LGBT rights by country or territory


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.

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

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 emprisonment 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

Notably, as of January 2021, 29 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 Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Nigeria (in the northern third of the country), Saudi Arabia, Somalia (in the autonomous state of Jubaland) and the United Arab Emirates. Sudan rescinded its unenforced death penalty for anal sex (hetero- or homosexual) in 2020.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 only enforced by the legal authorities in Iran.[1][2]

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.[3][4]

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.[5][6] 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.[7]

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"[8][9] 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.[10][11] In Deuteronomy 22:5, cross-dressing is condemned as "abominable".[12][13]

Assyria

In Assyrian society, sex crimes were punished identically whether they were homosexual or heterosexual.[14] 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.[14] 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".[15][16] However, homosexual relationships with fellow soldiers, slaves, royal attendants, or those where a social better was submissive or penetrated, were treated as bad omens.[17][18]

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."[19][20][21] 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.[22]

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.[23] 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.[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 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]

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.[41] As of 2018, more than half of the 71 countries that criminalised homosexuality were former British colonies or protectorates.[42]

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 emprisonment 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[43]
  Unknown punishment
  Imprisonment
Decriminalization of same-sex sexual intercourse by country or territory
  1790–1799
  1800–1819
  1820–1829
  1830–1839
  1840–1859
  1860–1869
  1870–1879
  1880–1889
  1890–1909
  1910–1919
  1920–1929
  1930–1939
  1940–1949
  1950–1959
  1960–1969
  1970–1979
  1980–1989
  1990–1999
  2000–2009
  2010–present
  Unknown date of legalization of same-sex intercourse
  Same-sex sexual intercourse always legal
  Male same-sex sexual intercourse illegal
  Same-sex sexual intercourse illegal
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 territory or established reichskommissariats which extended Germany's laws against same-sex sexual intercourse to those territories and reichskommissariats. Age of consent was previously equalized for same-sex couples in the following countries or territories before German annexation or establishment of reichskommissariats: Belluno (legal in 1890), Friuli-Venezia Giulia (legal in 1890), Poland (always legal, confirmed in 1932), and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol (legal in 1890). 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.
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
  Judicial order for recognition not yet tested (Armenia)
  Civil unions or domestic partnerships
  Limited legal recognition (registered cohabitation)
  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
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
LGBT 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
Up to 3 years imprisonment with fines up to 10,000 dinars,[44] torture,[45] beatings,[46] or vigilante execution
Canary Islands
(Autonomous community of Spain)
Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
De facto unions legal since 2003[48] Legal since 2005[49] Legal since 2005[50][51] Spain responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination[52] Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[53]
Ceuta
(Autonomous city of Spain)
Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
De facto union since 1998[54] Legal since 2005[49] Legal since 2005[50] Spain responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[53]
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.[47][55]
Libya De facto: illegal: Islamic Sharia Law is applied

De jure: Not specifically outlawed
Penalty: Up to 4 years in jail or death[56][57]

Madeira
(Autonomous region of Portugal)
Legal since 1983
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
De facto union since 2001[58][59] Legal since 2010[60] Legal since 2016[61][62][63] Portugal responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[52] Since 2011, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[64]
Melilla
(Autonomous city of Spain)
Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
De facto union since 2008[65] Legal since 2005[49] Legal since 2005[50] Spain responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination[66] Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[53]
Morocco
(including Southern Provinces)
Illegal since 1962
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment and fines.[47][67]Legalization proposed
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.[47][68][69]
South Sudan Illegal since 1899 (as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment.[47][70]
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.[71][72]
Tunisia Illegal since 1913 (as the French protectorate of Tunisia)
Penalty: 3 years imprisonment.[47][73]
Legalization proposed[74]

