LGBT rights in Europe

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LGBT rights in Europe
Europe
Europe
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal in all 60 jurisdictions.
Last state criminalisation repealed in 2014.
Gender identity/expression Available in 41/60 states.
Military service Allowed to serve openly in 43/56 states.
Discrimination protections In 44/60 states.
Family rights
Recognition of
relationships
Available in 26/60 states.
Restrictions:
Same-sex marriage constitutional ban in 14/60 states.
Adoption Available in 14/60 states.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights are widely diverse in Europe per country. Eleven out of the seventeen countries that have legalised same-sex marriage are situated in Europe[A]; a further twelve European countries have legalised civil unions or other forms of recognition for same-sex couples. Austria, Finland, Germany, Greenland, Ireland and Switzerland are considering legislation to introduce same-sex marriage. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine have a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. As of 2014, every jurisdiction in Europe has legalised same-sex sexual activity, the only inhabited continent to do so.

History[edit]

A participant of 2013 Prague Pride wearing a traditional Moravian dress (Hanakia) and a sign "Good day - Olomouc greets Prague"

Although same-sex relationships were quite common (but never an equivalent to marriage between man and woman) in ancient Greece, Rome and pagan Celtic societies, after Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, severe laws against homosexual behavior appeared. An edict by the Emperor Theodosius I in 390 condemned all "passive" homosexual men to death by public burning. This was followed by the Corpus Juris Civilis of Justinian I in 529, which prescribed public castration and execution for all who committed homosexual acts, both active and passive partners. Homosexual behavior, called sodomy, was considered a capital crime in most European countries, and thousands of homosexual men were executed across Europe during waves of persecution in these centuries. Lesbians were less often singled out for punishment, but they also suffered persecution and execution from time to time.[1]

Since the foundation of Poland in 966, Polish law has never defined homosexuality as a crime.[2] Forty years after Poland lost its independence in 1795, the sodomy laws of Russia, Prussia, and Austria came into force in the partitioned Polish territory. Poland regained its independence in 1918 and abandoned the laws of the occupying powers.[3][4][5] In 1932, Poland codified the equal age of consent for homosexuals and heterosexuals at 15.[6]

In Turkey, homosexuality has been legal since 1858.[7]

During the French Revolution, the French National Assembly rewrote the criminal code in 1791, omitting all reference to homosexuality. During the Napoleonic wars, homosexuality was decriminalised in territories coming under French control, such as the Netherlands and many of the pre-unification German states, however in Germany this ended with the unification of the country under the Prussian Kaiser, as Prussia had long punished homosexuality harshly. On 6 August 1942, the Vichy government made homosexual relations with anyone under twenty-one illegal as part of its conservative agenda. Most Vichy legislation was repealed after the war– but the anti-gay Vichy law remained on the books for four decades until it was finally repealed in August 1982 when the age of consent (15) was again made the same for heterosexual as well as homosexual partners.

Nevertheless, gay men and lesbians continued to live closeted lives, since moral and social disapproval by heterosexual society remained strong across Europe for another two decades, until the modern gay rights movement began in 1969.

Further information: LGBT social movements

Various countries under dictatorships in the 20th century were very anti-homosexual, such as in the Soviet Union, in Nazi Germany and in Spain under Francisco Franco's regime. In contrast, after Poland regained independence after World War I, it went on in 1932 to become the first country in 20th-century Europe to decriminalise homosexual activity[clarification needed], followed by Denmark in 1933, Iceland in 1940, Switzerland in 1942 and Sweden in 1944.

In 1962, homosexual behavior was decriminalized in Czechoslovakia, following a scientific research of Kurt Freund that included phallometry of homosexually oriented men who appeared to have given up sexual relations with other men and established heterosexual marriages. Freund came to the conclusion that homosexual orientation may not be changed.[citation needed]

In 1972, Sweden became the first country in the world to allow people who were transsexual by legislation to surgically change their sex and provide free hormone replacement therapy.[8]

In 1979, a number of people in Sweden called in sick with a case of being homosexual, in protest of homosexuality being classified as an illness. This was followed by an activist occupation of the main office of the National Board of Health and Welfare. Within a few months, Sweden became the first country in Europe from those that had previously defined homosexuality as an illness to remove it as such.[9]

In 1989, Denmark was the first country in Europe, and the world, to introduce registered partnerships for same-sex couples.[citation needed]

In 1991, Bulgaria was the first country in Europe to ban same-sex marriage.[10] Since then, thirteen countries have followed (Lithuania in 1992, Belarus and Moldova in 1994, Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1995, Ukraine in 1996, Poland in 1997, Latvia and Serbia in 2006, Montenegro in 2007, Hungary in 2012, Croatia in 2013 and Slovakia in 2014).[10][11]

In 2001 a next step was made, when the Netherlands opened civil marriage for same-sex couples, which made it the first country in the world to do so. Since then, nine other European states have followed (Belgium in 2003, Spain in 2005, Norway and Sweden in 2009, Portugal and Iceland in 2010, Denmark in 2012, France in 2013 and the United Kingdom in 2014).[citation needed]

On 22 October 2009, the assembly of the Church of Sweden, voted strongly in favour of giving its blessing to homosexual couples,[12] including the use of the term marriage, ("matrimony"). The new law was introduced on 1 November 2009.

