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LGBT rights by country or territory

  (Redirected from LGBT rights)
Worldwide laws regarding same-sex intercourse and freedom of expression and association
Same-sex intercourse legal Same-sex intercourse illegal
  
Marriage1
  
Unenforced penalty2
  
Marriage recognized but not performed1
  
Imprisonment
  
Civil unions1
  
Up to life in prison
  
Unregistered cohabitation1
  
Death penalty
  
Same-sex unions not recognized
  
Laws restricting freedom of expression and association
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
  
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).
  
Neither Countries which, as regards the UN, have expressed neither official support nor opposition to LGBT rights (44 members).
  
Non-UN member Countries that are not members of the UN.

Laws affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people vary greatly by country or territory—everything from legal recognition of same-sex marriage or other types of partnerships, to the death penalty as punishment for same-sex romantic/sexual activity or identity.

LGBT rights are considered human rights by Amnesty International[1] and civil rights by some.[2] LGBT rights laws include, but are not limited to, the following:

As of March 2017, twenty-two countries, most of them located in the Americas and Western Europe,[f] recognize same-sex marriage and grant most of (if not all) the other rights listed above to its LGBT citizens.

Anti-LGBT laws include, but are not limited to, the following: sodomy laws penalizing consensual same-sex sexual activity with fines, jail terms, or the death penalty; anti-"lesbianism" laws; and higher ages of consent for same-sex activity.

In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed its first resolution recognizing LGBT rights, which was followed up with a report from the UN Human Rights Commission documenting violations of the rights of LGBT people, including hate crime, criminalization of homosexuality, and discrimination. Following up on the report, the UN Human Rights Commission urged all countries which had not yet done so to enact laws protecting basic LGBT rights.[3][4]

As of May 2016, 16 countries have an unequal age of consent law.[5]

As of August 2016, 72 countries as well as five sub-national jurisdictions[g] have laws criminalizing homosexuality,[5] with most of them located in Asia and Africa. In 2006 that number was 92.[5]

Contents

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).[6][7] 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."[7] 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".[7]

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.[8] 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 e.g. Lord Vishnu as Mohini and Lord Shiva as Ardhanarishwara (which means half woman).[9]

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.

Ancient Mesopotamia

In Assyrian society, sex crimes were punished identically whether they were homosexual or heterosexual.[10] 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.[10][11] Such sexual relations were even seen as good fortune.[12] However, homosexual relationships with fellow soldiers, slaves, royal attendants, or those where a social better was submissive or penetrated, were treated as bad omens.[13][14] 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."[15][16][17]

Ancient Rome

The "conquest mentality" of the ancient Romans shaped Roman homosexual practices.[18] 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;[19] for the male citizen to submit his body to the giving of pleasure was considered servile.[20] 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.[21] The bodies of citizen youths were strictly off-limits, and the Lex Scantinia imposed penalites on those who committed a sex crime (stuprum) against a freeborn male minor.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25]

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.[26] 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.[27] 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.[28]

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,[29] as a violation of military discipline.[30] 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.[31] 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.[32] Soldiers were free to have relations with their male slaves;[33] the use of a fellow citizen-soldier's body was prohibited, not homosexual behaviors per se.[34] 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.[35]

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.[36] 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.[37]

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.[38] "Death by sword" was the punishment for a "man coupling like a woman" under the Theodosian Code.[39] Under Justinian, all same-sex acts, passive or active, no matter who the partners, were declared contrary to nature and punishable by death.[40]

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.[41]

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",[42] 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.[43]

Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea, same-sex relationships were an integral part of the culture 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.[44]

Global LGBT Rights Maps

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 LGBT allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
  Algeria   Illegal since 1966
Penalty: Fine and up to 2 years imprisonment.[5][46]
           
  Canary Islands
(Autonomous community of Spain)
  Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  De facto unions legal since 2003[47]   Legal since 2005[48]   Legal since 2005[49]
(+automatic co-parent recognition)[50]
  Spain responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[51]   Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[52]
  Ceuta (Autonomous city of Spain)   Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  De facto union since 1998[53]   Legal since 2005[54]   Legal since 2005[55]   Spain responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[56]   Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[57]
  Egypt   Male 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
  Female uncertain.[5][58]
           
