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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 same-sex intercourse and freedom of expression and association
Same-sex intercourse legal Same-sex intercourse illegal
  
Marriage1
  
Unenforced penalty
  
Marriage recognized but not performed1
  
Imprisonment
  
Civil unions1
  
Up to life in prison
  
Unregistered cohabitation1
  
Death penalty
  
Same-sex unions not recognized
  
Laws restricting freedom of expression and association
Rings indicate areas where local judges have granted or denied marriages or imposed the death penalty in a jurisdiction where that is not otherwise the law or areas with a case-by-case application.
1Some jurisdictions in this category may currently have other types of partnerships.
LGBT rights at the United Nations
  
Support Countries which have signed a General Assembly declaration of LGBT rights or sponsored the Human Rights Council's 2011 resolution on LGBT rights (96 members).
  
Oppose Countries which signed a 2008 statement opposing LGBT rights (initially 57 members, now 54 members).
  
Neither Countries which, as regards the UN, have expressed neither official support nor opposition to LGBT rights (44 members).

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

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

As of April 2016, nineteen countries, most of them located in the Americas and Western Europe,[f] recognize same-sex marriage and grant most of (if not all) the other rights listed above to its LGBT citizens.

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

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

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

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

History of LGBT-related laws

Ancient Celts

According to Aristotle, although most "belligerent nations" were strongly influenced by their women, the Celts were unusual because their men openly preferred male lovers (Politics II 1269b).[6][7] H. D. Rankin in Celts and the Classical World notes that "Athenaeus echoes this comment (603a) and so does Ammianus (30.9). It seems to be the general opinion of antiquity."[7] In book XIII of his Deipnosophists, the Roman Greek rhetorician and grammarian Athenaeus, repeating assertions made by Diodorus Siculus in the 1st century BC (Bibliotheca historica 5:32), wrote that Celtic women were beautiful but that the men preferred to sleep together. Diodorus went further, stating that "the young men will offer themselves to strangers and are insulted if the offer is refused". Rankin argues that the ultimate source of these assertions is likely to be Poseidonius and speculates that these authors may be recording "some kind of bonding ritual ... which requires abstinence from women at certain times".[7]

Ancient India

Throughout Hindu and Vedic texts there are many descriptions of saints, demigods, and even the Supreme Lord transcending gender norms and manifesting multiple combinations of sex and gender.[8] There are several instances in ancient Indian epic poetry of same sex depictions and unions by gods and goddesses. There are several stories depicting love between those of the same sex, especially among kings and queens. Kamasutra, the ancient Indian treatise on love talks about feelings for same sexes. Transsexuals are also venerated e.g. Lord Vishnu as Mohini and Lord Shiva as Ardhanarishwara (which means half woman).[9]

Ancient West Asia

Ancient Israel

The ancient Law of Moses (the Torah) forbids men lying with men (intercourse) in Leviticus 18 and gives a story of attempted homosexual rape in Genesis in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities being soon destroyed after that. The death penalty was prescribed. In Deuteronomy 22:5, cross-dressing is condemned as being "abominable".

Ancient Persia

In Persia homosexuality and homoerotic expressions were tolerated in numerous public places, from monasteries and seminaries to taverns, military camps, bathhouses, and coffee houses. In the early Safavid era (1501–1723), male houses of prostitution (amrad khane) were legally recognized and paid taxes. Persian poets, such as Sa’di (d. 1291), Hafiz (d. 1389), and Jami (d. 1492), wrote poems replete with homoerotic allusions. The two most commonly documented forms were commercial sex with transgender young males or males enacting transgender roles exemplified by the köçeks and Sufi spiritual practices in which the practitioner admired the form of a beautiful boy in order to enter ecstatic states and glimpse the beauty of God.