Recent developments[edit]

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe
  Same-sex marriage
  Other type of partnership
  Unregistered cohabitation
  Unrecognized
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples

Includes laws that have not yet gone into effect.

In Ireland civil partnerships have been legal since 2011, and in 2013 the country held a constitutional convention on the issue of same-sex marriage rights. This has resulted in the government planning to hold a referendum in 2015 on the subject of same-sex marriage, and consequently adoption rights for gay couples as marriage and adoption rights are legally bound together under current Irish law.[citation needed] A 2013 poll shows that 75% of Irish people support allowing gay couples to marry.[13]

The Isle of Man has allowed civil partnerships since 2011, as well as Jersey in 2012.[citation needed] Liechtenstein also legalized registered partnership by 68 percent of voters via a referendum in 2011.[14]

On 1 January 2012, a new constitution of Hungary enacted by the government of Viktor Orbán, leader of the ruling Fidesz party, came into effect, restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples and containing no guarantees of protection from discrimination on account of sexual orientation.[15]

In 2012, the United Kingdom government launched a public same-sex marriage consultation,[16] intending to change the laws applying to England and Wales. Its Marriage Bill was signed into law on 17 July 2013. The Scottish government launched a similar consultation, aiming to legalise same-sex marriage by 2015. On 4 February 2014, the Scottish Parliament passed a bill to legalise same sex marriages in Scotland as well as ending the "spousal veto" that would allow spouses to deny transgender partners the ability to change their legal gender.[17]

In May 2013, France legalised same-sex marriage; with French president François Hollande signing a law authorizing adoption by marriage and adoption by gay couples.[18]

On 30 June 2013, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, signed the Russian LGBT propaganda law into force, which was unanimously approved by the State Duma. The law makes distributing propaganda among minors in support of non-traditional sexual relationships a criminal offence.[19]

On 1 December 2013, a referendum was held in Croatia to constitutionally define marriage as a union between a woman and a man. The vote passed, with 65.87% supporting the measure, and a turnout of 37.9%.[20]

On 27 January 2014 in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (part of Cyprus occupied since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974) Turkish Cypriot deputies passed an amendment repealing a colonial-era law that punished homosexual acts with up to five years in prison by a new Criminal Code. It was the last territory in Europe to decriminalise sexual relations between consenting, adult men.[21]

On 14 April 2014, the Parliament of Malta voted in favour of the Civil Union Act which recognizes same-sex couples and permits them to adopt children. On the same day the Maltese parliament also voted in favour of a constitutional amendment to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

On 4 June 2014, the Slovak parliament overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, with 102 deputies for and 18 deputies against the legislation.[11]

On 15 July 2014, Croatian Parliament passed the Life Partnership Act giving same-sex couples all rights that married couples have, except for adoption.[22] However, the Act allows a parent's life partner to become the child's partner-guardian, which is similar to step-child adoption.

On 16 July 2014, the Parliament of Macedonia approved a bill to amend the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, with 82 MPs voting for and 6 MPs voting against.[23]

Public opinion around Europe[edit]

2010 European Social Survey: % of people in each country who agree or strongly agree that “gay men and lesbians should be free to live their own lives as they wish.” [1]
Country Percentage
Western Europe
 Netherlands 92%
 Sweden 89%
 Denmark 89%
 Belgium 87%
 United Kingdom 84%
 Norway 83%
 France 82%
 Ireland 82%
  Switzerland 82%
 Germany 81%
 Spain 80%
 Finland 74%
 Portugal 59%
Eastern Europe
 Czech Republic 65%
 Greece 50%
 Slovenia 49%
 Bulgaria 47%
 Hungary 45%
 Poland 44%
 Slovakia 42%
 Estonia 41%
 Croatia 38%
 Lithuania 28%
 Ukraine 28%
 Russia 25%

In a 2002 Pew Global Attitudes Project surveyed by the Pew Research Center, showed majorities in every Western European nation said homosexuality should be accepted by society, while most Russians, Poles and Ukrainians disagreed.[24] A Eurobarometer in 2006 surveying up to 30,000 people from each European Union country, showed split opinion around the 27 member states on the issue of same sex marriage. The majority of support came from the Netherlands (82%), Sweden (71%), Denmark (69%), Belgium (62%), Luxembourg (58%), Spain (56%), Finland (54%), Germany (52%) and the Czech Republic (52%). All other countries within the EU had below 50% support; with Romania (11%), Latvia (12%), Cyprus (14%), Bulgaria (15%), Greece (15%), Lithuania (17%), Poland (17%), Hungary (18%) and Malta (18%) at the other end of the list.[25] Same sex adoption had majority support from only two countries: Netherlands at 69% and Sweden at 51% and the least support from Poland and Malta on 7% respectively.[25]