  Libya   Illegal since 1953[59]            
  Madeira
(Autonomous region of Portugal)
  Legal since 1983
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  De facto union since 2001[60][61]   Legal since 2010[62]   Legal since 2016 (+automatic co-parent recognition)[63][64][65]     Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[51]   Since 2011. All documents can be amended to the recognised gender.[66]
  Melilla (Autonomous city of Spain)   Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  De facto union since 2008[67]   Legal since 2005[54]   Legal since 2005[55]   Spain responsible for defence   Bans all anti-gay discrimination[56]   Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[57]
  Morocco
(Including Southern Provinces)
  Illegal since 1962
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[5][68]
           
  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
(Excluding Southern Provinces)
  Illegal since 1944 (as part of the Overseas Province of Spanish Sahara)
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment[5][69][70]
           
  South Sudan   Illegal since 1899 (as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment.[5][46]
    Constitutional ban since 2011.        
  Sudan   Illegal since 1899 (as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
Penalty: Death penalty on third offense for men and on fourth offense for women.[5]
           
  Tunisia   Illegal since 1913 (as the French protectorate of Tunisia)
Penalty: 3 years imprisonment.[5][71]
           

Western Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGBT 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).[5][72] (Age of consent discrepancy)[5]            
  Burkina Faso   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country).[5]     Constitutional ban since 1991.        
  Cape Verde   Legal since 2004
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
          Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[5]  
  Côte d'Ivoire   Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country). (Age of consent discrepancy)[5]
           
  Gambia   Illegal since 1888 (as Gambia Colony and Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to Iife imprisonment.[5][73][46]
           
  Ghana   Male illegal since 1860s (as Gold Coast)
Penalty: 10 years imprisonment or more
  Female always legal.[5][74][46]
           
  Guinea   Illegal since 1988
Penalty: 6 months to 3 years imprisonment.[5][75]
           
  Guinea-Bissau   Legal since 1993[5]
+ UN decl. sign.
           
  Liberia   Illegal since 1976
Penalty: 1 year imprisonment.[5][76]
           
  Mali   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country).[5]            
  Mauritania   Illegal since 1983
Penalty: Death penalty[5][77]
           
  Niger   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country). (Age of consent discrepancy)[5]            
  Nigeria   Illegal under federal law since 1901 (as Northern Nigeria Protectorate and Southern Nigeria Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment
  Illegal in the states of Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara
Penalty: Death penalty for men. Whipping and/or imprisonment for women.[5][78][46]
           
  Senegal   Illegal since 1966
Penalty: 1 to 5 years imprisonment.[5][79]
           
  Sierra Leone   Male illegal since 1861 (as the colony of Sierra Leone)
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment (Not enforced)
  Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
           
  Togo   Illegal since 1884 (as Togoland)
Penalty: Fine and 3 years imprisonment.[5][46]
           

Central Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGBT 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.[5][46]
           
  Central African Republic   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country).
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
           
  Chad   Illegal since 2016.            
  Democratic Republic of the Congo   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country).[5]     Constitutional ban since 2005.        
  Equatorial Guinea   Legal since 1968.[5][80]            
  Gabon   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.
           
  Republic of the Congo   Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country). (Age of consent discrepancy)[5]            
  Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
   /  (In Ascension since 2017)[81]     Since 2000. UK responsible for defence.   Constitutional ban all anti-gay on discrimination.   Since 2013.
  São Tomé and Príncipe   Legal since 2012
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
           

Southeast Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGBT allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
  Burundi   Illegal since 2009
Penalty: 3 months to 2 years imprisonment.[5][82]
    Constitutional ban since 2005.        
  Kenya   Illegal since 1897 (as East Africa Protectorate)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment.[5][46]
    Constitutional ban since 2010.[83]        
  Rwanda   Legal since 1980[5][84]
+ UN decl. sign.
    Constitutional ban since 2003.        
  Uganda   Male illegal since 1894
Penalty: Up to life in prison[85] or vigilante execution[86]
    Constitutional ban since 2005.        
  Tanzania   Illegal since 1864 (only Zanzibar)
Illegal since 1899
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment.[5][46]
           