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);[47][75]
Age of consent discrepancy[47]
Burkina Faso Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[47] Constitutional ban since 1991
Cape Verde Legal since 2004
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Bans some anti-gay discrimination[47]
Gambia Illegal since 1888 (as the Gambia Colony and Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to Iife imprisonment.[47][76][70]
Forms of gender expression criminalized since 2013[77]
Ghana Male illegal since 1860s (as the Gold Coast)
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.
Female always legal[47][78][70]
Guinea Illegal since 1988
Penalty: 6 months to 10 years imprisonment.[79]
Guinea-Bissau Legal since 1993[47]
+ UN decl. sign.
Ivory Coast Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[47]
Liberia Illegal since 1976
Penalty: 1 year imprisonment.[47][80]
Mali Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[47]
Mauritania Illegal: Islamic Sharia Law is applied
Penalty: Capital punishment for men, (not enforced); prison and a fine for women.[47][81]
Niger Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[47]
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.[47][82][70]
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.[47]
Legal since 2017 Legal since 2017[83][84] Legal since 2017 UK responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination
Senegal Illegal since 1966
Penalty: 1 to 5 years imprisonment.[47][85]
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.[47]
Togo Illegal since 1884 (as Togoland)
Penalty: Fine and 3 years imprisonment.[47][70]

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.[47][70] or vigilante execution and torture[86]
Central African Republic Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[47] Constitutional ban since 2016[87]
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) [88]
Democratic Republic of the Congo Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[47] 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[47]
Equatorial Guinea Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[47]
Gabon Legal since 2020[89]
+ UN decl. sign.
São Tomé and Príncipe Legal since 2012
+ UN decl. sign.[47]

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.[47][90]
Constitutional ban since 2005
Kenya Illegal since 1897 (as the East Africa Protectorate)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment.[47][70]
Constitutional ban since 2010[91]
Rwanda Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[47]
+ UN decl. sign.
Constitutional ban since 2003
Tanzania Illegal since 1864 (only Zanzibar)
Illegal since 1899
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment.[47][70] Vigilante executions, beatings and torture[92][93] are also tolerated.
Uganda Male illegal since 1894
Female illegal since 2000 Penalty: Life imprisonment. Beatings, torture, or vigilante execution are also common.[94]
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 Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[47]
Eritrea Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[47][95] or death[96] Beatings and torture are also tolerated.[97]
Ethiopia Illegal
Penalty: Up to 15 years.[47]
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.[98]

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.[47][99]
French Southern and Antarctic Lands
(Overseas territory of France)
Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the territory)[47]
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[47]
Mauritius Male illegal
Penalty: Up to 5 years imprisonment.
Female always legal[100]
+ UN decl. sign.[47][101]
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[102][103]
Mayotte
(Overseas region of France)
Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the region)[47]
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[47] 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[104]
+ UN decl. sign.
Bans some anti-gay discrimination[47]

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 [105] Bans all anti-gay discrimination[106] May possibly change gender under the Código do Registro Civil 2015[107]
Botswana Legal since 2019 [108] Bans some anti-gay discrimination Legal gender change recognized as a constitutional right since 2017[109]
Eswatini Male illegal since the 1880s
Female always legal[47][70]
Lesotho Male legal since 2012
Female always legal[47]
May possibly change gender under the National Identity Cards Act 9 of 2011[110]
Malawi Illegal since 1891 (as British Central Africa Protectorate)[111]
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment, with or without corporal punishment for men
up to 5 years imprisonment for women (rarely enforced; suspending moratorium legality disputed)[47][112][70]
Men can't have long hair.
Mozambique Legal since 2015[113][114] Bans some anti-gay discrimination[47][102]
Namibia Male illegal since 1920 (not enforced; repeal proposed)[70][115]
Female always legal[47][116][117]
Under the Births, Marriages and Deaths Registration Act 81 of 1963[118]
South Africa Male legal since 1998
Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
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.[47][70]
Zimbabwe Male illegal since 1891 (as part of the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia)
Female legal[47][70]
Constitutional ban since 2013[119]