A more recent survey carried out in October 2008 by The Observer affirmed that the majority of Britons – 55% – support gay marriage.[26] A 2013 poll shows that the majority of the Irish public support gay marriage and gay adoption, 73% and 60% respectively.[27] France has support for same sex marriage at 62%,[28] and Russian at 14%.[29] Italy has support for the 'Civil Partnership Law' between gays at 45% with 47% opposed.[30] In 2009 58.9% of Italians supported civil unions, while 40.4 supported same-sex marriage.[31] In 2010, 63.9% of Greeks supported same-sex partnerships, while 38.5% supported same-sex marriage.[32] In 2012 a poll by MaltaToday[33] showed that 41% of Maltese supported same sex marriage, with support increasing to 60% amongst the 18-35 age group. In a 2013 opinion poll conducted by CBOS, 65% of Poles were against same-sex civil unions, 72% of Poles were against same-sex marriage, 88% were against adoption by same-sex couples, and 68% were against gays and lesbians publicly showing their way of life.[34] In Croatia, a poll from November 2013 revealed that 59% of Croats think that marriage should be constitutionally defined as a union between a man and a woman, while 31% do not agree with the idea.[35]

According to pollster Gallup Europe, women, younger generations, and the highly educated are more likely to support same-sex marriage and adoption rights for gay people than other demographics.[36]

Gay rights in the European Union, June 2014

Opinion polls[edit]

Opinion polls for same-sex marriage
Country Pollster Year For Against Don't Know/Neutral/No answer
 Austria Der Standard 2013 61%[37] 33%[37] 6%[37]
 Belgium Eurobarometer 2006 62%[38] 35%[38] 2%[38]
 Bulgaria Eurobarometer 2006 15%[38] 65%[38] 20%[38]
 Croatia Pilar's barometer 2014 17%[39] 61%[39] 1% – no answer; 21% – Neutral[39]
 Cyprus Eurobarometer 2006 14%[38] 80%[38] 6%[38]
 Czech Republic CVVM 2014 45%[40] 48%[40] 7%[40]
 Denmark YouGov/EMEA 2013 79%[41] 16%[41] 6%[41]
 Estonia ASi 2012 34%[42] 60%[42] 6%
 European Union Eurobarometer 2006 44%[38] 49%[38] 7%[38]
 Finland Taloustutkimus 2014 65%[43] 27%[43] 8%
 France YouGov/EMEA 2013 47%[41] 41%[41] 12%[41]
 Germany YouGov/EMEA 2013 66%[41] 42%[41] 10%[41]
 Greece Eurobarometer 2006 15%[38] 84%[38] 1%[38]
 Hungary Eurobarometer 2006 18%[38] 75%[38] 6%[38]
 Ireland Ipsos MRBI 2014 67%[44] 21%[44] 12%[44]
 Italy Eurobarometer 2006 31%[38] 63%[38] 6%[38]
 Latvia Eurobarometer 2006 12%[38] 77%[38] 7%[38]
 Lithuania 2013 5%[45] 84%[45] 8%[45]
 Luxembourg Eurobarometer 2006 58%[38] 32%[38] 10%[38]
 Malta MaltaToday 2012 46%[46] 51%[46] 3%
 Netherlands Eurobarometer 2006 82%[38] 16%[38] 2%[38]
 Norway YouGov/EMEA 2013 70%[41] 21%[41] 9%[41]
 Poland CBOS 2013 26%[47] 68%[47] 6%[47]
 Portugal Eurobarometer 2006 29%[38] 63%[38] 7%[38]
 Romania Eurobarometer 2006 11%[38] 79%[38] 10%[38]
 Russia Levada Public Opinion Center 2013 5%[48] 85%[48] 10%
 Slovakia Eurobarometer 2006 16%[38] 81%[38] 4%[38]
 Slovenia Eurobarometer 2006 22%[38] 75%[38] 4%[38]
 Spain Eurobarometer 2006 55%[38] 31%[38] 13%[38]
 Sweden YouGov/EMEA 2013 79%[41] 14%[41] 7%[41]
 United Kingdom BBC Radio 5 2014 68%[49] 26%[49] 6%
Legal status of adoption by same-sex couples in Europe
  Same-sex parental adoption legal
  Step-child adoption legal
  Unknown/Ambiguous
Opinion polls for same-sex adoption
Country Pollster Year For Against Don't Know/Neutral/No answer
 Austria Eurobarometer 2006 44%[38] 50%[38] 6%[38]
 Belgium Eurobarometer 2006 43%[38] 54%[38] 2%
 Bulgaria Eurobarometer 2006 12%[38] 68%[38] 20%[38]
 Cyprus Eurobarometer 2006 10%[38] 86%[38] 4%[38]
 Czech Republic CVVM 2014 45%[40] 48%[40] 7%
 Denmark Eurobarometer 2006 44%[38] 51%[38] 5%[38]
 Estonia Eurobarometer 2006 14%[38] 79%[38] 7%[38]
 European Union Eurobarometer 2006 32%[38] 61%[38] 7%[38]
 Finland Eurobarometer 2006 24%[38] 72%[38] 4%[38]
 France Eurobarometer 2006 35%[38] 58%[38] 8%[38]
 Germany Eurobarometer 2006 42%[38] 52%[38] 6%[38]
 Greece Eurobarometer 2006 11%[38] 89%[38] 0%[38]
 Hungary Eurobarometer 2006 13%[38] 81%[38] 6%[38]
 Ireland Eurobarometer 2006 30%[38] 52%[38] 19%[38]
 Italy Eurobarometer 2006 24%[38] 70%[38] 5%[38]
 Latvia Eurobarometer 2006 8%[38] 89%[38] 3%[38]
 Lithuania Eurobarometer 2006 12%[38] 82%[38] 6%[38]
 Luxembourg Eurobarometer 2006 39%[38] 54%[38] 7%[38]
 Malta Eurobarometer 2006 7%[46] 85%[46] 9%[46]
 Netherlands Eurobarometer 2006 69%[46] 27%[46] 4%[46]
 Poland CBOS 2013 8%[47] 87%[47] 5%[47]
 Portugal Eurobarometer 2006 19%[38] 74%[38] 8%[38]
 Romania Eurobarometer 2006 8%[38] 82%[38] 10%[38]
 Russia Levada Public Opinion Center 2013 5%[48] 80%[48] 15%[48]
 Slovakia Eurobarometer 2006 12%[38] 84%[38] 4%[38]
 Slovenia Eurobarometer 2006 17%[38] 80%[38] 3%[38]
 Spain Eurobarometer 2006 43%[38] 42%[38] 15%[38]
 Sweden Eurobarometer 2006 51%[38] 43%[38] 7%[38]
 United Kingdom Eurobarometer 2006 33%[38] 58%[38] 9%[38]