Ancient Mesopotamia

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."[10]

Ancient Rome

The "conquest mentality" of the ancient Romans shaped Roman homosexual practices.[11] 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;[12] for the male citizen to submit his body to the giving of pleasure was considered servile.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21]

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,[22] as a violation of military discipline.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25] Soldiers were free to have relations with their male slaves;[26] the use of a fellow citizen-soldier's body was prohibited, not homosexual behaviors per se.[27] 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.[28]

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.[29] 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.[30]

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.[31] "Death by sword" was the punishment for a "man coupling like a woman" under the Theodosian Code.[32] Under Justinian, all same-sex acts, passive or active, no matter who the partners, were declared contrary to nature and punishable by death.[33]

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.[34]

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",[35] 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.[36]

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.[37]

Global LGBT Rights Maps

LGBT-related laws by country or territory

Africa

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

Northern Africa

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGBT allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Algeria Algeria No Illegal since 1966
Penalty: Fine and up to 2 years imprisonment.[5][38]
No No No No No No
Ceuta Ceuta (Autonomous city of Spain) Yes Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes De facto union since 1998[39] Yes Legal since 2005[40] Yes Legal since 2005[41] Yes Spain responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[42] Yes Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[43]
Egypt Egypt No Male de facto illegal since 2000
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.[5][44]
No No No No No No
Libya Libya No Illegal since 1973
Penalty: Up to 5 years imprisonment.[5][45]
No No No No No No
Melilla Melilla (Autonomous city of Spain) Yes Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes De facto union since 2008[46] Yes Legal since 2005[40] Yes Legal since 2005[41] Yes Spain responsible for defence Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[42] Yes Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender[43]
Morocco Morocco
(Including Southern Provinces)
No Illegal since 1962
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment.[5][47]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
South Sudan South Sudan No Illegal since 1899 (as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment.[5][38]
No No Constitutional ban since 2011. No No No No
Sudan Sudan No Illegal since 1899 (as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan)
Penalty: Death penalty on third offense for men and on fourth offense for women.[5]
No No No No No No
Tunisia Tunisia No Illegal since 1913 (as the French protectorate of Tunisia)
Penalty: 3 years imprisonment.[5][48]
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 LGBT 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 have ever existed in the country).[5][49] (Age of consent discrepancy)[5] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country).[5] 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.[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[5] Emblem-question.svg
Ivory Coast Côte d'Ivoire Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country). (Age of consent discrepancy)[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
The Gambia Gambia No Illegal since 1888 (as Gambia Colony and Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to Iife imprisonment.[5][50][38]
No No No No No No
Ghana Ghana No Male illegal since 1860s (as Gold Coast)
Penalty: 10 years imprisonment or more
Yes Female always legal.[5][51][38]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Guinea Guinea No Illegal since 1988
Penalty: 6 months to 3 years imprisonment.[5][52]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau Yes Legal since 1993[5]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Liberia Liberia No Illegal since 1976
Penalty: 1 year imprisonment.[5][53]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Mali Mali Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country).[5] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Mauritania Mauritania No Illegal since 1983
Penalty: Death penalty (No public executions for any crime since 1987).[5][54]
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)[5] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Nigeria Nigeria No Illegal under federal law since 1901 (as Northern Nigeria Protectorate and Southern Nigeria Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment
No Illegal in the states of Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara
Penalty: Death penalty for men. Whipping and/or imprisonment for women.[5][55][38]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Senegal Senegal No Illegal since 1966
Penalty: 1 to 5 years imprisonment.[5][56]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone No Male illegal since 1861 (as the colony of Sierra Leone)
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment (Not enforced)
Yes Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Togo Togo No Illegal since 1884 (as Togoland)
Penalty: Fine and 3 years imprisonment.[5][38]
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 LGBT allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Cameroon Cameroon No Illegal since 1972
Penalty: Fines to 5 years imprisonment.[5][38]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Central African Republic Central African Republic Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country).
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Chad Chad Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country). 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 have ever existed in the country).[5] No No Constitutional ban since 2005. No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea Yes Legal since 1968.[5][57] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Gabon Gabon Yes Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.
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 have ever existed in the country). (Age of consent discrepancy)[5] 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.[5]
Emblem-question.svg Yes/No (In Ascension from 2016)[58] Emblem-question.svg Yes Since 2000. UK responsible for defence. Yes Constitutional ban all anti-gay on discrimination. Yes Since 2013.
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe Yes Legal since 2012
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
