gambia   Illegal since 1888 (as the Gambia Colony and Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to Iife imprisonment.[54][82][77]
            Forms of gender expression criminalized since 2013[83]
  Ghana   Male illegal since 1860s (as the Gold Coast)
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment. (repeal proposed)
  Female always legal[54][84][77]
           
  Guinea   Illegal since 1988
Penalty: 6 months to 10 years imprisonment.[85]
           
  Guinea-Bissau   Legal since 1993[54]
+ UN decl. sign.
           
  Ivory Coast   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[54]
           
  Liberia   Illegal since 1976
Penalty: 1 year imprisonment. (repeal proposed) [54][86]
           
  Mali   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[54]            
  Mauritania   Illegal: Islamic Sharia Law is applied
Penalty: Capital punishment for men, (not enforced); prison and a fine for women.[54][87]
           
  Niger   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[54]
           
  Nigeria   Illegal under federal law since 1901 (as the Northern Nigeria Protectorate and the Southern Nigeria Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment.
  Death in the states of Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.[54][88][77]
            Forms of gender expression criminalized in Sharia provinces.
  Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Legal since 2017   Legal since 2017[89][90]   Legal since 2017   UK responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination  
  Senegal   Illegal since 1966
Penalty: 1 to 5 years imprisonment.[54][91]
           
  Sierra Leone   Male illegal since 1861 (as the Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment (Not enforced).
  Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
           
  Togo   Illegal since 1884 (as Togoland)
Penalty: Fine and 3 years imprisonment, repeal proposed[54][77]
           

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   Illegal since 1972
Penalty: Fines to 5 years imprisonment.[54][77] or vigilante execution and torture[92]
           
  Central African Republic   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[54]
+ UN decl. sign.
    Constitutional ban since 2016[93]        
  Chad   Illegal since 2017
Penalty: Between 3 months and 2 years in prison, with fines of 50,000 to 500,000 FCFA. (Penal Code, Chapter 2, Article 354) [94]
           
  Democratic Republic of the Congo   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[54]     Constitutional ban since 2005        
  Republic of the Congo   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[54]
           
  Equatorial Guinea   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[54]            
  Gabon   Legal since 2020[95]
+ UN decl. sign.
           
  São Tomé and Príncipe   Legal since 2012
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
           

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   Illegal since 2009
Penalty: fine, and 3 months to 2 years imprisonment. (repeal proposed) [54][96]
    Constitutional ban since 2005        
  Kenya   Illegal since 1897 (as the East Africa Protectorate)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment. (repeal proposed) [54][77]
    Constitutional ban since 2010[97]        [98]
  Rwanda   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[54]
+ UN decl. sign.
    Constitutional ban since 2003        
  Tanzania   Illegal since 1864 (only Zanzibar)
Illegal since 1899
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment.[54][77] Vigilante executions, beatings and torture[99][100] are also tolerated.
           
  Uganda   Male illegal since 1894
Female illegal since 2000 Penalty: Life imprisonment. Beatings, torture, or vigilante execution are also common.[101]
    Constitutional ban since 2005        

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   /   Ambiguous, punishable through laws regarding laws against public morals.
Penalty: Up to 5 years imprisonment.[54][102]
           
  Eritrea   Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[54][103] or death[104] Beatings and torture are also tolerated.[105]
           
  Ethiopia   Illegal
Penalty: Up to 15 years. (not enforced) [54]
           
  Somalia   Illegal. Penalty: Up to 3 years prison.
    Illegal. Penalty: Up to death in Jubaland.[citation needed]
           
  Somaliland
(Disputed territory)
  Illegal since 1941 (as British Somaliland)
Penalty: Up to 3 years prison, sometimes death sentences.[106]
           

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   Illegal
Penalty: 5 years imprisonment and fines.[54][107]
           