Legislation by country or territory

Tables:

European Union[edit]

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.[50][51]

Central Europe[edit]

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Civil union Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination (sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
European UnionAustria Austria Yes Legal since 1971[7] Yes Registered partnership since 2010 No (pending) No/Yes Biological step-child adoption only Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Gender change Is legal.[52]
European UnionCroatia Croatia Yes Legal since 1977[7] Yes Life Partnership since 2014 No Constitutionally banned since 2013. No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt; Partner-guardianship (similar to step-child adoption) Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[53][54][54] Yes Act on the elimination of discrimination, The Law on volunteering, Electronic media Law (all including both gender identity and gender expression)
European UnionCzech Republic Czech Republic Yes Legal since 1962[7] Yes Registered partnership since 2006. No No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt (both when in registered partnership or single) Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54] Yes legal recognition granted and amendment of birth certificate after reassignment surgery/
European UnionGermany Germany Yes Legal since 1969
(since 1968 in East Germany)
Yes Registered life partnership since 2001 No (pending) No/Yes Step-child adoption only (full joint adoption proposed) Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes
European UnionHungary Hungary Yes Legal since 1962[7] Yes Registered partnership since 2009 No Constitutionally banned since 2012. No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54] 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[7] Yes Registered partnership since 2011 No No N/A No No(Gender change Not Legal) [52]
European UnionPoland Poland Yes Legal
Never punished (Legal until 18th century, criminalized in 19th by laws of Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary, legal again since 1932)
(Illegal from 1939-1944/1945 under annexation of Nazi Germany)
No (Pending) No Constitutionally banned since 1997.[55] No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination Yes legal recognition and birth certificates amended, including. In 1983, the Supreme Court ruled reassignment surgery is not a prerequisite for legal recognition.[56]
European UnionRomania Romania Yes Legal since 1996
Previously legal from 1864 to 1968
No No No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt. Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54] No/Yes Legal recognition and birth certificates amended after reassignment surgery
European UnionSlovakia Slovakia Yes Legal since 1962[7] No No Constitutionally banned since 2014. No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[57][58] Yes (Requires sterilization for change).[52]
European UnionSlovenia Slovenia Yes Legal since 1977[7] Yes Registered partnership since 2006 No No/Yes Step-child adoption only [59] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54] No Gender change not legal[52]
Switzerland Switzerland Yes Legal
(Geneva, Vaud, Valais and Ticino: since 1798
Nationwide since 1942)
Yes Registered partnership since 2007 No (pending)[60] (constitutional ban pending) No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt; Biological step-child adoption pending.[61] 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[62].