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 LGBT 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.[5][59]
No No Constitutional ban since 2005. No Emblem-question.svg No No
Kenya Kenya No Illegal since 1897 (as East Africa Protectorate)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment.[5][38]
No No Constitutional ban since 2010.[60] No No No No
Rwanda Rwanda Yes Legal since 1980[5][61]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No Constitutional ban since 2003. No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Uganda Uganda No No Male illegal since 1894
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment
Female illegal since 2000
Penalty: Up to 7 years imprisonment.[5][38]
No Constitutional ban since 2005. No No No No
Tanzania Tanzania No Illegal since 1864 (only Zanzibar)
Illegal since 1899
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment.[5][38]
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 LGBT 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 have ever existed in the country).[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Eritrea Eritrea No Illegal since 1957 (as part of the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea)
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment[5][62]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Ethiopia Ethiopia No Illegal
Penalty: 10 years imprisonment or more[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Somalia Somalia No Illegal since 1962
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment[5][63]
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 LGBT allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Comoros Comoros No Illegal since 1982
Penalty: 5 years imprisonment & fines[5][64]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Madagascar Madagascar Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country). (Age of consent discrepancy)[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Mauritius Mauritius No Illegal since 1838 (as part of British Mauritius)
Penalty: Up to 5 years imprisonment
Yes Female always legal[65]
+ UN decl. sign.[5][66]
No No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[67][68] Emblem-question.svg
Mayotte Mayotte
(Overseas department of France)
Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the department).[5]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999 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[5] Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999 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 Yes Legal since 2016[69]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[5] 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 LGBT allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Angola Angola No De facto illegal since 1886 (as part of the Province of Angola)
Penalty: Fines, restrictions or penal labor (Not enforced)[5][70]
No No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination No
Botswana Botswana No Illegal since 1885 (as part of the Bechuanaland Protectorate)
Penalty: Fine to up to 7 years imprisonment (Not enforced)[5][38]
No No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination No
Lesotho Lesotho Yes Male legal since 2012
Female always legal[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Malawi Malawi No Illegal since 1891 (as part of the Shire Highlands Protectorate and the Nyasaland Districts Protectorate)
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment & whippings (Law suspended from usage since 2012)[5][71][38]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Mozambique Mozambique Yes Legal since 2015[72][73] No No No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[5][67] Emblem-question.svg
Namibia Namibia No Male illegal since 1920 (as part of South-West Africa; not enforced)[38]
Yes Female always legal[5][74][75]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
South Africa South Africa Yes Male legal since 1998
Female always legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
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 since the 1880s
Yes Female always legal[5][38]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Zambia Zambia No Illegal since 1911 (as part of the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia)
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment[5][38]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe No Male illegal since 1891 (as part of the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia)
Yes Female legal[5][38]
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 LGBT 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 since 1944 (as part of the Overseas Province of Spanish Sahara)
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment[5][76][77]
No No No No No No
Somaliland Somaliland No Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment[5]
No 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 LGBT people 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.[5]
No No Yes Legal since 2015[78] Yes UK responsible for defence. No Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[79] No
Canada Canada Yes Legal since 1969 (age of consent discrepancy and prohibition of anal intercourse in some cases)
+ UN decl. sign.[5][80]
Yes Domestic partnership in Nova Scotia (2001)[81];
Civil union in Quebec (2002)[82];
Adult interdependent relationship in Alberta (2003)[83];
Common-law relationship in Manitoba (2004)[84]
Yes Legal in some provinces and territories since 2003,
nationwide since 2005
.[85]
Yes Legal in some provinces and territories since 1996, nationwide since 2010.[86] Yes Since 1992[87] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination, including hate speech. Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal in Manitoba and Ontario since 2015 (proposed in other jurisdictions). 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, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia); Explicit anti-discrimination protections only in Alberta, British Columbia,[88] Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Quebec, the Northwest Territories and Nova Scotia implicit elsewhere.[89][90][91][92]
Greenland Greenland
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark)
Yes Legal since 1933
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Registered partnership since 1996[93] Yes Legal since 2016 Yes Step-child adoption since 2009.[94] Joint adoption since 2016.[95] Yes Since 1978 (Denmark responsible for defence) Yes/No Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[5] No
Mexico Mexico Yes Legal since 1871
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes/No Civil union in Mexico City (2007), Coahuila (2007),[96] Colima (2013),[97] Campeche (2013),[98] Jalisco (2014)[99] Yes/No Legal in Mexico City (2010),[100] Quintana Roo (2012),[101] Coahuila (2014), Chihuahua (2015), Guerrero (2015), Nayarit (2015), Jalisco (2016), Campeche (2016), Michoacán (2016), Colima (2016), Morelos (2016).
All states are obliged to honour same-sex marriages performed in states where it is legal.[100]
(Proposed nationwide).[102][103]