  French Southern and Antarctic Lands
(Overseas territory of France)
  Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the territory)[54]
  Civil solidarity pact since 1999   Legal since 2013   Legal since 2013   France responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination   Under French law
  Madagascar   Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[54]
           
  Mauritius   Male illegal
Penalty: Up to 5 years imprisonment. (not enforced, repeal proposed)
  Female always legal[108]
+ UN decl. sign.[54][109]
          Bans all anti-gay discrimination[110][111]  
  Mayotte
(Overseas region of France)
  Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the region)[54]
  Civil solidarity pact since 1999   Legal since 2013   Legal since 2013   France responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination   Under French law
  Réunion
(Overseas region of France)
  Legal since 1791[54]   Civil solidarity pact since 1999   Legal since 2013   Legal since 2013   France responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination   Under French law
  Seychelles   Legal since 2016[112]
+ UN decl. sign.
          Bans some anti-gay discrimination[54]  

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   Legal since 2021 [113]           Bans all anti-gay discrimination[114]   May possibly change gender under the Código do Registro Civil 2015[115]
  Botswana   Legal since 2019 [116]           Bans some anti-gay discrimination   Legal gender change recognized as a constitutional right since 2017[117]
  Eswatini   Male illegal since the 1880s (not enforced, repeal proposed)
  Female always legal[54][77]
           
  Lesotho   Male legal since 2012
Female always legal[54]
            May possibly change gender under the National Identity Cards Act 9 of 2011[118]
  Malawi   Illegal since 1891 (as British Central Africa Protectorate)[77]
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment, with or without corporal punishment for men
up to 5 years imprisonment for women (not enforced, repeal proposed)[54][119][77]
            Men can't have long hair.
  Mozambique   Legal since 2015[120][121]           Bans some anti-gay discrimination[54][110]  
  Namibia   Male illegal since 1920 (not enforced; repeal proposed)[77][122]
  Female always legal[54][123][124]
            Under the Births, Marriages and Deaths Registration Act 81 of 1963[125]
  South Africa   Male legal since 1998
Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Limited recognition of unregistered partnerships since 1998; same-sex marriage since 2006   Legal since 2006   Legal since 2002   Since 1998   Constitution bans all anti-gay discrimination   Anti-discrimination laws are interpreted to include gender identity; legal gender may be changed after surgical or medical treatment
  Zambia   Illegal since 1911 (as part of the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment. (repeal proposed)[54][77]
           
  Zimbabwe   Male illegal since 1891 (as part of the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment. (repeal proposed)
  Female legal[54][77]
    Constitutional ban since 2013[126]        