Eastern Europe[edit]

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Civil union Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination (sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Armenia Armenia Yes Legal since 2003[7] No No Constitutionally banned since 1995. No Yes/No No explicit ban. However, LGB persons have been reportedly discharged because of their sexual orientation..[63] No No
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Yes Legal since 2000[7] No No Constitutionally banned since 1995. No Emblem-question.svg No Yes (Requires sterilization for change).[52]
Belarus Belarus Yes Legal since 1994[7] No No Constitutionally banned since 1994. No Yes/No Banned from military service during peacetime, but during wartime homosexuals are permitted to enlist as partially able.[64] No LGBT activism/expression deemed terrorism[65] No
Georgia (country) Georgia Yes Legal since 2000[7] No No (constitutional ban pending) No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[66] Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[52]
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Yes Legal since 1998[7] No No No No No Emblem-question.svg
Moldova Moldova Yes Legal since 1995[7] No No Constitutionally banned since 1994. No Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination [54] Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[52]
Russia Russia Yes Legal since 1993
(Previously legal from 1917 to 1930)
No No (constitutional ban pending) No No No Bans homosexual "propaganda" among minors Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[52]
Ukraine Ukraine Yes Legal since 1991 No No Constitutionally banned since 1996. No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[52]

Northern Europe[edit]

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Civil union Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination (sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
European UnionDenmark Denmark Yes Legal since 1933[7] Yes Registered partnership from 1989 Yes Legal since 2012 Yes Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Legal gender change and recognition possible without surgery or hormone therapy.[67]
European UnionEstonia Estonia Yes Legal since 1992[7] No (pending)[68][69] No No/Yes Single gay persons may adopt.[70] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54] Yes Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.
Faroe Islands Faroe Islands
(constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark)
Yes Legal since 1933[7] No No No Yes (Denmark responsible for defence) Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination Yes
European UnionFinland Finland Yes Legal since 1971 Yes Registered partnership since 2002 No (pending) Yes/ No Step-child adoption only (full joint adoption under consideration) Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54] Yes Legal change and recognition is possible only with sterilization[71]
Iceland Iceland Yes Legal since 1940 Yes Registered partnership from 1996 Yes Legal since 2010 Yes Legal since 2006 N/A Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Documents can be amended to the recognised gender.
European UnionLatvia Latvia Yes Legal since 1992[7] No No
Constitutionally banned since 2006
Yes/ No An unmarried person may adopt child alone. Adoption by multiple persons that are not married banned. Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[54] Yes Documents are amended accordingly, no medical intervention required.[72]
European UnionLithuania Lithuania Yes Legal since 1993 No No
Constitutionally banned since 1992
No Only married couples can adopt Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination / No There is a law which can be, and actually was, interpreted as a ban on public speech about LGBT Yes Gender change legal since 2003.[73]
Norway Norway Yes Legal since 1972[7] Yes Registered partnership from 1993 Yes Legal since 2009 Yes Legal since 2009 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[74] Yes All documents can be amended to the recognised gender.
European UnionSweden Sweden Yes Legal since 1944 Yes Registered partnership from 1995 Yes Legal since 2009 Yes Legal since 2003 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54] Yes

Southern Europe[edit]

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Civil union Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination (sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Albania Albania Yes Legal since 1995[7] No (proposed) No (proposed) No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54] Yes Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.

No Gender change not legal.[52]

Andorra Andorra Yes Legal since 1791
(as part of France)
Yes Stable union since 2005 No No N/A Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54] No Gender change not legal
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Yes Legal since 1998[7] No No No Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[54] No
European UnionBulgaria Bulgaria Yes Legal since 1968 No No Constitutionally banned since 1991. No/Yes Single gay persons may adopt. Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes (Requires sterilization for change)
European UnionCyprus Cyprus Yes Legal since 1998[7] No (proposed) No No No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54] Yes Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.
European UnionGibraltar Gibraltar
(overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 1993 Yes Civil partnership since 2014 No Yes Legal since 2013 Yes UK responsible for defence Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination Emblem-question.svg
European UnionGreece Greece Yes Legal since 1951 No No No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes (Requires sterilization for change)
European UnionItaly Italy Yes Legal since 1890 No (pending) No (pending) No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination Yes Since 1982 legal recognition and documents can be amended to the recognised gender.[75]
Republic of Macedonia Macedonia Yes Legal since 1996[7] No No (constitutional ban proposed)[76] No (constitutional ban proposed)[77] Yes No No
European UnionMalta Malta Yes Legal since 1973 Yes Civil union since 2014 No Yes Legal Since 2014 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes All documents can be amended to the recognised gender.
Montenegro Montenegro Yes Legal since 1977[7] No No Constitutionally banned since 2007. No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54] Yes (Requires sterilization for change).[52] Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.
European UnionPortugal Portugal Yes Legal since 1983 Yes De facto unions since 2001 Yes Legal since 2010 No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination, according to national Constitution. Yes Since 2011, All documents can be amended to the recognised gender.
San Marino San Marino Yes Legal since 2001 No Unregistered cohabitation since 2014 No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination No Gender change not legal.[52]
Serbia Serbia Yes Legal since 1994[7] No No Constitutionally banned since 2006. No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54] Yes Gender change is legal (since 2007).
European UnionSpain Spain Yes Legal since 1979[7] Yes Legal since 2004[7] Yes Legal since 2005 Yes Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[54] Yes Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[78]
Turkey Turkey Yes Legal since 1858 No No No No No Yes (Requires sterilization for change)
Vatican City Vatican City Yes Legal No No No N/A Emblem-question.svg X mark.svg