The Supreme Court has declared that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples in all states,[104] but as state constitutions were not invalidated, individual injunctions must still be obtained from the court.[105][106]

Yes/No Explicitly legal in Mexico City (2010)[107], Coahuila (2014), Michoacán (2016), Colima (2016). [108]
Nationwide, married same-sex couples may adopt.[109]
Yes Yes Constitutional ban on all anti-gay discrimination.[110] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name in Mexico City since 2008.[111] Mexico adopted a legal protocol for gender identity and sexual orientation in 2014 based upon constitutional provisions to equally protect the rights of all citizens.[112]
Flag of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.svg Saint Pierre et Miquelon
(Overseas collectivity of France)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999[113] Yes Legal since 2013[114] Yes Legal since 2013[115] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[42] Yes Requires sterilization for legal change.[116]
United States United States Yes Legal in some states since 1962, nationwide since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Domestic partnership in California (1999),[117] the District of Columbia (2002),[118] Maine (2004),[119] Oregon (2008),[120] Maryland (2008),[121] Wisconsin (2009)[122] and Nevada (2009)[123];
Civil union in New Jersey (2007),[124] Illinois (2011),[125] Hawaii (2012),[126] and Colorado (2013)[127]
Yes Legal in some states since 2004.
Nationwide since 2015
, except American Samoa and some tribal jurisdictions.[128][129]
Yes Legal in some states since 1993.
Nationwide since 2015, except American Samoa.[129]
Yes Since 2011[130] Yes 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, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, the District of Columbia and some cities such as Miami Beach, Cincinnati and Seattle). Included in the federal hate crimes law since 2009.
(Sexual orientation discrimination in public and private employment)
Yes/No Gender identity discrimination in employment and healthcare insurance banned since 2012.[131][132] Included in the federal hate crimes law since 2009. Employment discrimination based on sexual orientation banned since 2015.[133]
(Gender identity discrimination in public and private employment)

Central America

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGBT people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Belize Belize Yes Legal since 2016[134] No No No No Yes Section 16(3) of the constitution bans discrimination on the basis of sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed[135] The ruling overturning Section 53 of the criminal code specifically stated "sex" as mentioned in Section 16(3) of the constitution, includes sexual orientation.[136][137] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal name without surgeries.

No Gender change is not allowed.[138]

Costa Rica Costa Rica Yes Legal since 1971
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Unregistered cohabitation since 2014;
(De facto union pending)[139][140]
No No LGBT individuals may adopt.[141] Has no military. Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[5] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal name without surgeries. Judicial permission required.

No Gender change is not allowed.