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.[47]
Domestic partnerships since 2018[120] Legal since November 2018 and between May 2017 and June 2018 Legal since 2015[121] UK responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination[122]
Canada Legal since 1969
+ UN decl. sign.[47][123]
Domestic partnerships in Nova Scotia (2001);[124]
Civil unions in Quebec (2002);[125]
Adult interdependent relationships in Alberta (2003);[126]
Common-law relationships in Manitoba (2004)[127]
Legal in some provinces and territories since 2003, nationwide since 2005[128] Legal in some provinces and territories since 1996, nationwide since 2011[129] Since 1992[130]; Includes transgender people[131] Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal in Manitoba and Ontario since 2015, and Vancouver and Nova Scotia since 2018 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[132][133][134][135]
Greenland
(Autonomous Territory within the Kingdom of Denmark)
Legal since 1933
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Registered partnerships between 1996 and 2016 (Existing partnerships are still recognised.)[136] Legal since 2016 Stepchild adoption since 2009;[137]
joint adoption since 2016[138]
The Kingdom of Denmark responsible for defence Bans some anti-gay discrimination[47] Legal gender change and recognition possible without surgery or hormone therapy[139][140]
Mexico Legal since 1871
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
/ Civil unions in Mexico City (2007), Coahuila (2007),[141] Colima (between 2013 and 2016),[142] Campeche (2013),[143] Jalisco (between 2014 and 2018),[144] Michoacán (2015) and Tlaxcala (2017) / Legal in Mexico City (2010),[145] Quintana Roo (2012),[146] 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), and Tlaxcala (2020)
All states are obliged to recognise same-sex marriages performed in states where it is legal.[145][147][148]
The Supreme Court has declared that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples in all states,[149] but as state laws were not invalidated, individual injunctions must still be obtained from the courts[150][151]
/ Legal in Mexico City (2010),[152] Coahuila (2014), Chihuahua (2015), Michoacán (2016), Colima (2016), Morelos (2016), Campeche (2016), Veracruz (2016), Baja California (2017), Querétaro (2017), Chiapas (2017), Puebla (2017),[153][154] San Luis Potosí (2019)[155] and Hidalgo (2019)[156] (ambiguous) Bans all anti-gay discrimination[157] / Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name in Mexico City (2008),[158] 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), and the city of Guadalajara
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
(Overseas collectivity of France)
Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Civil solidarity pact since 1999[159] Legal since 2013[160] Legal since 2013[161] Bans all anti-gay discrimination[66] Under French law[162]
United States Legal in some states since 1962, nationwide since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
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.[163]
Transvestites are currently banned from the military since 2012.[164]
Most openly Intersex people may be banned from the military under the Armed Forces ban of "hermaphrodites".[165]
/ 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.
/ Gender change is legal, under varying conditions, 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[166] Bans all anti-gay discrimination[167][168][169] [170]
Costa Rica Legal since 1971
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Unregistered cohabitation since 2014[171][172] Legal since May 2020 Legal since May 2020[173] Has no military Bans all anti-gay discrimination[47] Transgender persons can change their legal gender without surgeries or judicial permission since 2018[174]
El Salvador Legal since 1822
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
[175][176] Bans all anti-gay discrimination[175] [177] Bans discrimination based on gender identity.
Guatemala Legal since 1871
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Pending Bans some anti-gay discrimination [178]
Honduras Legal since 1899
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Constitutional ban on de facto unions since 2005 Constitutional ban since 2005;[179][180] court decision pending Constitutional ban since 2005 Bans all anti-gay discrimination[181]
Nicaragua Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Bans some anti-gay discrimination[47]
Panama Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Court decision pending Court decision pending Court decision pending Has no military Bans some anti-gay discrimination[182][183] Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2006[184][185]

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.[47]
UK responsible for defence
Antigua and Barbuda Illegal
Penalty: 15-year prison sentence (Not enforced).[47]
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.[47]
Registered partnerships since 2016[186] / Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized[187] The Netherlands responsible for defence
Bahamas Legal since 1991;
Age of consent discrepancy
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
[47]
Barbados Illegal
Penalty: Life imprisonment (Not enforced).[47] Legalization proposed
/ Foreign Domestic Partnerships recognized for immigration purposes "Welcome Stamp"[188]

Civil Unions proposed.[189]