Western Europe[edit]

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Civil union Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination (sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
European UnionBelgium Belgium Yes Legal since 1795[7]
(as part of France)
(Illegal from 1944-1944/1945 as part of Reichskommissariat Belgien-Nordfrankreich and under annexation of Nazi Germany)
Yes Statutory cohabitation since 2000 Yes Legal since 2003 Yes Legal since 2006 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes The 2007 law concerning transsexuality[79] grants the right to a legal name and gender change (Requires hormone treatment for name change and sterilization for gender change)
European UnionFrance France Yes Legal since 1791[7]
(Illegal in Alsace-Lorraine from 1871–1918 and 1940-1944/1945 under annexation of Imperial and Nazi Germany and illegal in Nord and Pas-de-Calais from 1944-1945 as part of Reichskommissariat Belgien-Nordfrankreich)
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes (Requires sterilization for change)
Guernsey Guernsey
(Crown dependency of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 1983, age of consent equalised in 2012[80][81] No (proposed) No(proposed) No Yes UK responsible for defence Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[82] Yes 2004 anti-discrimination law. Legal gender change since 2007: Case law only. Only allows a new birth certificate to be issued. Does not amend or remove records of existing birth certificates, extension to Alderney and Sark unclear, does extend to Herm.[82][83]
European UnionRepublic of Ireland Ireland Yes Legal since 1993 Yes Civil partnership since 2011 No(pending a scheduled referendum) No/Yes Single gay persons may adopt. Step Child adoption under consideration. Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[84][85][86] No Legislation to recognise gender identity pending after High Court ruling in favour.
Isle of Man Isle of Man
(Crown dependencies of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 1992[7] Yes Civil partnership since 2011 No Yes Legal since 2011 Yes UK responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes
Jersey Jersey
(Crown dependency of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 1990[7] Yes Civil partnership since 2012 No(Pending) Yes Yes UK responsible for defence No Yes Gender Recognition (Jersey) Law 2010[87]
European UnionLuxembourg Luxembourg Yes Legal since 1795
(as part of France)
(Illegal from 1942-1944/1945 under annexation of Nazi Germany)
Yes Partnership since 2004 Yes Legal from 2015 Yes Legal from 2015 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[88] Yes (Requires sterilization for change) [52]
Monaco Monaco Yes Legal since 1793 (as part of France) No No No Yes France responsible for defence No Emblem-question.svg
European UnionNetherlands Netherlands Yes Legal since 1811
(as part of France)
(Illegal from 1940-1944/1945 as part of Reichskommissariat Niederlande)
Yes Registered partnership since 1998 Yes Legal since 2001. Yes Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes
European UnionUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Yes Legal in England and Wales since 1967, in Scotland since 1981 and in Northern Ireland since 1982 Yes Civil partnership since 2005 Yes check.svg Legal in England and Wales, and Scotland since 2014
No Illegal in Northern Ireland
Yes Legal in England and Wales since 2005, in Scotland since 2009 and Northern Ireland since 2013 Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[89][7] Yes Gender Recognition Act 2004

Partially or unrecognised states[edit]

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Civil union Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination (sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Abkhazia Abkhazia Yes No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Kosovo Kosovo Yes Legal since 1994[7]
(as part of Yugoslavia)
No No[90] No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[91] Yes
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Nagorno-Karabakh Yes No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus Yes Legal since 2014[92][93] No No No No Yes[92][93] Yes Discrimination or hate speech banned since 2014.[92][93]

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

South Ossetia South Ossetia Yes No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Transnistria Transnistria No[94] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg


See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

A The UK Parliament excepted Scotland and Northern Ireland from its same-sex marriage legislation.
  1. ^ Crompton, Louis. (2003). Homosexuality & Civilization. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. pp. 1-212.
  2. ^ http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/IES/poland.html%20%20 http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/IES/poland.html
  3. ^ "A Brief History of Gay Poland". Globalgayz.com. Retrieved 2011-07-16. 
  4. ^ ">> social sciences >> Poland". glbtq. Retrieved 2011-07-16. 
  5. ^ "The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality: Poland". .hu-berlin.de. Retrieved 2011-07-16. 
  6. ^ The Oxford companion to politics of ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-07-16. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag "State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults". The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Hanna Jedvik (5 March 2007). "Lagen om könsbyte ska utredas". RFSU. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2007. 
  9. ^ Jag känner mig lite homosexuell idag | quistbergh.se The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1973 with publication of its DSM II. Source: The American Psychiatric Association, and DSM II. Thus, the American Psychiatric Association took this step six years before a similar action was taken in Sweden.
  10. ^ a b "European countries which define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in their constitutions". ILGA Europe. ILGA Europe. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Radoslav, Tomek (4 June 2014). "Slovak Lawmakers Approve Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Kyrkomötet öppnade för enkönade äktenskap – DN.se
  13. ^ "75% support same-sex marriage: Poll". The Irish Times. 28 January 2013. 
  14. ^ Liechtenstein: Homo-Ehe kommt nächstes Jahr Queer.de, 17 December 2009
  15. ^ "New Hungarian constitution comes into effect with same-sex marriage ban". Pinknews. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Gay marriage: Government consultation begins". BBC News. 15 March 2012. 
  17. ^ "Scotland Establishes Marriage Equality". the Advocate. 4 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "French President Signs Gay Marriage Into Law". Huffington Post. 18 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "HRW Slams Effects Of Russia's Gay 'Propaganda' Law, One Year On". RFE/RL. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  20. ^ http://www.izbori.hr/2013Referendum/rezult/rezultati.html
  21. ^ "Northern Cyprus becomes last European territory to decriminalize gay sex". Reuters. 27 January 2014. 
  22. ^ http://www.tportal.hr/vijesti/342766/Povijesna-odluka-Hrvatska-ima-Zakon-o-zivotnom-partnerstvu.html
  23. ^ "ОТВОРЕНА ВРАТАТА ЗА ЗАБРАНА НА ИСТОПОЛОВИ БРАКОВИ". Time.mk. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  24. ^ "Views of a Changing World 2003". The Pew Research Center. Retrieved 29 January 2007. 
  25. ^ a b "Eight EU Countries Back Same-Sex Marriage". Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research. Retrieved 29 January 2006. 
  26. ^ "Sex uncovered poll: Homosexuality". The Guardian (London). 26 October 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  27. ^ http://www.gcn.ie/feature.aspx?sectionid=14&articleid=3182
  28. ^ "French Back Same-Sex Marriage, Not Adoption". Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research. Retrieved 29 January 2006. 
  29. ^ "Same-Sex Marriage Nixed By Russians". Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research. Retrieved 29 January 2006. 
  30. ^ "Italians Divided Over Civil Partnership Law". Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research. Retrieved 21 February 2007. 
  31. ^ "Italiani più avanti della politica | Arcigay". Arcigay.it. 22 February 1999. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  32. ^ http://images.tanea.gr/assetservice/Image.ashx?c=15881978&r=0&p=0&t=0&q=100&v=1&s=1&w=800
  33. ^ http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/en/newsdetails/news/national/Heartening-change-in-attitudes-to-put-gay-unions-on-political-agenda-20120604
  34. ^ Feliksiak, Michał (February 2013). "Stosunek do praw gejów i lesbijek oraz związków partnerskich". Centrum Badania Opinii Społecznej. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  35. ^ http://www.slobodnadalmacija.hr/Hrvatska/tabid/66/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/228968/Default.aspx
  36. ^ "Public opinion and same-sex unions (2003)". ILGA Europe. Retrieved 29 January 2006. [dead link]
  37. ^ a b c "Umfrage: Mehrheit will Ehe und Adoptionsrecht für Homosexuelle". Der Standard. 3 November 2013. 
