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LGBT rights by country or territory

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This article is about current LGBT rights around the world. For historical and current movements to further LGBT rights, see LGBT social movements.
Worldwide laws regarding homosexual
relationships and expression
     Marriage      Restricted freedom of expression
     Other type of partnership or unregistered cohabitation      Unenforced penalty
     Marriage recognized but not performed      Imprisonment
     Marriage recognized federally but not performed      Up to life in prison
     Same-sex unions not recognized      Death penalty
Click on map to view an enlarged version where rings in various locations become visible. These indicate places with local or case-by-case applications of law.
LGBT rights at the United Nations
     Support Countries which have signed a General Assembly declaration of LGBT rights and/or sponsored the Human Rights Council's 2011 resolution on LGBT rights (94 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 (46 members).

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[1] and civil rights.[2] LGBT rights laws include, but are not limited to, the following:

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 April 2015, seventy three countries have laws criminalizing homosexuality. [a]

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).[5] 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."[6] 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 male "bonding rituals".[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 of depicting love between same sexes 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 Israel and West Asia

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".

Middle Assyrian Law Codes dating 1075 BC states: "If a man have intercourse with his brother-in-arms, they shall turn him into a eunuch."[citation needed]

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 the bacchás, 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 Rome

The "conquest mentality" of the ancient Romans shaped Roman homosexual practices.[10] 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;[11] for the male citizen to submit his body to the giving of pleasure was considered servile.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20]

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,[21] as a violation of military discipline.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] Soldiers were free to have relations with their male slaves;[25] the use of a fellow citizen-soldier's body was prohibited, not homosexual behaviors per se.[26] 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.[27]

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.[28] 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.[29]

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.[30] "Death by sword" was the punishment for a "man coupling like a woman" under the Theodosian Code.[31] Under Justinian, all same-sex acts, passive or active, no matter who the partners, were declared contrary to nature and punishable by death.[32]

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.[33]

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",[34] 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.[35]

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.[36]

LGBT-related laws by country or territory

Decriminalization of same-sex sexual activity by country or territory
  1790–1799
  1800–1829
  1830–1839
  1840–1859
  1860–1869
  1870–1879
  1880–1889
  1890–1929
  1930–1939
  1940–1949
  1950–1959
  1960–1969
  1970–1979
  1980–1989
  1990–1999
  2000–2009
  2010-present
  Same-sex sexual activity legal
  Male same-sex sexual activity illegal
  Same-sex sexual activity illegal
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 deferral1
  No Data
1No restriction in Israel and the United States of America if last MSM activity was before 1977.

Africa

Main article: LGBT rights in Africa
Tables:

Northern Africa

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
Algeria Algeria No Illegal
Penalty: Fine and up to 2 years imprisonment.[37]
No No No No No No
Egypt Egypt No Male de facto illegal
Penalty: Up to 17 years imprisonment with or without hard labour and with or without torture and fines under broadly written morality laws
Emblem-question.svg Female uncertain.[37][38]
No No No No No No
Libya Libya No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[37][39]
No No No No No No
Morocco Morocco
(including Southern Provinces)
No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[37][40]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
South Sudan South Sudan No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment.[37]
No No Constitutional ban since 2011. No No No No
Sudan Sudan No Illegal
Penalty: Death penalty on third offense for men and on fourth offense for women.[37]
No No No No No No
Tunisia Tunisia No Illegal
Penalty: 3 years imprisonment.[37][41]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No

Western Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Benin Benin Yes Legal (no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country).[37][42](Age of consent discrepancy)[43] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Yes Legal (no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country).[37] No No Constitutional ban since 1991. No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Cape Verde Cape Verde Yes Legal since 2004
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[37] Emblem-question.svg
Ivory Coast Côte d'Ivoire Yes Legal
(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country).[37](Age of consent discrepancy)[44]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
The Gambia Gambia No Illegal
Penalty: Up to Iife imprisonment.[37][45]
No No No No No No
Ghana Ghana No Male illegal
Penalty: 10 years imprisonment or more
Yes Female always legal.[37][46]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Guinea Guinea No
Penalty: 6 months to 3 years imprisonment.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau Yes Legal since 1993[37]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Liberia Liberia No Illegal
Penalty: 1 year imprisonment.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Mali Mali Yes Legal (no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country).[37] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Mauritania Mauritania No Illegal
Penalty: Death penalty (no public executions for any crime since 1987).[37]
No No No No No No
Niger Niger Yes Legal (no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country).[37](Age of consent discrepancy)[47] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Nigeria Nigeria No Illegal under federal law
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.[37][48]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Senegal Senegal No Illegal
Penalty: 1 to 5 years imprisonment.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone No Male illegal
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment (not enforced)
Yes Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Togo Togo No Illegal
Penalty: Fine and 3 years imprisonment.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No