El Salvador El Salvador Yes Legal since the 1800s
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No (Constitutional ban pending)[142] No Yes[143] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[143] Yes Bans hate crimes based on gender identity.[144][145]
Guatemala Guatemala Yes Legal since 1800's
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Yes Transgender persons can change their legal name without surgeries. Judicial permission required.[146]

No Gender change is not allowed.

Honduras Honduras Yes Legal since 1899
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No Constitutional ban since 2005.[147][148] No No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination, including hate speech.[149] Yes Bans hate crimes based on gender identity.[5]
Nicaragua Nicaragua Yes Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[5] No
Panama Panama Yes Legal since 2008
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No Has no military. No (Anti-discrimination law proposed).[150] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2006.[151] Legal name change, without surgeries, is allowed since 2016.[152]

Caribbean

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGBT people allowed to serve openly in military Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Anguilla Anguilla
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No Yes UK responsible for defence. No No
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda No Illegal
Penalty: 15-year prison sentence.[5]
No No No No No No
Aruba Aruba
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Civil Unions since 2016[153] No/Yes(Pending)[citation needed]
Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized.[154]
No Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence. No No
The Bahamas Bahamas Yes Legal since 1991 (age of consent discrepancy)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No Yes[5] No No
Barbados Barbados No Illegal
Penalty: Life imprisonment (not enforced).[5]
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.[5]
No No No Yes UK responsible for defence. Yes Constitutional ban on all anti-gay discrimination.[155] No
Caribbean Netherlands Caribbean Netherlands
(Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba; Special municipalities of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Registered partnership since 2012[156] Yes Legal since 2012[157] Yes[158] Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence. Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[159] Yes[160]
Cayman Islands Cayman Islands
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2000 (age of consent discrepancy)[5]
+ UN decl. sign.
No No/Yes Same-sex marriage not expressly prohibited under Cayman Islands law, but Constitutional right of a man and a woman to marry a person of the opposite sex since 2009.[161] Same-sex marriages performed in a foreign country are now recognized for immigration purposes. [162] No Yes UK responsible for defence. No No
Cuba Cuba Yes Legal since 1979
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No Constitutional ban since 1976. No Yes[5] Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[163][164] Yes[165]
Curaçao Curaçao
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No (Proposed)[citation needed] No/Yes Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized.[154] No Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence. No No
Dominica Dominica No Illegal
Penalty: 10-year prison sentence or incarceration in a psychiatric institution (Not enforced)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No No No No
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Yes Legal since 1822
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No Constitutional ban since 2010.[166] No No[167] No No
Grenada Grenada No Male illegal
Penalty: 10-year prison sentence
Yes Female always legal.[5]
No No No Has no military. No No
Guadeloupe Guadeloupe
(Overseas department of France)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999[113] Yes Legal since 2013[114] Yes Legal since 2013[115] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[42] Yes Requires sterilization for legal change.[116]
Haiti Haiti Yes Legal since 1986[5] No No No Has no military. No No
Jamaica Jamaica No Male illegal
Penalty: 10 years hard labor (not enforced)
Yes Female always legal.[5]
No No No No No No
Martinique Martinique
(Overseas department of France)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999[113] Yes Legal since 2013[114] Yes Legal since 2013[115] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[42] Yes Requires sterilization for legal change.[116]
Montserrat Montserrat
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No Constitutional ban since 2010.[168] No Yes UK responsible for defence. Yes Constitutional ban on all anti-gay discrimination.[169] No
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico
(Commonwealth of the United States)
Yes Legal since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Since 2015 Yes Legal since 2015[170] Yes Legal since 2015 Yes Since 2011[130] 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.[5]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999[113] Yes Legal since 2013[114] Yes Legal since 2013[115] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[42] Yes Requires sterilization for legal change.[116]
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis No Male illegal
Penalty: 10 years
Yes Female always legal.[5]
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.[5]
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.[5]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999[113] Yes Legal since 2013[114] Yes Legal since 2013[115] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[42] Yes Requires sterilization for legal change.[116]
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines No Illegal
Penalty: fine and/or 10-year prison sentence.[5]
No No No Has no military. No No
Sint Maarten Sint Maarten
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Yes Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No (Proposed)[citation needed] No/Yes Same-sex marriages performed in the Netherlands recognized.[154] No Yes The Netherlands responsible for defence. No No
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago No Illegal
Penalty: 25-year prison sentence (not enforced).[5]
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.[5]
No No Constitutional ban since 2011.[171] No Yes UK responsible for defence. Yes Constitutional ban on all anti-gay discrimination.[5] No
United States Virgin Islands United States Virgin Islands
(Insular area of the United States)
Yes Legal since 1985
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Since 2015[129] Yes Legal since 2015[129] Yes Legal since 2015[129] Yes Since 2011[130] 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 LGBT people 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.[5]
Yes Civil union in Buenos Aires (2003)[172] and Rio Negro (2003)[173]
Cohabitation union nationwide since 2015[174]
Yes Legal since 2010.[175] Yes Legal since 2010 Yes Since 2009[176] Yes/No Legal protection in some provinces (federal law pending).[177] 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.[178]
Bolivia Bolivia Yes Legal
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No Constitutional ban on free unions.[179]
(Family life agreement pending)[180]
No Constitutional ban since 2009.[181] No LGBT individuals may adopt.[182] Emblem-question.svg[183][184][185] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[5] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name without surgeries or judicial permission since 2016.[186][187][188][189]
Brazil Brazil Yes Legal since 1831
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes "Stable unions" legal in some states since 2004. All rights as recognized family entities available nationwide since 2011.[190][191] Yes Legal in some states since 2012, nationwide since 2013.[192][193] Yes Legal since 2010[194] Yes Since 1969[195] Yes/No 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).[196] Pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal since 1999.[197][198] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2009.[199][200][201]
Chile Chile Yes Legal since 1999 (age of consent discrepancy)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Civil union agreement since 2015.[202] No (Pending).[203] No/Yes Same-sex couples may adopt, although only one is recognized as legal parent.