  38. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl "EUROBAROMETER 66 FIRST RESULTS". TNS. European Commission. December 2006. p. 80. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  39. ^ a b c "Pilarov Barometar Hrvatskog Društva - Same-sex marriages". Institut društvenih znanosti Ivo Pilar. June 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  40. ^ a b c d e "Postoje veřejnosti k právům homosexuálů – červen 2014". CVVM. CVVM. 11 July 2013. p. 3. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  41. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "YouGov / EMEA Survey Results". YouGov/EMEA. YouGov. 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  42. ^ a b Teder, Merike (13 September 2012). "Uuring: eestlased pole samasooliste kooselu registreerimise vastu". Postimees.ee. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  43. ^ a b "Survey finds rising support for gay marriage". Yle. Yle. 13 March 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  44. ^ a b c Collins, Stephen (7 April 2014). "Support for same-sex marriage increasing, poll finds". Ipsos MRBI. Irish Times. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  45. ^ a b c "Lietuviai nenori vienos lyties santuokų". BNS. Delfti. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  46. ^ a b c d e f g h Vella, Matthew (5 June 2012). "Heartening change in attitudes to put gay unions on political agenda". MaltaToday. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  47. ^ a b c d e f STOSUNEK DO PRAW GEJÓW I LESBIJEK ORAZ ZWIĄZKÓW PARTNERSKICH. CENTRUM BADANIA OPINII SPOŁECZNEJ. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  48. ^ a b c d e "Vast majority of Russians oppose gay marriage and gay pride events – poll". Levada Public Opinion Center. Russia Today. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  49. ^ a b "Gay weddings: 'Fifth of Britons would turn down invitation'". BBC Radio 5. BBC. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  50. ^ Perspective: what has the EU done for LGBT rights?, Café Babel, 17 May 2010
  51. ^ What is the current legal situation in the EU?, ILGA Europe
  52. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Map shows how Europe forces trans people to be sterilized
  53. ^ (Croatian) "Zakon o suzbijanju diskriminacije". Narodne-novine.nn.hr. 21 July 2008. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  54. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Rainbow Europe Country Index
  55. ^ The Constitution of the Republic of Poland
  56. ^ see for example: T. Smyczynski, Prawo rodzinne i opiekuńcze, C.H. Beck 2005
  57. ^ Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States Part II: The Social Situation
  58. ^ Law change criminalises homophobia
  59. ^ "Confronting Homophobia in Europe". Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  60. ^ (German) 13.468 – Parlamentarische Initiative - Ehe für alle
  61. ^ Switzerland: a law will open some adoption rights to homosexuals, dot429.com, Retrieved 29 March 2014
  62. ^ (French) Avis de droit OFEC: Transsexualisme, Federal Department of Justice and Police, retrieved on 9 May 2013
  63. ^ "Armenia: Gays live with threats of violence, abuse". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  64. ^ "Belarus: Attitude towards homosexuals and lesbians in Belarus; state protection available to non-heterosexuals in Belarus with special attention to Minsk (2000-2005)". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  65. ^ Comment: With all eyes on anti-gay Russia, there are three countries with a shocking need for coverage
  66. ^ LAW OF GEORGIA ON THE ELIMINATION OF All FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION
  67. ^ Denmark changes sex change laws
  68. ^ Gender-Neutral Cohabitation Bill Submitted to Parliament
  69. ^ (Estonian) Kooseluseadus
  70. ^ (Estonian) Perekonnaseadus § 75
  71. ^ (Finnish) Ihmisoikeudet kuuluvat myös transsukupuolisille
  72. ^ (Latvian) Cik viegli pārvērsties no Ievas par Ādamu?
  73. ^ (Lithuanian) Lietuvos Respublikos Civilinis kodeksas (Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania
  74. ^ (Norwegian) "Norwegian Penal code, Straffelov­en, section 135a". Lovdata. 
  75. ^ (Italian) "Legge 14 Aprile 1982, n. 164 (GU n. 106 del 19/04/1982) Norme in Materia di Rettificazione di Attribuzione di Sesso". Archived from the original on 23 May 2007. 
  76. ^ "Macedonia Moves to Rule Out Same-Sex Marriage". Balkan Insight. 1 July 2014. 
  77. ^ "Macedonia Moves to Rule Out Same-Sex Marriage". Balkan Insight. 1 July 2014. 
  78. ^ (Spanish) Ley 3/2007, de 15 de marzo, reguladora de la rectificación registral de la mención relativa al sexo de las personas
  79. ^ (French) (Dutch) Loi du 10 mai 2007 relative à la transsexualité/Wet van 10 mei 2007 betreffende de transseksualiteit
  80. ^ Sexual Offences (Bailiwick of Guernsey) (Amendment) Law, 2011
  81. ^ Homosexual Offenses and Human Rights in Guernsey
  82. ^ a b "The Prevention of Discrimination (Enabling Provisions) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2004". Guernsey Legal Resources. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  83. ^ In the case of X 2007
  84. ^ "Employment Equality Act, 1998". Irishstatutebook.ie. 18 June 1998. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  85. ^ "Equal Status Act, 2000". Irishstatutebook.ie. 26 April 2000. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  86. ^ Prohibition of Incitement To Hatred Act, 1989 - Irish Statute Book
  87. ^ GENDER RECOGNITION (JERSEY) LAW 2010
  88. ^ {fr icon}} Mémorial A n° 207 de 2006
  89. ^ Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (c. 4)
  90. ^ "LAW NO. 2004/32 FAMILY LAW OF KOSOVO". Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  91. ^ "Constitution of Kosovo; discrimination". 
  92. ^ a b c Northern Cyprus Decriminalizes Homosexuality and Protects LGBTs Against Hate Speech
  93. ^ a b c (Turkish) Kuzey Kıbrıs’ın “Eşcinsellik Suçu” Yasası Tarihe Karıştı!
  94. ^ Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, page 38

External links[edit]