Central Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Cameroon Cameroon No Illegal
Penalty: Fines to 5 years imprisonment.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Central African Republic Central African Republic Yes Legal (no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country).
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Chad Chad Yes Legal (no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country).
(Same-sex sexual activity illegal in Aouzou Strip under annexation of Libya from 1973 to 1994).[37](Age of consent discrepancy)[49]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo Yes Legal (no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country).[37] No No Constitutional ban since 2005. No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea Yes Legal.[37] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Gabon Gabon Yes Legal (no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[37](Age of consent discrepancy)[50]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo Yes Legal (no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country).[37](Age of consent discrepancy)[51] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Saint Helena Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Emblem-question.svg No No Yes Since 2000. UK responsible for defence responsibility. Yes Discrimination banned by the constitution. Yes Since 2013.
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe Yes Legal since 2012
+ UN decl. sign.[37] [52]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg

Southeast Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Burundi Burundi No Illegal since 2009
Penalty: 3 months to 2 years imprisonment.[37][53]
No No Constitutional ban since 2005. No Emblem-question.svg No No
Kenya Kenya No Illegal
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment,[37]
No No Constitutional ban since 2010.[54] No No No No
Rwanda Rwanda Yes Legal (no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country).[37] (Age of consent discrepancy)[55]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No Constitutional ban since 2003. No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Uganda Uganda No Male illegal
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment
Female illegal since 2000
Penalty: Up to 7 years imprisonment.[37]
No No Constitutional ban since 2005. No No No No
Tanzania Tanzania No Illegal
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No

Horn of Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Djibouti Djibouti Yes Legal
(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country).[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Eritrea Eritrea No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment (not enforced)[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Ethiopia Ethiopia No Illegal
Penalty: 10 years imprisonment or more[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Somalia Somalia No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment[37]
No No No No No No

Indian Ocean States

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Comoros Comoros No Illegal
Penalty: 5 years imprisonment & fines[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
French Southern and Antarctic Lands French Southern and Antarctic Lands
(Overseas territory of France)
Yes Legal
(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the territory).[37]
Yes Civil solidarity pact Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes However, it requires sterilization for sex change.
Madagascar Madagascar Yes Legal
(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country).[37](Age of consent discrepancy)[56]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Mauritius Mauritius Yes Legal
(no laws against same-sex sexual activity; however, anal sex is illegal, punishable with 5 years' prison)
Yes Female always legal
[57]+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[58][59] Emblem-question.svg
Mayotte Mayotte
(Overseas department of France)
Yes Legal
(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the department).[37]
Yes Civil solidarity pact Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes However, it requires sterilization for sex change.
Réunion Réunion
(Overseas department of France)
Yes Legal since 1791[37] Yes Civil solidarity pact Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes However, it requires sterilization for sex change.
Seychelles Seychelles No Male illegal
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment (not enforced)
Yes Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[37] Emblem-question.svg

Southern Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Angola Angola No De facto illegal
Penalty: Fines, restrictions or penal labor (not enforced)[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Botswana Botswana No Illegal
Penalty: Fine to up to 7 years imprisonment (not enforced)[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[37] No
Lesotho Lesotho Yes Male legal since 2012
Female always legal[60]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Malawi Malawi No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment & whippings (law suspended from usage since 2012)[37][61]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Mozambique Mozambique Yes Legal[62] No No No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[37][58] Emblem-question.svg
Namibia Namibia No Male illegal (not enforced)
Yes Female always legal[37][63][64]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
South Africa South Africa Yes Male legal since 1998
Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Limited recognition of unregistered partnerships since 1998; Same-sex marriage since 2006. Yes Legal since 2006 Yes Legal since 2002 Yes Since 1998 Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Anti-discrimination laws are interpreted to include gender identity; legal gender may be changed after surgical or medical treatment.
Swaziland Swaziland No Male illegal
Yes Female always legal[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Zambia Zambia No Illegal
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe No Male illegal
Yes Female always legal[37]
No No Constitutional ban since 2013 No Emblem-question.svg No No

Partially recognized or unrecognized states

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
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
(excluding Southern Provinces)
No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment[65]
No No No No No No
Somaliland Somaliland No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment[37]
No No No No No No