Horn of Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGBT allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
  Djibouti   Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country).[5]
           
  Eritrea   Illegal since 1957 (as part of the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea)
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment[5][87]
           
  Ethiopia   Illegal
Penalty: 10 years imprisonment or more[5]
           
  Somalia   Illegal since 1962
Penalty: Up to death[88]
           
  Somaliland   Illegal
Penalty: Up to death[89]
           

Indian Ocean States

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGBT allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
  British Indian Ocean Territory
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Since 2014, UK Military Personnel only.   Since 2014, UK Military Personnel only.     Since 2000. UK responsible for defence.    
  Comoros   Illegal since 1982
Penalty: 5 years imprisonment & fines[5][90]
           
  French Southern and Antarctic Lands
(Overseas territory of France)
  Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the department).[5]
  Civil solidarity pact since 1999   Legal since 2013   Legal since 2013     Bans all anti-gay discrimination   Under French law since 2017, sterilization was abolished for gender transitioning.
  Madagascar   Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country). (Age of consent discrepancy)[5]
           
  Mauritius   Illegal since 1838 (as part of British Mauritius)
Penalty: Up to 5 years imprisonment
  Female always legal[91]
+ UN decl. sign.[5][92]
          Bans some anti-gay discrimination[93][94]  
  Mayotte
(Overseas department of France)
  Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the department).[5]
  Civil solidarity pact since 1999   Legal since 2013   Legal since 2013     Bans all anti-gay discrimination   Under French law since 2017, sterilization was abolished for gender transitioning.
  Réunion
(Overseas department of France)
  Legal since 1791[5]   Civil solidarity pact since 1999   Legal since 2013   Legal since 2013     Bans all anti-gay discrimination   Under French law since 2017, sterilization was abolished for gender transitioning.
  Seychelles   Legal since 2016[95]
+ UN decl. sign.
          Bans all anti-gay discrimination[5]  

Southern Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGBT allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
  Angola   De facto illegal since 1886 (as part of the Province of Angola)
Penalty: Fines, restrictions or penal labor (Not enforced)[5][96]
          Bans some anti-gay discrimination  
  Botswana   Illegal since 1885 (as part of the Bechuanaland Protectorate)
Penalty: Fine to up to 7 years imprisonment (Not enforced)[5][46]
          Bans some anti-gay discrimination  
  Lesotho   Male legal since 2012
Female always legal[5]
           
  Malawi   Illegal since 1891 (as part of the Shire Highlands Protectorate and the Nyasaland Districts Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment & whippings (Law suspended from usage since 2012)[5][97][46]
           
  Mozambique   Legal since 2015[98][99]           Bans some anti-gay discrimination[5][93]  
  Namibia   Male illegal since 1920 (as part of South-West Africa; not enforced)[46]
  Female always legal[5][100][101]
           
  South Africa   Male legal since 1998
Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Limited recognition of unregistered partnerships since 1998; Same-sex marriage since 2006.   Legal since 2006   Legal since 2002   Since 1998   Bans all anti-gay discrimination   Anti-discrimination laws are interpreted to include gender identity; legal gender may be changed after surgical or medical treatment.
  Swaziland   Male illegal since the 1880s
  Female always legal[5][46]
           
  Zambia   Illegal since 1911 (as part of the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment[5][46]
           
  Zimbabwe   Male illegal since 1891 (as part of the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia)
  Female legal[5][46]
    Constitutional ban since 2013        

