LGBT rights by country or territory

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

Rights affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people vary greatly by country or jurisdiction—encompassing everything from the legal recognition of same-sex marriage to the death penalty for homosexuality.

Laws concerning gender identity-expression by country or territory
  Legal identity change, surgery not required
  Legal identity change, surgery required
  No legal identity change
  Unknown/Ambiguous

Notably, as of May 2024, 37 countries recognize same-sex marriage.[1][2] By contrast, not counting non-state actors and extrajudicial killings, only two countries are believed to impose the death penalty on consensual same-sex sexual acts: Iran and Afghanistan.[3][4][5][6] The death penalty is officially law, but generally not practiced, in Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia (in the autonomous state of Jubaland) and the United Arab Emirates.[7][8] LGBT people also face extrajudicial killings in the Russian region of Chechnya.[9] Sudan rescinded its unenforced death penalty for anal sex (hetero- or homosexual) in 2020. Fifteen countries have stoning on the books as a penalty for adultery, which (in light of the illegality of gay marriage in those countries) would by default include gay sex, but this is enforced by the legal authorities in Iran and Nigeria (in the northern third of the country).[10][11][12][13][14]

In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed its first resolution recognizing LGBT rights, following which the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report documenting violations of the rights of LGBT people, including hate crimes, criminalization of homosexual activity, and discrimination. Following the issuance of the report, the United Nations urged all countries which had not yet done so to enact laws protecting basic LGBT rights.[15][16] A 2022 study found that LGBT rights (as measured by ILGA-Europe's Rainbow Index) were correlated with less HIV/AIDS incidence among gay and bisexual men independently of risky sexual behavior.[17]

The 2023 Equaldex Equality Index ranks the Nordic countries, Chile, Uruguay, Canada, the Benelux countries, Spain, Andorra, and Malta among the best for LGBT rights. The index ranks Nigeria, Yemen, Brunei, Afghanistan, Somalia, Mauritania, Palestine, and Iran among the worst.[18][better source needed] Asher & Lyric ranked Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands as the three safest nations for LGBT people in its 2023 index.[19]

Scope of laws

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

History of LGBT-related laws

Ancient India

Ayoni or non-vaginal sex of all types is punishable in the Arthashastra. Homosexual acts are, however, treated as a smaller offence punishable by a fine, while unlawful heterosexual sex carries much harsher punishment. The Dharmsastras, especially the later ones, prescribe against non-vaginal sex like the Vashistha Dharmasutra. The Yājñavalkya Smṛti prescribes fines for such acts including those with other men. Manusmriti prescribes light punishments for such acts.[20][21] Vanita states that the verses about punishment for a sex between female and a maiden is due to its strong emphasis on a maiden's sexual purity.[22]

Ancient Israel

The ancient Law of Moses (the Torah) forbids men from lying with men (i.e., from having intercourse) in Leviticus 18 and gives a story of attempted homosexual rape in Genesis 19, in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, after which the cities were soon destroyed with "brimstone and fire, from the Lord"[23][24] and the death penalty was prescribed to its inhabitants – and to Lot's wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt because she turned back to watch the cities' destruction.[25][26] In Deuteronomy 22:5, cross-dressing is condemned as "abominable".[27][28]

Assyria

In Assyrian society, sex crimes were punished identically whether they were homosexual or heterosexual.[29] An individual faced no punishment for penetrating someone of equal social class, a cult prostitute, or with someone whose gender roles were not considered solidly masculine.[29] Such sexual relations were even seen as good fortune, with an Akkadian tablet, the Šumma ālu, reading, "If a man copulates with his equal from the rear, he becomes the leader among his peers and brothers".[30][31] However, homosexual relationships with fellow soldiers, slaves, royal attendants, or those where a social better was submissive or penetrated, were treated as bad omens.[32][33]