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 allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Bermuda Bermuda
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 1994 (Age of consent discrepancy)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Emblem-question.svg Yes UK responsible for defence. No Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[66] No
Canada Canada Yes Legal since 1969 (Age of consent discrepancy and prohibition of anal intercourse in some cases)
+ UN decl. sign.[37][67]
Yes Yes Legal since 2003,
mandatory legal status nationwide since 2005
.
Yes Legal nationwide, but specifics may vary by province and territory.[68] Yes Since 1992.[69] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination, including hate speech. Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention in most provinces and territories (not required in Ontario, British Columbia); Explicit anti-discrimination protections only in Alberta, NWT, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario, implicit elsewhere.[70][71][72]
Greenland Greenland
(constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark)
Yes Legal since 1933
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Registered partnership since 1996. Yes Legal by October 2015. Yes Step-child adoption since 2009.
Joint adoption by October 2015.
Yes Denmark responsible for defense. Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination. No
Mexico Mexico Yes Legal since 1872
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes/No Civil unions in Mexico City (2007), Coahuila (2007),[73] Colima (2013),[74] Jalisco (2013)[75] and Campeche (2013).[76] Yes/No Legal in Mexico City (2010),[77] Quintana Roo (2012)[78] and Coahuila (2014).
All states are obliged to honour same-sex marriages performed in states where it is legal.[77]
(Proposed nationwide).[79][80]
Yes/No Joint adoption legal in Mexico City (2010)[81] and Coahuila (2014).[82]
Nationwide, single gay persons may adopt.[83]
Yes/No No explicit ban. However, LGB persons have been reportedly discharged on the grounds of "immorality".[84] Yes Nationwide since 2003.[85] Yes/No Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name in Mexico City since 2008.[86]
Flag of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.svg Saint Pierre et Miquelon
(overseas collectivity of France)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Pacte civil de solidarité since 1999. Yes Legal since 2013. Yes Legal since 2013. Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Yes Requires sterilization for change.
United States United States Yes Legal nationwide since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes/No Varies by state, not recognized by federal gov't.
(Legal in some states where same-sex marriage is also legal. Domestic partnership benefits and civil unions granted by local level cities and counties in 15 states).
Yes/No Varies by state, recognized by federal gov't.
(Legal in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho,Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, 23 Native American Tribal Jurisdictions, St. Louis, MO, and the District of Columbia. Recognized in Missouri).
Yes/No Single bisexual, gay, and lesbian persons may adopt, laws on couples vary by state. Yes LGB people allowed to serve openly since 2011. Yes/No 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, New Jersey, Oregon and the District of Columbia). Included in the federal hate crimes law since 2009.
(Sexual orientation discrimination in public and private employment)
Yes/No Gender identity discrimination in employment and healthcare insurance banned since 2012.[87][88] Included in the federal hate crimes law since 2009.
(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 LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Belize Belize No Male illegal since 2003
Penalty: 10 year prison sentence (not enforced)
Yes Female always legal.[37]
No No No No No No
Costa Rica Costa Rica Yes Legal since 1971
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes For some purposes such as conjugal visit, health-related decisions and social insurance; (Civil union pending).[89][90] No No Has no military. Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. No
El Salvador El Salvador Yes Legal since the 1800's
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No (Constitutional ban pending)[91] No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. (Ban rarely encored) No
Guatemala Guatemala Yes Legal since 1800's
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Honduras Honduras Yes Legal since 1899
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Constitutional ban since 2005 No No Yes Prohibits hate crimes based on sexual orientation Yes Prohibits hate crimes based on gender identity
Nicaragua Nicaragua Yes Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[37] No
Panama Panama Yes Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Has no military. No No