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 LGBT 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 (age of consent discrepancy)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
    Legal since 2017[102]   Legal since 2015[103]   UK responsible for defence.   Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[104]  
  Canada   Legal since 1969 (age of consent discrepancy and prohibition of anal intercourse in some cases)
+ UN decl. sign.[5][105]
  Domestic partnership in Nova Scotia (2001)[106];
Civil union in Quebec (2002)[107];
Adult interdependent relationship in Alberta (2003)[108];
Common-law relationship in Manitoba (2004)[109]
  Legal in some provinces and territories since 2003,
nationwide since 2005
.[110]
  Legal in some provinces and territories since 1996, nationwide since 2010.[111]   Since 1992[112]   Bans all anti-gay discrimination, including hate speech. Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal in Manitoba and Ontario since 2015 (proposed in other jurisdictions).   Transgender persons can change their gender identity or expression and name without completion of medical intervention in nearly all jurisdictions, however except for Yukon; Explicit anti-discrimination gender identity or expression protections in nearly all jurisdictions, except for the federal Canadian government and Yukon.[113][114][115][116]
  Greenland
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark)
  Legal since 1933
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Registered partnership since 1996[117]   Legal since 2016   Step-child adoption since 2009.[118] Joint adoption since 2016.[119]   Since 1978 (Denmark responsible for defence)  /  Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[5]  
  Mexico   Legal since 1871
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
 /  Civil union in Mexico City (2007), Coahuila (2007),[120] Colima (2013),[121] Campeche (2013),[122] Jalisco (2014)[123]  /  Legal in Mexico City (2010),[124] Quintana Roo (2012),[125] Coahuila (2014), Chihuahua (2015), Guerrero (2015), Nayarit (2015), Jalisco (2016), Campeche (2016), Michoacán (2016), Colima (2016), Morelos (2016).
All states are obliged to honour same-sex marriages performed in states where it is legal.[124]
(Proposed nationwide).[126][127]

The Supreme Court has declared that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples in all states,[128] but as state constitutions were not invalidated, individual injunctions must still be obtained from the court.[129][130]

 /  Explicitly legal in Mexico City (2010)[131], Coahuila (2014), Michoacán (2016), Colima (2016). [132]
Nationwide, married same-sex couples may adopt.[133]
    Constitutional ban on all anti-gay discrimination.[134]   Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name in Mexico City since 2008.[135] Mexico adopted a legal protocol for gender identity and sexual orientation in 2014 based upon constitutional provisions to equally protect the rights of all citizens.[136]
  Saint Pierre et Miquelon
(Overseas collectivity of France)
  Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Civil solidarity pact since 1999[137]   Legal since 2013[138]   Legal since 2013[139]     Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[56]   Under French law since 2017, sterilization was abolished for gender transitioning.[140]
  United States   Legal in some states since 1962, nationwide since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Domestic partnership in California (1999),[141] the District of Columbia (2002),[142] Maine (2004),[143] Oregon (2008),[144] Maryland (2008),[145] Wisconsin (2009)[146] and Nevada (2009)[147];
Civil union in New Jersey (2007),[148] Illinois (2011),[149] Hawaii (2012),[150] and Colorado (2013)[151]
  Legal in some states since 2004.
Nationwide since 2015
, except American Samoa and some tribal jurisdictions.[152][153]
  Legal in some states since 1993.
Nationwide since 2015, except American Samoa.[153]
  Since 2011[154]   Federal executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation for employees in the federal civilian workforce, along with the 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. (Banned in California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Mexico, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, the District of Columbia and some cities such as Miami Beach, Cincinnati and Seattle). Included in the federal hate crimes law since 2009.
(Sexual orientation discrimination in public and private employment)
 /  Gender identity discrimination in employment and healthcare insurance banned since 2012.[155][156] Included in the federal hate crimes law since 2009. Employment discrimination based on sexual orientation banned since 2015.[157]
(Gender identity discrimination in public and private employment)

Central America

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGBT people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
  Belize   Legal since 2016[158]           Section 16(3) of the constitution bans discrimination on the basis of sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed[159] The ruling overturning Section 53 of the criminal code specifically stated "sex" as mentioned in Section 16(3) of the constitution, includes sexual orientation.[160][161]   Transgender persons can change their legal name without surgeries.

  Gender change is not allowed.[162]

  Costa Rica   Legal since 1971
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Unregistered cohabitation since 2014;
(De facto union pending)[163][164]
  (Court decision pending)  (Court decision pending) LGBT individuals may adopt.[165] Has no military.   Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[5]   Transgender persons can change their legal name without surgeries. Judicial permission required.