Middle Assyrian Law Codes dating 1075 BC has a particularly harsh law for homosexuality in the military, which reads: "If a man have intercourse with his brother-in-arms, they shall turn him into a eunuch."[34][35][36] A similar law code reads, "If a seignior lay with his neighbor, when they have prosecuted him (and) convicted him, they shall lie with him (and) turn him into a eunuch". This law code condemns a situation that involves homosexual rape. Any Assyrian male could visit a prostitute or lie with another male, just as long as false rumors or forced sex were not involved with another male.[37]

Ancient Rome

In ancient Rome, the bodies of citizen youths were strictly off-limits, and the Lex Scantinia imposed penalties on those who committed a sex crime (stuprum) against a freeborn male minor.[38] Acceptable same-sex partners were males excluded from legal protections as citizens: slaves, male prostitutes, and the infames, entertainers or others who might be technically free but whose lifestyles set them outside the law.

A male citizen who willingly performed oral sex or received anal sex was disparaged, but there is only limited evidence of legal penalties against these men.[39] 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.[40]

Roman law addressed the rape of a male citizen as early as the 2nd century BC when it was ruled that even a man who was "disreputable and questionable" had the same right as other citizens not to have his body subjected to forced sex.[41] 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.[42] 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.[43]

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,[44] as a violation of military discipline.[45] The Greek historian Polybius (2nd century BC) lists deserters, thieves, perjurers, and "...on young men who have abused their persons" as subject to the fustuarium, clubbing to death.[46] 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.[47] Soldiers were free to have relations with their male slaves;[48] the use of a fellow citizen-soldier's body was prohibited, not homosexual behaviors per se.[49] 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.[50]

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.[51] 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.[52]

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.[53] "Death by sword" was the punishment for a "man coupling like a woman" under the Theodosian Code.[54] Under Justinian, all same-sex acts, passive or active, no matter who the partners are, were declared contrary to nature and punishable by death.[55]

British Empire

The United Kingdom introduced anti-homosexuality laws throughout its colonies, particularly in the 19th century when the British Empire was at its peak.[56] As of 2018, more than half of the 71 countries that criminalised homosexuality were former British colonies or protectorates.[57]

Netherlands

In 2001, the Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage.[58]

Global LGBT rights maps

Note that for simplicity the table below does not distinguish between 'legal' and 'lawful'. An action can only be legal or illegal where a specific law has been passed.

Timeline

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

LGBT-related laws by country or territory

[c]