Caribbean islands

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
Anguilla Anguilla
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Yes UK responsible for defence. No No
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda No Illegal
Penalty: 15 year prison sentence.[37]
No No No No No No
Aruba Aruba
(autonomous country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No/Yes Only unions performed in the Netherlands recognised. No/Yes Only same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognised. No Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence. No No
The Bahamas Bahamas Yes Legal since 1991 (Age of consent discrepancy)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Yes No No
Barbados Barbados No Illegal
Penalty: Life imprisonment (not enforced).[37]
No No No No No No
British Virgin Islands British Virgin Islands
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Yes UK responsible for defence. Yes Constitutional ban on discrimination No
Caribbean Netherlands Caribbean Netherlands
(Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba; special municipalities of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Yes Legal since 2012. Yes[92] Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence. Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Yes
Cayman Islands Cayman Islands
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2000 (Age of consent discrepancy) [93]
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Constitutional ban since 2009[94] No Yes UK responsible for defence. No No
Cuba Cuba Yes Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No (Proposed). No Constitutional ban since 1976 No Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[95][96] Yes
Curaçao Curaçao
(Autonomous country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No/Yes Only unions performed in the Netherlands recognised. No/Yes Only same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognised. No Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence. No No
Dominica Dominica No Illegal
Penalty: 10 year prison sentence or incarceration in a psychiatric institution
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No No No No
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Yes Legal since 1822
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Constitutional ban since 2010. No No[97] No No
Grenada Grenada No Male illegal
Penalty: 10 year prison sentence
Yes Female always legal.[37]
No No No Has no military No No
Guadeloupe Guadeloupe
(Overseas department of France)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Pacte civil de solidarité since 1999. Yes Legal since 2013. Yes Legal since 2013. Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Yes Requires sterilization for legal change.
Haiti Haiti Yes Legal since 1986.[37] No No No Has no military No No
Jamaica Jamaica No Male illegal
Penalty: 10 years hard labor (not enforced)
Yes Female always legal.[37]
No No No No No No
Martinique Martinique
(overseas department of France)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Pacte civil de solidarité since 1999. Yes Legal since 2013. Yes Legal since 2013. Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Yes Requires sterilization for legal change.
Montserrat Montserrat
(overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Constitutional ban since 2010[98] No Yes UK responsible for defence. Yes Constitutional ban on discrimination.[99] No
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico
(Commonwealth of the United States)
Yes Legal since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No/Yes Recognized federally since 2013 No/Yes Recognized federally since 2013 No Yes Since 2011. Yes Bans hate crimes since 2002 and anti–employment discrimination since 2013. US hate crime laws also apply. Yes Bans hate crimes since 2002 and anti–employment discrimination since 2013. US hate crime laws also apply.
Flag of Saint Barthelemy (local).svg Saint Barthélemy
(overseas collectivity of France since 2007)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Pacte civil de solidarité since 1999. Yes Legal since 2013. Yes Legal since 2013. Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Yes Requires sterilization for legal change.
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis No Male illegal
Penalty: 10 years
Yes Female always legal.[37]
No No No No No No
Saint Lucia Saint Lucia No Male illegal
Penalty: fine and/or 10 year prison sentence
Yes Female always legal.[37]
No No No Has no military No No
Flag of France.svg Saint Martin
(overseas collectivity of France since 2007)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Pacte civil de solidarité since 1999. Yes Legal since 2013. Yes Legal since 2013. Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Yes Requires sterilization for legal change.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines No Illegal
Penalty: fine and/or 10 year prison sentence.[37]
No No No Has no military No No
Sint Maarten Sint Maarten
(autonomous country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No/Yes Only unions performed in the Netherlands recognised. No/Yes Only same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognised. No Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence. No No
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago No Illegal
Penalty: 25 year prison sentence (not enforced).[37]
No No No No No No
Turks and Caicos Islands Turks and Caicos Islands
(overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Constitutional ban since 2011[100] No Yes UK responsible for defence. Yes Constitutional ban on discrimination No
United States Virgin Islands United States Virgin Islands
(insular area of the United States)
Yes Legal since 1985
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No/Yes Recognized federally since 2013 No/Yes Recognized federally since 2013 No Yes Since 2011. Yes The US hate crime laws also apply to all US external territories as well. Yes 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 LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Argentina Argentina Yes Legal since 1887
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Unregistered cohabitation since 2008.[101]
Civil union in four jurisdictions.
Yes Legal since 2010.[102] Yes Legal since 2010. Yes Since 2009.[103] No/Yes Legal protection in some provinces; (Federal law pending).[104] Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal. Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name without surgeries or judicial permission since 2012.[105]
Bolivia Bolivia Yes Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No (Pending). No Constitutional ban since 2009. No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt. Yes Since 2015 [106][107] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention.[108]
Brazil Brazil Yes Legal since 1831
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes "Stable unions" legal in some states since 2004, all rights as recognized family entities available nationwide since 2011.[109][110] Yes Legal in some states since 2011 (given interpretation of "stable union" legislation). Nationwide since 2013.[111][112] Yes Single gay persons explicitly accepted since 1996. Joint adoption legal since 2010.[113] Yes Since 1969.[114] No/Yes 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.[115] Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal since 1999.[116][117] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2009.[118][119][120]
Chile Chile Yes Legal since 1999 (Age of consent discrepancy)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Civil unions since 2015.[121][122] No (Pending)[123] Same-sex marriages performed abroad are recognised as Civil unions.[124] No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt (Step-child adoption and joint adoption pending).[125] Yes Since 2012.[126] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[127] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2007. Currently, a broader gender identity law (which would not require any surgeries or judicial permission) is being discussed by the congress.[128][129]
Colombia Colombia Yes Legal since 1981
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Since 2007. No/Yes Judges are able to marry same-sex couples using a 2011 court ruling; same-sex marriage bill proposed in Congress.[130] Yes/No Step-child adoption since 2014[131] Yes Since 1999. Since 2009 the military special social security system can be used by same sex couples in the army. Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination, including hate speech.[132] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2009.[133]
Ecuador Ecuador Yes Legal since 1997
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Civil unions since 2009.[134] No Constitutional ban since 2009. No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention.
Falkland Islands Falkland Islands
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 1989
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No (Pending).[135] No No Yes UK responsible for defence. Yes Constitutional ban on discrimination.[136] No
French Guiana French Guiana
(Overseas department of France)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Pacte civil de solidarité since 1999. Yes Legal since 2013. Yes Legal since 2013. Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Yes Requires sterilization for change.
Guyana Guyana No Illegal
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment (not enforced).[37]
No No No Yes [137] No Added to constitution in 2004, but withdrawn afterwards by the government. No
Paraguay Paraguay Yes Legal since 1880 (Age of consent discrepancy)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Constitutional ban since 1992. No Emblem-question.svg No No
Peru Peru Yes Legal since 1836-1837
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Yes Since 2009.[138] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Yes Transgender persons can change their legal name after completion of medical intervention. Gender change is not allowed by courts.
Suriname Suriname Yes Legal since 1869 (Age of consent discrepancy).[37] No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Uruguay Uruguay Yes Legal since 1934
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Civil unions since 2008.[139] Yes Legal since 2013.[140] Yes Legal since 2009.[141] Yes Since 2009.[142] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination since 2004.[143] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name since 2009.[144]
Venezuela Venezuela Yes Legal since 1997
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No/Yes Civil union in Mérida since 2010. No (Pending) Constitutional ban since 1999[145] No (Pending) Yes Since 1999. Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[146] No