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
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 1994
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Domestic partnerships since 2018[127]   Was legal between November 2018 and March 2022 and between May 2017 and June 2018   Legal since 2015[128]   UK responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[129]  
  Canada   Legal since 1969
+ UN decl. sign.[54][130]
  Domestic partnerships in Nova Scotia (2001);[131]
Civil unions in Quebec (2002);[132]
Adult interdependent relationships in Alberta (2003);[133]
Common-law relationships in Manitoba (2004)[134]
  Legal in some provinces and territories since 2003, nationwide since 2005[135]   Legal in some provinces and territories since 1996, nationwide since 2011[136]   Since 1992[137]; Includes transgender people[138]   Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Ban on conversion therapy since 2022 nationwide   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[139][140][141][142]
  Greenland
(Autonomous Territory within the Kingdom of Denmark)
  Legal since 1933
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Registered partnerships between 1996 and 2016 (Existing partnerships are still recognised.)[143]   Legal since 2016   Stepchild adoption since 2009;[144]
joint adoption since 2016[145]
  The Kingdom of Denmark responsible for defence   Bans some anti-gay discrimination[54]   Legal gender change and recognition possible without surgery or hormone therapy[146][147]
  Mexico   Legal since 1871
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
 /  Civil unions in Mexico City (2007), Coahuila (2007),[148] Colima (between 2013 and 2016),[149] Campeche (2013),[150] Jalisco (between 2014 and 2018),[151] Michoacán (2015), Tlaxcala (2017), and Veracruz (2020)  /  Legal in Mexico City (2010),[152] Quintana Roo (2012),[153] 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), Aguascalientes (2019), San Luis Potosí (2019), Hidalgo (2019), Baja California Sur (2019), Oaxaca (2019), Tlaxcala (2020), Querétaro (2021), Sinaloa (2021), Sonora (2021), Guanajuato (2021), Zacatecas (2021), Yucatán (2022), Veracruz (2022), and Durango (2022)[154].
All states are obliged to recognise same-sex marriages performed in states where it is legal.[152][155][156]
The Supreme Court has declared that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples in all states,[157] but as state laws were not invalidated, individual injunctions must still be obtained from the courts[158][159]
 /  Legal in Mexico City (2010),[160] Coahuila (2014), Chihuahua (2015), Jalisco (2016), Michoacán (2016), Colima (2016), Morelos (2016), Campeche (2016), Veracruz (2016), Baja California (2017), Querétaro (2017), Chiapas (2017), Puebla (2017),[161][162] Aguascalientes (2018), Nuevo León (2019), San Luis Potosí (2019)[163] and Hidalgo (2019)[164]   (ambiguous)   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[165] Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal in Mexico City (2020), México (2020), Baja California Sur (2020), Colima (2021), Tlaxcala (2021), Yucatán (2021) and Zacatecas (2021), Baja California (2022), Hidalgo (2022), Jalisco (2022), and Puebla (2022)  /  Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name in Mexico City (2008),[166] Michoacán (2017), Nayarit (2017), Coahuila (2018), Hidalgo (2019), San Luis Potosí (2019), Colima (2019), Baja California (2019), Oaxaca (2019), Tlaxcala (2019), Chihuahua (2019), Sonora (2020), Jalisco (2020), Quintana Roo (2020), Puebla (2021), Baja California Sur (2021), México (2021), and Morelos (2021)[167]
  Saint Pierre and Miquelon
(Overseas collectivity of France)
  Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Civil solidarity pact since 1999[168]   Legal since 2013[169]   Legal since 2013[170]     Bans all anti-gay discrimination[73]   Under French law[171]
  United States   Legal in some states since 1962, nationwide since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Domestic partnerships in California (1999), the District of Columbia (2002), Maine (2004), Washington (2007), Maryland (2008), Oregon (2008), Nevada (2009) and Wisconsin (2009).
Civil unions in Vermont (2000), Connecticut (2005), New Jersey (2007), New Hampshire (2008), Illinois (2011), Rhode Island (2011), Delaware (2012), Hawaii (2012) and Colorado (2013).
  Legal in some states since 2004, nationwide since 2015   Legal in some states since 1993, nationwide since 2016  /  Lesbians, gays, and bisexuals have been allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military since 2011, following the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.
Transgender people have been allowed to serve openly since 2021.[172]
Transvestites are currently banned from the military since 2012.[173]
Most openly Intersex people may be banned from the military under the Armed Forces ban of "hermaphrodites".[174]
 /  Employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited nationwide since 2020.
More extensive protections exist in 23 states, DC, and some municipalities.
Conversion therapy for minors is banned in 20 states, DC, and some municipalities.
Sexual orientation is covered by the federal hate crime law since 2009.
 /  Since April 11, 2022 by legal self determination - gender X became available and recognized formally on US passports.[175] Gender change is legal on birth certificates (under varying conditions by state), in 48 states + DC.
Nonbinary gender markers are available, under varying circumstances, in 25 states + DC.
Employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity is prohibited nationwide since 2020.
More extensive protections exist in 22 states, DC, and some municipalities.
Gender identity is covered by the federal hate crime law since 2009.