Africa

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

Northern Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression No Anti-LGBT laws
Algeria Algeria No Illegal since 1966
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment with fines up to 10,000 dinars.[66] Torture,[67] beatings,[68] or vigilante executions are also common.
No No No No No No No
Canary Islands Canary Islands
(Autonomous community of Spain)
Yes Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes De facto unions legal since 2003[70] Yes Legal since 2005[71] Yes Legal since 2005[72][73] Yes Spain responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[74] Yes Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[75] Yes
Ceuta Ceuta
(Autonomous city of Spain)
Yes Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes De facto union since 1998[76] Yes Legal since 2005[71] Yes Legal since 2005[72] Yes Spain responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[75] Yes
Egypt Egypt Yes/ No Ambiguous. Male de jure legal, but de facto illegal since 2000
Penalty: Up to 17 years imprisonment with or without hard labour and with or without fines under broadly-written morality laws.[69][77]
No No No No No No No
Libya Libya No Illegal since 1953
Penalty: Up to 5 years in jail or vigilante execution.[78][79]
No No No No No No No
Madeira Madeira
(Autonomous region of Portugal)
Yes Legal since 1983
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes De facto union since 2001[80][81] Yes Legal since 2010[82] Yes Legal since 2016[83][84][85] Yes Portugal responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[74] Yes Since 2011, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[86] Yes
Melilla Melilla
(Autonomous city of Spain)
Yes Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes De facto union since 2008[87] Yes Legal since 2005[71] Yes Legal since 2005[72] Yes Spain responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[88] Yes Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[75] Yes
Morocco Morocco
(including Southern Provinces)
No Illegal since 1962
Penalty: Up to 3 to 6 years imprisonment with hard labour.[69][89]
No No No No No No No
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
(Disputed territory; excluding Southern Provinces)
No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[69][90][91]
No No No No No No No
Sudan Sudan No Illegal since 1899 (as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
Penalty: Life imprisonment for a third offense of anal sex.[92]
No No No No No No No
Tunisia Tunisia No Illegal since 1913 (as the French protectorate of Tunisia)
Penalty: 3 years imprisonment.[69][93]
[94]
No No No No No 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 people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression Lack of a Presence of Anti-LGBT laws
Benin Benin Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);[69][95]
Age of consent discrepancy[69]
No No No No
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[69] No No Constitutional ban since 1991 No No No
Cape Verde Cape Verde Yes Legal since 2004
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[69]
The Gambia Gambia No Illegal since 1888 (as the Gambia Colony and Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to Iife imprisonment.[69][96][97]
No No No No No No Forms of gender expression criminalized since 2013[98] No
Ghana Ghana No Male illegal since 1892 (as the Gold Coast)
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment. (repeal disputed)[99] [100]
Female illegal since 2024 [101]
No No No No No No No
Guinea Guinea No Illegal since 1988
Penalty: 6 months to 10 years imprisonment.[102]
No No No No No No No
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau Yes Legal since 1993[69]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No No
Ivory Coast Ivory Coast Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[69]
No No No No No
Liberia Liberia No Illegal since 1976
Penalty: 1 year imprisonment.[69][103] (repeal disputed)
No No No No No No No
Mali Mali Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[69] No No Constitutional ban since 2023[104] No No No[105] No
Mauritania Mauritania No No Illegal since 1983
Penalty: Capital punishment for men, (not enforced); prison and a fine for women.[69][106]
No No No No No No No
Niger Niger Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[69]
No No No No No[105]
Nigeria Nigeria No Illegal since 1904 (Northern Region only)
Illegal since 1916 (Region-wide)
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment.
No Death in the states of Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara. (not enforced)[69][107][97]
No No Statutory ban since 2013 No No No No Forms of gender expression criminalized in Sharia provinces. No
Saint Helena Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Legal since 2017 Yes Legal since 2017[108][109] Yes Legal since 2017 Yes UK responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes
Senegal Senegal No Illegal since 1966
Penalty: 1 to 5 years imprisonment.[69][110]
No No No No No No No
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone No Male illegal since 1861 (as the Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment (Not enforced, repeal disputed).
Yes Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No No No No No No No
Togo Togo No Illegal since 1980
Penalty: Fine and 3 years imprisonment [69] (repeal proposed)[111]
No No No No No 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 people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression Lack of a Presence of Anti-LGBT laws
Cameroon Cameroon No Illegal since 1972
Penalty: Fines to 5 years imprisonment.[69][97] or vigilante execution and torture,[112] (repeal disputed)
No No No No No No No
Central African Republic Central African Republic Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[69]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No Constitutional ban since 2016[113] No No No[105] No
Chad Chad No Illegal since 2017
Penalty: Between 3 months and 2 years in prison, with fines of 50,000 to 500,000 FCFA. (Penal Code, Chapter 2, Article 354) [114]
No No No No No No[105] No
Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[69] No No Constitutional ban since 2005 No No No No
Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[69]
No No No No No[105] No
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[69] No No No No No[105]
Gabon Gabon Yes Legal since 2020[115];
Age of consent discrepancy,
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No No
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe Yes Legal since 2012
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No No No No