Asia

Main article: 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 allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Yes Legal since 1998[37] No No No No[147] No No
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan Yes Legal since 1998[37] No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Tajikistan Tajikistan Yes Legal since 1998[37] No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan No Male illegal
Penalty: up to 2 year prison sentence
Yes Female always legal[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan No Male illegal
Penalty: up to 3 year prison sentence
Yes Female always legal[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No

Northern Asia

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
Akrotiri and Dhekelia Akrotiri and Dhekelia
(overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Emblem-question.svg Yes UK responsible for defence Emblem-question.svg Emblem-question.svg
Armenia Armenia Yes Legal since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No No/Yes No explicit ban. However, LGBT persons have been reportedly discharged because of their sexual orientation.[148] No No
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Yes Legal since 2000[37] No No No Yes Legal [149] No Yes (Requires sterilization for change).[150]
European UnionCyprus Cyprus Yes Legal since 1998
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No (Pending)[151][152] No No (Step-child adopting pending) No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.
Georgia (country) Georgia Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No (Constitutional ban proposed) No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[154] Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[150]
Russia Russia Yes Male legal since 1993
Female always legal[155][37]
No No (Constitutional ban proposed) No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt. Yes No Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[150]
Turkey Turkey Yes Legal since 1858[37] No No No No (Proposed)[156] No (Proposed)[157] Yes (Requires sterilization for change)

Western Asia

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 Bahrain Yes Legal since 1976[37] (Age of consent discrepancy) No No No No No No
Iraq Iraq Yes Legal since 2003[158] (Age of consent discrepancy) No No No No No No
Israel Israel Yes Legal since 1988
+ UN decl. sign.[37][159]
Yes Unregistered cohabitation since 1994;
(Civil union pending)[160]
No/Yes Cannot be performed in the country, but foreign same-sex marriages are recognised Yes Since 2008 Yes Since 1993 Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination [161][162] Yes Full recognition of gender's ID without a surgery or medical intervention [163]
Jordan Jordan Yes Legal since 1951[37] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Kuwait Kuwait No Male illegal
Penalty: Fines or up to 6 year prison sentence
Yes Female always legal[37][164]
No No No No No No
Lebanon Lebanon Yes Legal since 2014[165] No No No No No No
Oman Oman No Illegal
Penalty: Fines and prison sentence up to 3 years (only enforced when dealing with "public scandal")[37]
No No No No No No
State of Palestine Palestinian territories
(Gaza)
No Male illegal
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment
Yes Female always legal[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
State of Palestine Palestinian territories
(West Bank)
Yes Legal since 1951 (as part of Jordan)[37] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Qatar Qatar No Illegal
Penalty: Fines, prison sentence up to 7 years. Death penalty offense. (applies to Muslims only)[37]
No No No No No No
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia No Illegal
Penalty: Prison sentences of several months to life, fines and/or whipping/flogging, castration, torture or death can be sentenced on first conviction. A second conviction merits execution.[37]
No No No No No No
Syria Syria No Illegal
Penalty: Prison sentence up to 3 years (law in de-facto suspended)[166][37]
No No No No No No
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates No Illegal under federal law
Penalty: deportation, fines or prison time (unclear if the death penalty applies)
Illegal in the emirate of Dubai
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment
Illegal in the emirate of Abu Dhabi
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment[37]
No No No No No No
Yemen Yemen No Illegal
Penalty: Unmarried men punished

with 100 lashes of the whip or a maximum of one year of imprisonment, married men with death by stoning. Women punished up to three years of imprisonment; where the offense has been committed under duress, the punishment is up to seven years detention.[37]