Bans some anti-gay discrimination[190]
Bonaire
(a special municipality of the Netherlands)
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the municipalities)
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
[191] Legal since 2012[192] [193] The Netherlands responsible for defence
British Virgin Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
UK responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination[194]
Cayman Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Legal since 2001; Age of consent discrepancy[47]
+ UN decl. sign.
Civil Partnerships since 2020[195] Legal since 2020 UK responsible for defence
Cuba Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
legalization pending [196] [47][197] Bans all anti-gay discrimination [198][199][200] Transgender people allowed to change gender after sex change operations[201]
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.[47]
Pending / Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized[187] The Netherlands responsible for defence
Dominica Illegal
Penalty: 10-year prison sentence or incarceration in a psychiatric institution (Not enforced).
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Dominican Republic Legal since 1822
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Constitutional ban since 2010[citation needed] [202]
Grenada Male illegal
Penalty: 10-year prison sentence (Rarely enforced).[203]
Female always legal[47]
Has no military
Guadeloupe
(Overseas department of France)
Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Civil solidarity pact since 1999[159] Legal since 2013[160] Legal since 2013[161] France responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination[66] Under French law[162]
Haiti Legal since 1791 (as Saint-Domingue)[47] Has no military
Jamaica Male illegal
Penalty: 10 years and/or hard labor (Not enforced). Legalization proposed
Female always legal.[47]
Constitutional ban since 1962
Martinique
(Overseas department of France)
Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Civil solidarity pact since 1999[159] Legal since 2013[160] Legal since 2013[161] France responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination[66] Under French law[162]
Montserrat
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Constitutional ban since 2010[204] UK responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination[205]
Puerto Rico
(Commonwealth of the United States)
Legal since 2003 Legal since 2015 Legal since 2015[206] Legal since 2015 United States responsible for defense[207][208] 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.[47]
[191] Legal since 2012[192] [193] The Netherlands responsible for defence
Saint Barthélemy
(Overseas collectivity of France)
Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Civil solidarity pact since 1999[159] Legal since 2013[160] Legal since 2013[161] France responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination[66] Under French law[162]
Saint Kitts and Nevis Male illegal
Penalty: 10 years (Not enforced).
Female always legal[47]
Saint Lucia Male illegal
Penalty: Fine and/or 10-year prison sentence (Not enforced). Legalization proposed
Female always legal[47]
Has no military
Saint Martin
(Overseas collectivity of France)
Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Civil solidarity pact since 1999[159] Legal since 2013[160] Legal since 2013[161] France responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination[66] Under French law[162]
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Illegal
Penalty: Fine and/or 10-year prison sentence (Not enforced).[47] Legalization proposed
Has no military
Sint Eustatius
(a special municipality of the Netherlands)
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the municipalities)
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
[191] Legal since 2012[192] [193] The Netherlands responsible for defence
Sint Maarten
(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.[47]
/ Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized[187] The Netherlands responsible for defence
Trinidad and Tobago Legal since 2018[209]
Turks and Caicos Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Constitutional ban since 2011[210] UK responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination[47]
United States Virgin Islands
(Territory of the United States)
Legal since 1985 Legal since 2015[211] Legal since 2015[211] Legal since 2015[211] United States responsible for defense[207][208]

South America

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Argentina Legal since 1887
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Civil unions in Buenos Aires (2003),[212] Río Negro Province (2003),[213] Villa Carlos Paz (2007) and Río Cuarto (2009)
Cohabitation unions nationwide since 2015[214]
Legal since 2010[215] Legal since 2010 Since 2009[216] / Legal protection in some cities;[217]
pending nationwide.
Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal since 2010
Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name without surgeries or judicial order since 2012[218]

Transgender persons have a law reserving 1% of Argentina's public sector jobs. Economic incentives included in the new law aim to help trans people find work in all sectors. [219]