Eastern Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression Lack of a Presence of Anti-LGBT laws
Burundi Burundi No Illegal since 2009
Penalty: fine, and 3 months to 2 years imprisonment. [69][116] (repeal disputed)
No No Constitutional ban since 2005 No No No No No
Djibouti Djibouti Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country) [69][117] No No No No No[105]
Eritrea Eritrea No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[69][118] or vigilate execution[119] Beatings and torture are also tolerated.[120][121]
No No No No No No No
Ethiopia Ethiopia No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 15 years. [69] (repeal disputed) [122]
No No Statutory ban since 2009[123] No No No No No
Kenya Kenya No Illegal since 1897 (as the East Africa Protectorate)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment. (repeal proposed) [69][97][124]
No No Constitutional ban since 2010[125] No No Yes/No Limited protection following legal process by the authorities.[126] Yes[127] No
Rwanda Rwanda Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)[69]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No Constitutional ban since 2003 No No No No
Somalia Somalia No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years prison.
Jubaland Jubaland No Illegal. Penalty: Up to death in Jubaland.[citation needed]
No No No No No No No
Somaliland Somaliland
(Disputed territory)
No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years prison, sometimes death sentences.[128]
No No No No No No No
South Sudan South Sudan No Illegal since 1899 (as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment. (not enforced) [69][97]
No No Constitutional ban since 2011[citation needed] No No No No Forms of gender expression are criminalized. No
Tanzania Tanzania No Illegal since 1864 (only Zanzibar)
Illegal since 1899
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment.[69][97] Vigilante executions, beatings and torture[129][130] are also tolerated.
No No No No No No No
Uganda Uganda No No Male illegal since 1902 (as Protectorate)
Female illegal since 2000
Penalty: Life imprisonment, Death penalty in some cases, Beatings, torture, or vigilante execution. [131][132]
No No Constitutional ban since 2005 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 people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression Lack of a Presence of Anti-LGBT laws
Comoros Comoros No Illegal since 1982
Penalty: 5 years imprisonment and fines. (not enforced)[69][133]
No No No No No No[105] No
French Southern and Antarctic Lands French Southern and Antarctic Lands
(Overseas territory of France)
Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the territory)[69]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999[citation needed] Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes France responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Under French law Yes
Madagascar Madagascar Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country);
Age of consent discrepancy[69]
No No No No
Mauritius Mauritius Yes Legal since 2023[134]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[135][136]
Mayotte Mayotte
(Overseas region of France)
Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the region)[69]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 2007 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes France responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Under French law Yes
Réunion Réunion
(Overseas region of France)
Yes Legal since 1791[69] Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes Legal since 2013 Yes France responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Under French law Yes
Seychelles Seychelles Yes Legal since 2016[137]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[69]

Southern Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGBT people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression Lack of a Presence of Anti-LGBT laws
Angola Angola Yes Legal since 2021 [138] No No No No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[139] May possibly change gender under the Código do Registro Civil 2015[140] Yes
Botswana Botswana No Legal since 2019 [141] No No No No(Only LGB) Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination Yes Legal gender change recognized as a constitutional right since 2017[142] Yes
Eswatini Eswatini No Male illegal since the 1880s (not enforced, repeal proposed)
Penalty: Unknown
Yes Female always legal[69][97]
No No No No No No No
Lesotho Lesotho Yes Male legal since 2012
Female always legal[69]
No No No No May possibly change gender under the National Identity Cards Act 9 of 2011[143]
Malawi Malawi No Illegal since 1891 (as British Central Africa Protectorate)[97]
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment, with or without corporal punishment for men
up to 5 years imprisonment for women (repeal proposed)[69][144][97][145][146]
No No No No No No No
Mozambique Mozambique Yes Legal since 2015[147][148] No No No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[69][135] Yes
Namibia Namibia No Male illegal since 1920 (not enforced; repeal proposed)[97][149]
Penalty: Unknown
Yes Female always legal[69][150][151]
No/Yes Foreign same-sex marriages recognised. No/Yes Foreign same-sex marriages recognised. No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[152] Yes Under the Births, Marriages and Deaths Registration Act 81 of 1963[153] No
South Africa South Africa Yes Male legal since 1998
Female always legal; equal age of consent since 2007
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
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 Constitution 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 Yes[105][154]
Zambia Zambia No Illegal since 1911 (as part of the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment. (repeal proposed)[69][97]
No No No No No No No
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe No Male illegal since 1891 (as part of the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment. (repeal proposed)
Yes Female always legal[69][97]
No No Constitutional ban since 2013[155] No No No No No

Americas

List of countries or territories by LGBT rights in the Americas


Tables:

North America

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression Lack of a Presence of Anti-LGBT laws
Bermuda Bermuda
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 1994; equal age of consent since 2019
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Domestic partnerships since 2018[156] No Was legal between November 2018 and March 2022 and between May 2017 and June 2018 Yes Legal since 2015[157] Yes UK responsible for defence No Bans all anti-gay discrimination[158] No
Canada Canada Yes Legal since 1969; equal age of consent since 1987
+ UN decl. sign.[69][159]
Yes Domestic partnerships in Nova Scotia (2001);[160]
Civil unions in Quebec (2002);[161]
Adult interdependent relationships in Alberta (2003);[162]
Common-law relationships in Manitoba (2004)[163]
Yes Legal in some provinces and territories since 2003, nationwide since 2005[164] Yes Legal in some provinces and territories since 1996, nationwide since 2011[165] Yes Since 1992[166]; Includes transgender people[167] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Ban on conversion therapy since 2022 nationwide Yes Transgender people can change their gender and name without completion of medical intervention and human rights protections explicitly include gender identity or expression within all of Canada since 2017[168][169][170][171] Yes[172][173]
Greenland Greenland
(Autonomous Territory within the Kingdom of Denmark)
Yes Legal since 1933; equal age of consent since 1977
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Registered partnerships between 1996 and 2016 (Existing partnerships are still recognised.)[174] Yes Legal since 2016 Yes Stepchild adoption since 2009;[175]
joint adoption since 2016[176]
Yes The Kingdom of Denmark responsible for defence Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[69] Yes Legal gender change and recognition possible without surgery or hormone therapy[177][178] Yes
Mexico Mexico Yes Legal since 1871
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes/No Civil unions in Mexico City (2007), Coahuila (2007),[179] Colima (between 2013 and 2016),[180] Campeche (2013),[181] Jalisco (between 2014 and 2018),[182] Michoacán (2015), Tlaxcala (2017), and Veracruz (2020) Yes Starting in 2010; nationwide since 2022 Yes/No Legal in Mexico City (2010),[183] Coahuila (2014), Chihuahua (2015), Jalisco (2016), Michoacán (2016), Colima (2016), Morelos (2016), Campeche (2016), Veracruz (2016), Baja California (2017), Querétaro (2017), Chiapas (2017), Puebla (2017), Aguascalientes (2018), San Luis Potosi (2019), Hidalgo (2019), Yucatán (2021), Nayarit (2022), Quintana Roo (2022), Baja California Sur (2022), Tabasco (2024), Durango, Tamaulipas, and Nuevo León (the latter three never had adoption bans)[184][185] (ambiguous) Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[186] Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal in Mexico City (2020), México (2020), Baja California Sur (2020), Colima (2021), Tlaxcala (2021), Oaxaca (2021), Yucatán (2021), Zacatecas (2021), Baja California (2022), Hidalgo (2022), Jalisco (2022), Puebla (2022), Sonora (2022), Nuevo León (2022), Querétaro (2023), Sinaloa (2023), Quintana Roo (2023), Morelos (2023), Guerrero (2024). Yes/No Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name in Mexico City (2008),[187] Michoacán (2017), Nayarit (2017), Coahuila (2018), Hidalgo (2019), San Luis Potosí (2019), Colima (2019), Baja California (2019), Oaxaca (2019), Tlaxcala (2019), Chihuahua (2019), Sonora (2020), Jalisco (2020), Quintana Roo (2020), Puebla (2021), Baja California Sur (2021), México (2021), Morelos (2021), Sinaloa (2022), Zacatecas (2022), Durango (2023), and Yucatán (2024) [188] Yes
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
(Overseas collectivity of France)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999[189] Yes Legal since 2013[190] Yes Legal since 2013[191] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[88] Yes Under French law[192] Yes
United States United States Yes Legal in some states since 1962, nationwide since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Domestic partnerships in California (1999), the District of Columbia (2002), Maine (2004), Washington (2007), Maryland (2008), Oregon (2008), Nevada (2009) and Wisconsin (2009).
Civil unions in Vermont (2000), Connecticut (2005), New Jersey (2007), New Hampshire (2008), Illinois (2011), Rhode Island (2011), Delaware (2012), Hawaii (2012) and Colorado (2013).
Yes Legal in some states since 2004, nationwide since 2015 Yes Legal in some states since 1993, nationwide since 2016 Yes/No Lesbians, gays, and bisexuals have been allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military since 2011, following the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.
Transgender people have been allowed to serve openly since 2021.[193]
"Transvestites" are currently banned from the military since 2012.[194]
Most openly Intersex people may be banned from the military under the Armed Forces ban of "hermaphrodites".[194]
Yes/No Employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited nationwide since 2020.
More extensive protections exist in 23 states, DC, and some municipalities.
Conversion therapy for minors is banned in 22 states, DC, and some municipalities.
Sexual orientation is covered by the federal hate crime law since 2009.
Yes/No Since April 11, 2022 by legal self determination - gender X became available and recognized formally on US passports.[195] Gender change is legal on birth certificates (under varying conditions by state), in 48 states + DC.
Nonbinary gender markers are available, under varying circumstances, in 25 states + DC.
Employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity is prohibited nationwide since 2020.
More extensive protections exist in 22 states, DC, and some municipalities.
Gender identity is covered by the federal hate crime law since 2009.
Yes Federally
Yes/No Status varies state to state