No No No No No No

Southern Asia

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
Afghanistan Afghanistan No 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)[37]
No No No No No No
Bangladesh Bangladesh No Illegal
Penalty: 10 years to life imprisonment[37]
No No No No No Yes A third option (hijra) beside male and female[167]
Bhutan Bhutan No Illegal
Penalty: Prison sentence up to 1 year (not enforced)[37]
No No No No No No
India India No Illegal nationwide since 1860[168]
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment (not enforced)[169][168][37]
No No explicit recognition.[170] No No explicit recognition.[170] No No[171] No Yes "Third gender" recognised by Supreme Court[172]
Iran Iran No 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.[37]
No No No No No Yes Legal gender recognition in Iran is legal if accompanied by a medical intervention.[173]
Maldives Maldives No Illegal
Penalty: For men the punishment is banishment for nine months to one year or a whipping of 10 to 30 strokes. For women is house arrest for nine months to one year.[37]
No No No No[citation needed] No No
Nepal Nepal Yes Legal since 2007
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Under consideration No Under consideration Yes Yes Supreme Court ruled discrimination laws apply to homosexuals Yes "Third gender" cards have been issued since September 2007, legally protected class[174]
Pakistan Pakistan No Illegal
Penalty: 2 years to life sentence[37]
No No No No No Yes 'Third gender' officially protected from discrimination by Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2010
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka No Illegal
Penalty: Fine and up to 10 years imprisonment (not enforced)[37]
No No No No[citation needed] No No

Eastern Asia

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of relationships 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
China China
(People's Republic of)
Yes Legal since 1997[37] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender, but only after sex reassignment surgery.
Hong Kong Hong Kong
(Special administrative region of China)
Yes Legal since 1991[37] No No No Emblem-question.svg
The People's Republic of China is in charge of Hong Kong's defence affairs. Regardless of sexual orientation, military personnel are not recruited from Hong Kong.
Yes Government employment, goods and services only Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender, but only after sex reassignment surgery.
Japan Japan Yes Legal since 1880
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No/Yes Partnership in Shibuya since 2015[175] No No Yes[citation needed] No/Yes No nationwide protections, but some cities ban some anti-gay discriminations[37] Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender, but only after sex reassignment surgery and in case that the transsexual has no child under 20 years old
Macau Macau
(Special administrative region of China)
Yes Legal
(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the region)
No No No Emblem-question.svg
The People's Republic of China is in charge of Macau's defence affairs. Regardless of sexual orientation, military personnel are not recruited from Macau.
Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination Emblem-question.svg
Mongolia Mongolia Yes Legal since 1961
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
North Korea North Korea Yes Legal
(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg Unknown although there are heavily obeyed gender roles for both male and female. See Let's trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle
South Korea South Korea Yes Legal
(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Yes Due to conscription, but gays subject to discrimination No Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender

Southeast Asia

LGBT rights in:exp Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of relationships 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
Brunei Brunei No Illegal
Penalty: Fines and imprisonment up to 10 years or death by stoning[37]
No No No No No No
Burma Burma No Illegal
Penalty: Up to life sentence (not enforced)[37]
No No No No No No
Cambodia Cambodia Yes Legal
(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)[37]
No No Constitutional ban since 1993, though there has been at least one recorded case of a legally registered and recognized same-sex marriage. No[citation needed] Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
East Timor East Timor Yes Legal since 1975
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Prohibits hate crimes based on sexual orientation Emblem-question.svg
Indonesia Indonesia Yes Legal nationwide, except;
No Illegal in the provinces of Aceh Province and South Sumatra (applies only to Muslims)[176][177][37] (Age of consent discrepancy)
No No No No[178] No Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender
Laos Laos Yes Legal
(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)[37]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Malaysia Malaysia No Male illegal
Penalty: fines, prison sentence (2-20 years), or whippings

Yes Female always legal[37]

No No No No No No
Philippines Philippines Yes Legal nationwide since 1933 except;
No Illegal in Marawi City (applies to Muslims only)[179][37][180]
No (Pending)[179] No Yes/No Step-adoption only No Since 2009 No/Yes No national protections, but Cebu[181] Quezon City, Davao[182] and Albay have anti-discrimination ordinances[183] (National bill pending but still not made into law) Emblem-question.svg
Singapore Singapore No Male illegal
Penalty: up to 2 years prison sentence (not enforced since 1999)
Yes Female legal since 2007[37]
No No No Yes Due to conscription, but gays are not allowed to go to command school or serve in sensitive units. No Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender, but only after sex reassignment surgery.
Thailand Thailand Yes Legal since 1956
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No (Proposed)[184] No No Yes Since 2005 No Yes Gender change legal
Vietnam Vietnam Yes Legal
(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)[37]
No Yes (But without protection by the law) Emblem-question.svg Emblem-question.svg Emblem-question.svg Yes Sex-change recognized for sex assignment for persons of congenital sex defects and unidentifiable sex

Partially recognized or unrecognized states

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 Abkhazia Yes Legal after 1991 No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Nagorno-Karabakh Yes Legal since 2000 No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus Yes Legal since 2014[185][186][37] No No No No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[185][186] Yes Discrimination or hate speech banned since 2014.[185][186]

Emblem-question.svg Unknown if gender change is legal.