  Gender change is not allowed.

  El Salvador   Legal since the 1800s
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  (Court decision pending)   (Constitutional ban pending) (Court decision pending)[166]  (Court decision pending)  [167]   Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[167]   Bans hate crimes based on gender identity.[168][169]

  Transgender persons can change their legal name. Judicial permission required.

  Gender change is not allowed.[170]

  Guatemala   Legal since 1800's
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  (Proposed)   (Proposed)   (Proposed)     Bans some anti-gay discrimination.   Transgender persons can change their legal name without surgeries. Judicial permission required.[171]

  Gender change is not allowed.

  Honduras   Legal since 1899
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
    Constitutional ban since 2005.[172][173]       Bans all anti-gay discrimination, including hate speech.[174]   Bans hate crimes based on gender identity.[5]
  Nicaragua   Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
          Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[5]  
  Panama   Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
 (Court decision pending)  (Court decision pending)  (Court decision pending) Has no military.   Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[175]

(Anti-discrimination law proposed).[176]

  Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2006.[177] Legal name change, without surgeries, is allowed since 2016.[178]

Caribbean

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGBT 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 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
        UK responsible for defence.    
  Antigua and Barbuda   Illegal
Penalty: 15-year prison sentence.[5]
           
  Aruba
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Civil Unions since 2016[179]   (Proposed)/ [citation needed]
Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized.[180]
  (Proposed)   The Netherlands responsible for defence.    
  Bahamas   Legal since 1991 (age of consent discrepancy)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
       [5]    
  Barbados   Illegal
Penalty: Life imprisonment (not enforced) (Proposed) .[5]
           
  British Virgin Islands
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
        UK responsible for defence.   Constitutional ban on all anti-gay discrimination.[181]  
  Caribbean Netherlands
(Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba; Special municipalities of the Netherlands)
  Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Registered partnership since 2012[182]   Legal since 2012[183]  [184]   The Netherlands responsible for defence.   Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[185]  [186]
  Cayman Islands
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 2000 (age of consent discrepancy)[5]
+ UN decl. sign.
   /  Same-sex marriage not expressly prohibited under Cayman Islands law, but Constitutional right of a man and a woman to marry a person of the opposite sex since 2009.[187] Same-sex marriages performed in a foreign country are now recognized for immigration purposes. [188]     UK responsible for defence.    
  Cuba   Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  (Proposed)   Constitutional ban since 1976.    [5]   Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[189][190]  [191]
  Curaçao
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  (Proposed)[citation needed]   (Proposed)/  Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized.[180]   (Proposed)   The Netherlands responsible for defence.    
  Dominica   Illegal
Penalty: 10-year prison sentence or incarceration in a psychiatric institution (Not enforced)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
           
  Dominican Republic   Legal since 1822
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
    Constitutional ban since 2010.[192]    [193]    
  Grenada   Male illegal
Penalty: 10-year prison sentence
  Female always legal.[5]
      Has no military.    
  Guadeloupe
(Overseas department of France)
  Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Civil solidarity pact since 1999[137]   Legal since 2013[138]   Legal since 2013[139]     Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[56]   Under French law since 2017, sterilization was abolished for gender transitioning.[140]
  Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
(Extraterritorial jurisdiction of the United States)
  Legal since 1903     Legal   Legal   USA responsible for defense.  [194]  [195]
  Haiti   Legal since 1986[5]       Has no military.    
  Jamaica   Male illegal
Penalty: 10 years hard labor (not enforced)
  Female always legal.[5]
           
  Martinique
(Overseas department of France)
  Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Civil solidarity pact since 1999[137]   Legal since 2013[138]   Legal since 2013[139]     Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[56]   Under French law since 2017, sterilization was abolished for gender transitioning.[140]
  Montserrat
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
    Constitutional ban since 2010.[196]     UK responsible for defence.   Constitutional ban on all anti-gay discrimination.[197]  
  Puerto Rico
(Commonwealth of the United States)
  Legal since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Since 2015   Legal since 2015[198]   Legal since 2015   Since 2011[154]   Bans hate crimes since 2002 and anti–employment discrimination since 2013. US hate crime laws also apply.   Bans hate crimes since 2002 and anti–employment discrimination since 2013. US hate crime laws also apply.
  Saint Barthélemy
(Overseas collectivity of France since 2007)
  Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Civil solidarity pact since 1999[137]   Legal since 2013[138]   Legal since 2013[139]     Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[56]   Under French law since 2017, sterilization was abolished for gender transitioning.[140]
  Saint Kitts and Nevis   Male illegal
Penalty: 10 years
  Female always legal.[5]
           