Bolivia Legal since 1832
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Since 2020;[220]
Family life agreement pending[221][222]
Constitutional ban since 2009[223] LGBT individuals may adopt, but not same-sex couples[224] Since 2015[225][226][227]; Includes transgender people[228] Bans all anti-gay discrimination[47] Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name without surgeries or judicial order since 2016[229][230][231][232]
Brazil Legal since 1831
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
"Stable unions" legal in some states since 2004; all rights as recognized family entities available nationwide since 2011[233][234] Legal in some states since 2012, nationwide since 2013[235][236] Legal since 2010[237] Since 1969[238] Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[239]
Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal since 1999[240][241]
Transgender people can change their legal gender and name before a notary without the need of surgeries or judicial order since 2018[242][243][244]
Chile Legal since 1999;
Age of consent discrepancy
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Civil unions since 2015[245] Pending[246] Pending[247] Since 2012[248]; Includes transgender people[249] Bans all anti-gay discrimination[250]
Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal since 2021
Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name since 1974.
No surgeries or judicial order since 2019.[251]
Colombia Legal since 1981
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
De facto marital union since 2007[252] Legal since 2016[253] Stepchild adoption since 2014;[254] joint adoption since 2015[255] Since 1999[47] Bans all anti-gay discrimination[256] Since 2015, transgender persons can change their legal gender and name manifesting their solemn will before a notar, no surgeries or judicial order required[257]
Ecuador Legal since 1997
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
De facto unions since 2009[258][259] Legal since 2019[260] LGBT individuals may adopt, but not same-sex couples[261] [262] Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[263]
Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal since 2014
Since 2016, transgender persons are allowed to change their birth name and gender identity; no surgeries or judicial order required[264][265][266]
Falkland Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Legal since 1989
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Civil partnerships since 2017[267] Legal since 2017[267] Legal since 2017 UK responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination[268]
French Guiana
(Overseas department of France)
Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Civil solidarity pact since 1999[159] Legal since 2013[160] Legal since 2013[161] France responsible for defence Bans all anti-gay discrimination[66] Under French law[162]
Guyana Illegal
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment (Not enforced).[47]
[269] [270]
Paraguay Legal since 1880; Age of consent discrepancy
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Constitutional ban since 1992[271] Constitutional ban since 1992[272] [273]
Peru Legal since 1924
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Proposed[274] Proposed Since 2009[275] Bans all anti-gay discrimination[276][277][278][279][280] Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name without the need for the completion of medical intervention since 2016. Judicial order required.[281][282]
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.
Legal since 2014[283] Legal since 2014[283] UK responsible for defence
Suriname Legal since 1869 (as Dutch Guiana);
Age of consent discrepancy
Bans all anti-gay discrimination[284] Court decision pending[285][286]
Uruguay Legal since 1934
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Concubinage union since 2008[287] Legal since 2013[288] Legal since 2009[289] Since 2009[290] Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[291] Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal since 2017 Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name without surgeries or judicial order required since 2009.[292] Self-determination since 2018.
Venezuela Legal since 1997
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Constitutional ban on de facto unions since 1999;
Proposed
Constitutional ban since 1999;
court decision pending[293]
Bans some anti-gay discrimination[47]

Asia

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

Central Asia

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
Afghanistan Illegal
Penalty: Long imprisonment or death penalty (No known cases of death sentences have been handed out for same-sex sexual activity after the end of Taliban rule).[47]
Kazakhstan Legal since 1998[47] [294]
Kyrgyzstan Legal since 1998[47] Constitutional ban since 2016[295] Requires sex reassignment surgery[296][297]
Tajikistan Legal since 1998[47] Requires sex reassignment surgery[298][297]
Turkmenistan Male illegal
Penalty: up to 2 years imprisonment.
Female always legal[47]
Uzbekistan Male illegal
Penalty: up to 3 years imprisonment.
Female always legal[47] Legalization proposed

Eurasia

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
Abkhazia
(Disputed territory)
Legal after 1991
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Civil partnerships since 2005 Legal since 2014 UK responsible for defence Bans some anti-gay discrimination[299]
Armenia Legal since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Constitutional ban since 2015[300][301] [302]
Artsakh
(Disputed territory)
Legal since 2000 Constitutional ban since 2006[303]
Azerbaijan Legal since 2000[47]
Cyprus Legal since 1998
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Civil unions since 2015 Bans all anti-gay discrimination[304] / Gender identity and expression is protected from discrimination. Right to change legal gender proposed.
Georgia Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[47]
Constitutional ban passed but yet to take effect Bans all anti-gay discrimination[305] Requires sterilization and sex reassignment surgery for change[306]
Kazakhstan Legal since 1998[47] [307] Requires sex reassignment surgery, sterilization, hormone therapy and medical examinations[297]
Northern Cyprus
(Disputed territory)
Legal since 2014[308][309][47] Bans all anti-gay discrimination[308][309]
Russia Male legal since 1993
Female always legal[310][47]
Illegal in practice in Chechnya, where homosexuals are abducted and sent to concentration camps based on their perceived sexual orientation.
Constitutional ban since July 2020[citation needed] [citation needed] Requires sterilization and sex reassignment surgery for change[306]
South Ossetia
(Disputed territory)
Legal after 1991
Turkey Legal since 1858[47] Proposed[311][failed verification] Proposed[311] Requires sterilisation and sex reassignment surgery for change[312]

West Asia

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
Bahrain Legal since 1976[47] Sex change surgeries allowed since 2014, but no legal recognition.[313]
Iran Illegal
Penalty: 74 lashes for immature men and death penalty for mature men (although there are recorded cases of minors who were executed because of their sexual orientation).[314] For women, 50 lashes for women of mature sound mind and if consenting. Death penalty offense after fourth conviction.[47]
Legal gender recognition legal if accompanied by a medical intervention[315]