South Ossetia South Ossetia Yes Legal after 1991 No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Taiwan Taiwan
(China, Republic of)
Yes Legal since 1895[187] No (Proposed) No (Pending) No (Pending) Yes Due to military draft Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination (in work and education) Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender. Surgery no longer a requirement beginning in 2015[188]
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIL-controlled territory No Illegal
Penalty: Death
No No No No No No


Europe

Main article: LGBT rights in Europe
Tables:

European Union

European Union member states are indicated with the EU flag in regional European sub-divisions.

EU Flag See: LGBT rights in the European Union
European Union law forbids discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. All EU states are required to legalise same-sex sexual activity and implement anti-discrimination laws.[189][190]

Central Europe

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
European UnionAustria Austria Yes Legal since 1971
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Registered partnership since 2010[191] No (Pending)[192] Yes Step-child adoption since 2013.
Joint adoption court ordered by January 2016.[193][194]
Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Gender change Is legal.[150]
European UnionCroatia Croatia Yes Legal since 1977 (as part of Yugoslavia)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Life partnership since 2014[195] No Constitutionally banned since the 2013 referendum.[196] Yes/No Partner-guardianship since 2014 (parental responsibility and a permanent next-of-kins relationship between a life partner and their partner's child which is registered in the child's birth certificate) Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[197][153][153] Yes Act on the elimination of discrimination bans all types discrimination based on both gender identity and gender expression. Gender change is regulated by special policy issued by Ministry of Health. [198]
European UnionCzech Republic Czech Republic Yes Legal since 1962 (as part of Czechoslovakia)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Registered partnership since 2006[199] No No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt; (Step-child adoption pending). Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes Legal recognition granted and amendment of birth certificate after reassignment surgery.
European UnionGermany Germany Yes Legal in East Germany since 1968
Legal in West Berlin and West Germany since 1969
+ UN decl. sign.[37][200]
Yes Registered life partnership since 2001[201] No (Pending)[202] Yes/No Step-child adoption since 2004; (Joint adoption pending) Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination Yes Gender change is legal.[203]
European UnionHungary Hungary Yes Legal since 1962
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Registered partnership since 2009[204] No Constitutionally banned since 2012 No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt. Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes Full legal recognition granted, birth certificate replaced. No surgery or hormone therapy is required for legal gender change.
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein Yes Legal since 1989
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Registered partnership since 2011[205] No No Has no military No No(Gender change Not Legal) [150]
European UnionPoland Poland Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No (Pending) No Constitutionally banned since 1997.[206] No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt, joint adoption forbidden. Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination Yes
European UnionRomania Romania Yes Legal since 1996
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No (Pending) No No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt. Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes Legal recognition and birth certificates amended after reassignment surgery
European UnionSlovakia Slovakia Yes Legal since 1962 (as part of Czechoslovakia)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Constitutionally banned since 2014. No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[207][208] Yes (Requires sterilization for change).[150]
European UnionSlovenia Slovenia Yes Legal since 1977 (as part of Yugoslavia)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Registered partnership since 2006[209] Yes Legal since 2015 (Pending constitutional assessment) Yes Step-child adoption since 2011.
Joint adoption since 2015.
Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes Gender change is legal.[210]
Switzerland Switzerland Yes Legal nationwide since 1942
Legal in the cantons of Geneva, Ticino, Valais and Vaud (as part of France) since 1798
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Registered partnership since 2007[211] No (Pending)[212] (Constitutional ban pending) No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt; (Biological step-child adoption pending).[213] Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination. (Banning all anti-gay discrimination pending) Yes Legal documents can be issued based on a person's new gender identity. Sterilization technically required not enforced since 2012. Registered Partnership can become Marriage between the new opposite-sex couple[214].

Eastern Europe

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
Armenia Armenia Yes Legal since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No No/Yes No explicit ban. However, LGBT persons have been reportedly discharged because of their sexual orientation.[215] No No
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Yes Legal since 2000[37] No No No Yes[216] No Yes (Requires sterilization for change).[150]
Belarus Belarus Yes Legal since 1994[37] No No No No/Yes Banned from military service during peacetime, but during wartime homosexuals are permitted to enlist as partially able.[217] No LGBT activism/expression deemed terrorism[218] Yes[219]
Georgia (country) Georgia Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No (Constitutional ban proposed) No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[220] Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[150]
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Yes Legal since 1998[37] No No No No No Emblem-question.svg
Moldova Moldova Yes Legal since 1995
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Constitutionally banned since 1994. No Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination [153] Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[150]
Russia Russia Yes Male legal since 1993
Female always legal[221][37]
No No (Constitutional ban proposed) No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt. Yes No Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[150]
Ukraine Ukraine Yes Legal since 1991
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Constitutionally banned since 1996 No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt. No/Yes Policies depend on the regional commissioners. Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[150]