  Saint Lucia   Male illegal
Penalty: fine and/or 10-year prison sentence
  Female always legal.[5]
      Has no military.    
  Saint Martin
(Overseas collectivity of France since 2007)
  Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Civil solidarity pact since 1999[137]   Legal since 2013[138]   Legal since 2013[139]     Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[56]   Under French law since 2017, sterilization was abolished for gender transitioning.[140]
  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines   Illegal
Penalty: fine and/or 10-year prison sentence.[5]
      Has no military.    
  Sint Maarten
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  (Proposed)[citation needed]   (Proposed)/  Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized.[180]   (Proposed)   The Netherlands responsible for defence.    
  Trinidad and Tobago   Illegal
Penalty: 25-year prison sentence (not enforced).[5]
           
  Turks and Caicos Islands
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
    Constitutional ban since 2011.[199]     UK responsible for defence.   Constitutional ban on all anti-gay discrimination.[5]  
  United States Minor Outlying Islands
(Unincorporated organized territory of the United States)
  Legal     Legal   Legal   USA responsible for defense.    
  United States Virgin Islands
(Insular area of the United States)
  Legal since 1985
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Since 2015[153]   Legal since 2015[153]   Legal since 2015[153]   Since 2011[154]   The US hate crime laws also apply to all US external territories as well.   The US hate crime laws also apply to all US external territories as well.

South America

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGBT people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
  Argentina   Legal since 1887
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Civil union in Buenos Aires (2003)[200] and Rio Negro (2003)[201]
Cohabitation union nationwide since 2015[202]
  Legal since 2010.[203]   Legal since 2010   Since 2009[204]  /  Legal protection in some provinces (federal law pending).[205] Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal.   Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name without surgeries or judicial permission since 2012.[206]
  Bolivia   Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Constitutional ban on free unions.[207]
(Family life agreement pending)[208]
  Constitutional ban since 2009.[209]   LGBT individuals may adopt.[210]  [211][212][213]   Bans all anti-gay discrimination, including hate speech.[5]   Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name without surgeries or judicial permission since 2016.[214][215][216][217]
  Brazil   Legal since 1831
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  "Stable unions" legal in some states since 2004. All rights as recognized family entities available nationwide since 2011.[218][219]   Legal in some states since 2012, nationwide since 2013.[220][221]   Legal since 2010[222]   Since 1969[223]  /  All state-sanctioned social discrimination of citizens since 1988. Legal protection for sexual orientation in many jurisdictions (expansion of anti-discrimination (all) national Constitutional amendment discussed in the Senate).[224] Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal since 1999.[225][226]   Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2009.[227][228][229]
  Chile   Legal since 1999 (age of consent discrepancy)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Civil union agreement since 2015.[230]   (Pending).[231]  /  (Pending) Same-sex couples may adopt, although only one is recognized as legal parent.

LGBT individuals may adopt (Joint and step-child adoption pending).[232]