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   Legal since 2016[176]           Bans all anti-gay discrimination[177][178][179]  [180]
  Costa Rica   Legal since 1971
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Unregistered cohabitation since 2014[181][182]   Legal since May 2020   Legal since May 2020[183] Has no military   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54]  /  Transgender persons can change their legal name without surgeries or judicial permission since 2018. Legal gender cannot be changed. Sex indicator removed from all ID cards issued since May 2018[184][185][186] One-time sex change allowed for passports. [187]
  El Salvador   Legal since 1822
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
       [188][189]   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[188]  [190] Bans discrimination based on gender identity.
  Guatemala   Legal since 1871
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Pending         Bans some anti-gay discrimination  [191]
  Honduras   Legal since 1899
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Constitutional ban on de facto unions since 2005   Constitutional ban since 2005;[192][193] court decision pending   Constitutional ban since 2005     Bans all anti-gay discrimination[194]  
  Nicaragua   Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
          Bans some anti-gay discrimination[54]  
  Panama   Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Court decision pending   Court decision pending   Court decision pending Has no military   Bans some anti-gay discrimination[195][196]   Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2006[197][198]

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
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
        UK responsible for defence    
  Antigua and Barbuda   Legal since 2022            
  Aruba
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Registered partnerships since 2021[199]  /  Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized[200]     The Netherlands responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[201]  
  Bahamas   Legal since 1991;
Age of consent discrepancy
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
       [54]    
  Barbados   Illegal
Penalty: Life imprisonment (Not enforced).[54] Legalization proposed
 /  Foreign Domestic Partnerships recognized for immigration purposes "Welcome Stamp"[202]

Civil Unions proposed.[203]

        Bans some anti-gay discrimination[204]  
  Bonaire
(a special municipality of the Netherlands)
  Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the municipalities)
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
 [205]   Legal since 2012[206]  [207]   The Netherlands responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[208]  
  British Virgin Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
        UK responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[209]  
  Cayman Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 2001; Age of consent discrepancy[54]
+ UN decl. sign.
  Civil partnerships since 2020[210]     Legal since 2020   UK responsible for defence    
  Cuba   Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
    Legalization pending [211]    [54][212]   Bans all anti-gay discrimination [213][214][215]   Transgender people allowed to change gender after sex change operations[216]
  Curaçao
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Pending  /  Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized[200]     The Netherlands responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[217]  
  Dominica   Illegal
Penalty: 10-year prison sentence or incarceration in a psychiatric institution (Not enforced). Legalization proposed
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
           
  Dominican Republic   Legal since 1822
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
    Constitutional ban since 2010[citation needed]    [218]    
  Grenada   Male illegal
Penalty: 10-year prison sentence (Rarely enforced). [219] Legalization proposed
  Female always legal[54]
      Has no military    
  Guadeloupe
(Overseas department of France)
  Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Civil solidarity pact since 1999[168]   Legal since 2013[169]   Legal since 2013[170]   France responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[73]   Under French law[171]
  Haiti   Legal since 1791 (as Saint-Domingue)[54]       Has no military    
  Jamaica   Male illegal
Penalty: 10 years and/or hard labor (Not enforced). Legalization proposed
  Female always legal.[54]
    Constitutional ban since 1962        
  Martinique
(Overseas department of France)
  Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
  Civil solidarity pact since 1999[168]   Legal since 2013[169]   Legal since 2013[170]   France responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[73]   Under French law[171]
  Montserrat
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
        UK responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[220]  
  Puerto Rico
(Commonwealth of the United States)
  Legal since 2003   Legal since 2015   Legal since 2015[221]   Legal since 2015   United States responsible for defense[222][223]   Bans some anti-gay discrimination   Gender change legal since 2018; does not require surgery
  Saba
(a special municipality of the Netherlands)
  Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the municipalities)
+ UN decl. sign.[54]
 [205]   Legal since 2012[206]  [207]   The Netherlands responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[208]  [224]
  Saint Barthélemy
(Overseas collectivity of France)