Northern Europe

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
European UnionDenmark Denmark Yes Legal since 1933
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Registered partnership from 1989 to 2012 (Existing partnerships are still recognized.) Yes Legal since 2012 Yes Step-child adoption since 1999.
Joint adoption since 2010.
Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Legal gender change and recognition possible without surgery or hormone therapy.[222]
European UnionEstonia Estonia Yes Legal since 1992
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Cohabitation agreement from 2016[223] No Yes/No Step-child adoption from 2016 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.
Faroe Islands Faroe Islands
(constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark)
Yes Legal since 1933
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Yes (Denmark responsible for defence) Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination No[224]
European UnionFinland Finland Yes Legal since 1971
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Registered partnership since 2002[225] Yes From March 2017[226] Yes Step-child adoption since 2009.
Joint adoption from March 2017.
Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes Legal change and recognition is possible only with sterilization[227]
Iceland Iceland Yes Legal since 1940
(as part of Denmark)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Registered cohabitation since 2006[228];
Registered partnership from 1996 to 2010 (Existing partnerships are still recognized.)
Yes Legal since 2010 Yes Legal since 2006 Has no military Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Documents can be amended to the recognised gender.
European UnionLatvia Latvia Yes Legal since 1992
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No
Constitutionally banned since 2006
No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes Documents are amended accordingly, no medical intervention required.[229]
European UnionLithuania Lithuania Yes Legal since 1993
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No (Pending)[230] No
Constitutionally banned since 1992
No Only married couples can adopt Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes Gender change legal since 2003.[231]
Norway Norway Yes Legal since 1972
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Registered partnership from 1993 to 2009 (Existing partnerships are still recognized.) Yes Legal since 2009 Yes Legal since 2009 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes All documents can be amended to the recognised gender.
European UnionSweden Sweden Yes Legal since 1944
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Registered partnership from 1995 to 2009 (Existing partnerships are still recognized.) Yes Legal since 2009 Yes Legal since 2003 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes

Southern Europe

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
Akrotiri and Dhekelia Akrotiri and Dhekelia
(overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Emblem-question.svg Yes UK responsible for defence Emblem-question.svg Emblem-question.svg
Albania Albania Yes Legal since 1995
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.

No Gender change not legal.[150]

Andorra Andorra Yes Legal since 1990
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Stable union since 2005[232]; Civil union since 2014.[233] No Yes Legal since 2014[234][235][236] Has no military Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] No Gender change not legal
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Yes Legal since 1998 in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska in 2000, and Brcko District in 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No No Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[153] No
European UnionBulgaria Bulgaria Yes Legal since 1968
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Constitutionally banned since 1991. No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt. Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes (Requires sterilization for change). Forbids discrimination based on gender identity. [237] [238]
European UnionCyprus Cyprus Yes Legal since 1998
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No (Pending)[239] No No (Step-child adoption pending)[240] No (the only EU country to ban LGBT people in the military, not enforced) Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.
European UnionGibraltar Gibraltar
(overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 1993
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Civil partnership since 2014[241] No Yes Legal since 2014 Yes UK responsible for defence Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination (Banning all anti-gay discrimination pending) X mark.svg Gender change not legal (Pending)[242]
European UnionGreece Greece Yes Legal since 1951
(Age of consent discrepancy)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No (Pending)[243] No No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes (Requires sterilization for change)
European UnionItaly Italy Yes Legal since 1890
Legal in parts of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, along with Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol since 1919
(Illegal in parts of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, illegal in parts of Veneto, along with Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol from 1943-1945 under annexation of Nazi Germany)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No (Pending)[244][245][246] No (Pending)[247][248][249] No (Step-child adoption pending)[250] Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination Yes Since 1982 legal recognition and documents can be amended to the recognised gender.[251]
Republic of Macedonia Macedonia Yes Legal since 1996
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No (Constitutional ban pending)[252] No Yes No No
European UnionMalta Malta Yes Legal since 1973
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Civil union since 2014[253] No/Yes Marriage performed abroad recognized since 2014[254][255] Yes Legal since 2014 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Since 2015.[256]
Montenegro Montenegro Yes Legal since 1977 (as part of Yugoslavia)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Constitutionally banned since 2007. No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes (Requires sterilization for change).[150] Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.
European UnionPortugal Portugal Yes Legal since 1983
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Unregistered cohabitation since 2001 Yes Legal since 2010[257] No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Yes Since 2011, All documents can be amended to the recognised gender.
San Marino San Marino Yes Legal since 1865
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Unregistered cohabitation since 2012 (only for one entitlement) No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination No Gender change not legal.[150]
Serbia Serbia Yes Legal from 1858, when nominally a vassal of Ottoman Empire to 1860[258] and again since 1994 (as part of Yugoslavia)
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
No No Constitutionally banned since 2006. No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[153] Yes Gender change is legal (since 2007).
European UnionSpain Spain Yes Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[37]
Yes Unregistered cohabitation since 1994. Since 1997, different cities and regions have legislated their own version of civil union.[259]