  Since 2012.[233]   Bans all anti-gay discrimination since 2012.[234]   Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2007. Judicial permission required.[235] Currently, a broader gender identity law (which would not require any surgeries or judicial permission) is being discussed by the congress.[236][237]
  Colombia   Legal since 1981
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  De facto marital union since 2007.[238]   Legal since 2016.[239]   Step-child adoption since 2014.[240] Joint adoption since 2015.[241]   Since 1999. Since 2009 the military special social security system can be used by same sex couples in the army.[5]   Bans all anti-gay discrimination including hate speech since 2011.[242]   Since 2015, transgender persons can change their legal gender and name manifesting their solemn will before a notar, no surgeries or judicial order required.[243]
  Ecuador   Legal since 1997
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  De facto union since 2009.[244][245]   Constitutional ban since 2009.[246]   LGBT individuals may adopt.[247]  [248]   Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[249]   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.[250][251][252]
  Falkland Islands
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 1989
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  (Awaiting royal assent)[253]   (Awaiting royal assent)[253]   (Awaiting royal assent)   UK responsible for defence.   Constitutional ban on all anti-gay discrimination.[254]  
  French Guiana
(Overseas department of France)
  Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Civil solidarity pact since 1999.[137]   Legal since 2013.[138]   Legal since 2013.[139]     Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[56]   Under French law since 2017, sterilization was abolished for gender transitioning.[140]
  Guyana   Illegal
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment (not enforced).[5]
     [255]  [256]    
  Paraguay   Legal since 1880 (age of consent discrepancy)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Constitutional ban since 1992.[257]   Constitutional ban since 1992.[258]       (Proposed).[259]  
  Peru   Legal since 1836-1837
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  (Pending)[260]       Since 2009.[261]  [262][263][264][265]   Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2016. Judicial permission required.[266][267]
  Suriname   Legal since 1869 (age of consent discrepancy)
+ UN decl.
          Bans some anti-gay discrimination, including hate speech since 2015.[268]   (Court decision pending).[269][270]
  Uruguay   Legal since 1934
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Concubinage union since 2008.[271]   Legal since 2013[272]   Legal since 2009[273]   Since 2009.[274]   Bans all anti-gay discrimination since 2004.[275]   Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name since 2009.[276]
  Venezuela   Legal since 1997
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  (Proposed)   (Proposed).[277]  (Proposed)     Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[5]  

Asia

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

Central Asia (3/5 legal in both sexes)

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
  Kazakhstan   Legal since 1998[5]        [278]    [279]
  Kyrgyzstan   Legal since 1998[5]            [279]
  Tajikistan   Legal since 1998[5]            [279]
  Turkmenistan   Male illegal
Penalty: up to 2-year prison sentence
  Female always legal[5]
           
  Uzbekistan   Male illegal
Penalty: up to 3-year prison sentence
  Female always legal[5]
           

Eurasia (all legal)

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
  Abkhazia   Legal after 1991            
  Akrotiri and Dhekelia
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
  Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Since 2005   Legal since 2014     Britain responsible for defence   Bans some anti-gay discrimination[280]  
  Armenia   Legal since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
    Constitutionally banned since 2015[281][282]    /  No explicit ban. However, LGBT persons have been reportedly discharged because of their sexual orientation.[283]    
  Azerbaijan   Legal since 2000[5]             (Requires sterilization for change).[284]
  Cyprus   Legal since 1998
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
  Since 2015         Bans all anti-gay discrimination[285]   Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.
  Georgia   Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
    (Constitutional ban proposed)       Bans all anti-gay discrimination[286]   (Requires sterilization for change)[284]
  Nagorno-Karabakh   Legal since 2000     Constitutionally banned since 2006 [287]        
  Northern Cyprus   Legal since 2014[288][289][5]           Bans all anti-gay discrimination[288][289]   Discrimination or hate speech banned since 2014.[288][289]

  Unknown if gender change is legal.

  Russia   Male legal since 1993
Female always legal[290][5]
Illegal in practice in Chechnya
    (Constitutional ban proposed)   LGBT individuals may adopt.   Unofficial Don't ask, don't tell policy     (Requires sterilization for change)[284]
  South Ossetia   Legal after 1991            
  Turkey   Legal since 1858[5]         (Proposed)[291]   (Proposed)[292]   (Requires sterilization for change)

Western Asia (6/14 legal)

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
  Bahrain   Legal since 1976 (Age of consent discrepancy)[5]            
  Iran     Illegal
Penalty: For men 74 lashes for immature men and death penalty for mature men of sound mind and is consenting. For women 50 lashes for women of mature sound mind and is consenting. Death penalty offense after fourth conviction.[5]
            Legal gender recognition in Iran is legal if accompanied by a medical intervention.[293]
  Iraq   Legal since 2003[294]