Central America

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression Lack of a Presence of Anti-LGBT laws
Belize Belize Yes Legal since 2016[196] No No No No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[197][198][199] No[200] No
Costa Rica Costa Rica Yes Legal since 1971
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Unregistered cohabitation since 2014[201][202] Yes Legal since May 2020 Yes Legal since May 2020[203] Has no military Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[69] Yes/No Transgender persons can change their legal name without surgeries or judicial permission since 2018. Legal gender cannot be changed. Sex indicator removed from all ID cards issued since May 2018[204][205][206] One-time sex change allowed for passports. [207] Yes[172][173]
El Salvador El Salvador Yes Legal since 1822
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No No No Yes[208][209] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[208] No[210] Bans discrimination based on gender identity. Yes
Guatemala Guatemala Yes Legal since 1871
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No Pending No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination No[211]
Honduras Honduras Yes Legal since 1899
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No Constitutional ban on de facto unions since 2005 No Constitutional ban since 2005;[212][213] court decision pending No Constitutional ban since 2005 No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[214] No No
Nicaragua Nicaragua Yes Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[69] No No
Panama Panama Yes Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No Court decision pending No Court decision pending No Court decision pending Has no military Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[215][216] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2006[217][218] Yes/No

Caribbean

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression Lack of a Presence of Anti-LGBT laws
Anguilla Anguilla
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2001
Age of consent discrepancy
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No No No Yes UK responsible for defence No
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda Yes Legal since 2022 No No No No No No
Aruba Aruba
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Registered partnerships since 2021[219] No/Yes Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized[220] No Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[221] No
The Bahamas Bahamas Yes Legal since 1991;
Age of consent discrepancy
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No No No Yes[69] No No No
Barbados Barbados Yes Legal since 2022. No/Yes Foreign Domestic Partnerships recognized for immigration purposes "Welcome Stamp"[222]

Civil Unions proposed.[223]

No No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[224] No
Bonaire Bonaire
(a special municipality of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the municipalities)
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Registered partnerships since 2012[225] Yes Legal since 2012[226] Yes[227] Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[228] Yes Yes
British Virgin Islands British Virgin Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No No No Yes UK responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[229] No No
Cayman Islands Cayman Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2001;
Age of consent discrepancy[69]
+ UN decl. sign.
Yes Civil partnerships since 2020[230] No Yes Legal since 2020 Yes UK responsible for defence No No
Cuba Cuba Yes Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Legal since 2022 Legal since 2022 Legal since 2022 Yes[69][231] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination [232][233][234] Yes Transgender people allowed to change gender after sex change operations[235] Yes[172][173]
Curaçao Curaçao
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes No (Pending court ruling)/Yes Mariages performed in Netherlands recognized No Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[236] No
Dominica Dominica Yes Legal since 2024[237]
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No No No No No No No
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Yes Legal since 1822
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No No Constitutional ban since 2010[citation needed] No No[238] No No No
Grenada Grenada No Male illegal
Penalty: 10-year prison sentence (not enforced). [239] Legalization proposed[240]
Yes Female always legal[69]
No No No Has no military No No No
Guadeloupe Guadeloupe
(Overseas department of France)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999[189] Yes Legal since 2013[190] Yes Legal since 2013[191] Yes France responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[88] Yes Under French law[192] Yes
Haiti Haiti Yes Legal since 1791 (as Saint-Domingue)[69] No No No Has no military No No No
Jamaica Jamaica No Male illegal
Penalty: 10 years and/or hard labor (Not enforced). Legalization proposed[241]
Yes Female always legal.[69]
No No Constitutional ban since 1962 No No No No No
Martinique Martinique
(Overseas department of France)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999[189] Yes Legal since 2013[190] Yes Legal since 2013[191] Yes France responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[88] Yes Under French law[192] Yes
Montserrat Montserrat
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No No No Yes UK responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[242] Yes
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico
(Commonwealth of the United States)
Yes Legal since 2003 Yes Legal since 2015 Yes Legal since 2015[243] Yes Legal since 2015 Yes United States responsible for defense[244][245] Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination Yes Gender change legal since 2018; does not require surgery Yes
Saba (island) Saba
(a special municipality of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the municipalities)
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Registered partnerships since 2012[225] Yes Legal since 2012[226] Yes[227] Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[228] Yes[246] Yes
Saint Barthélemy
(Overseas collectivity of France)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999[189] Yes Legal since 2013[190] Yes Legal since 2013[191] Yes France responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[88] Yes Under French law[192] Yes
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis Yes Legal since 2022 No No No No No
Saint Lucia Saint Lucia No Male illegal
Penalty: Fine and/or 10-year prison sentence (Not enforced). Legalization proposed[247]
Yes Female always legal[69]
No No No Has no military Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination No
Saint Martin
(Overseas collectivity of France)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999[189] Yes Legal since 2013[190] Yes Legal since 2013[191] Yes France responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[88] Yes Under French law[192] Yes
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines No Illegal
Penalty: Fine and/or 10-year prison sentence (Not enforced).[69] Legalization proposed[248]
No No No Has no military No
Sint Eustatius Sint Eustatius
(a special municipality of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the municipalities)
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Registered partnerships since 2012[225] Yes Legal since 2012[226] Yes[227] Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[228] Yes Yes
Sint Maarten Sint Maarten
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No No/Yes Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized[220] No Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[249] Yes
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago Yes Legal since 2018[250] No No No No No No
Turks and Caicos Islands Turks and Caicos Islands
(Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2001
Age of consent discrepancy
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
No No No Yes UK responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[69] No
United States Virgin Islands United States Virgin Islands
(Territory of the United States)
Yes Legal since 1985 Yes Legal since 2015[251] Yes Legal since 2015[251] Yes Legal since 2015[251] Yes United States responsible for defense[244][245] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[252] Yes Legislation enacted in 2022, also explicitly includes gender identity.[252] Yes

South America

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression Lack of a Presence of Anti-LGBT laws
Argentina Argentina Yes Legal since 1887
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
Yes Civil unions in Buenos Aires (2003),[253] Río Negro Province (2003),[254] Villa Carlos Paz (2007) and Río Cuarto (2009)
Cohabitation unions nationwide since 2015[255]
Yes Legal since 2010[256] Yes Legal since 2010 Yes Since 2009[257] Yes/No Legal protection in some cities;[258]
pending nationwide.
Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal since 2010
Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name without surgeries or judicial order since 2012[259]

Transgender persons have a law reserving 1% of Argentina's public sector jobs. Economic incentives included in the new law aim to help trans people find work in all sectors. [260]

Yes[172][173]
Bolivia Bolivia Yes Legal since 1832
+ UN decl. sign.[69]
YesFree unions officially recognised starting in 2020; nationwide since 2023.[261] No Constitutional ban since 2009[262] Yes Same-sex couples in a free union are pe