LGBT individuals may adopt (Joint and step-child adoption pending).[204]

Yes Since 2012.[205] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination since 2012.[206] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention since 2007. Judicial permission required.[207] Currently, a broader gender identity law (which would not require any surgeries or judicial permission) is being discussed by the congress.[208][209]
Colombia Colombia Yes Legal since 1981
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes De facto marital union since 2007.[210] Yes Legal since 2016.[211] Yes Step-child adoption since 2014.[212] Joint adoption since 2015.[213] Yes Since 1999. Since 2009 the military special social security system can be used by same sex couples in the army.[5] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination including hate speech since 2011.[214] Yes Since 2015, transgender persons can change their legal gender and name manifesting their solemn will before a notar, no surgeries or judicial order required.[215]
Ecuador Ecuador Yes Legal since 1997
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes De facto union since 2009.[216][217] No Constitutional ban since 2009.[218] No LGBT individuals may adopt.[219] Emblem-question.svg[220] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[221] Yes Since 2016, transgender persons are allowed to change their birth name and gender identity (instead of the sex assigned at birth) on legal documents. No surgeries or judicial order required.[222][223][224]
Falkland Islands Falkland Islands
(Overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 1989
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No (Civil partnership proposed)[225] No (Proposed)[225] No Yes UK responsible for defence. Yes Constitutional ban on all anti-gay discrimination.[226] No
French Guiana French Guiana
(Overseas department of France)
Yes Legal since 1791
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Civil solidarity pact since 1999.[113] Yes Legal since 2013.[114] Yes Legal since 2013.[115] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination.[42] Yes Requires sterilization for legal change.[116]
Guyana Guyana No Illegal
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment (not enforced).[5]
No No Emblem-question.svg[227] Yes[228] No No
Paraguay Paraguay Yes Legal since 1880 (age of consent discrepancy)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No Constitutional ban since 1992.[229] No Constitutional ban since 1992.[230] No Emblem-question.svg No (Proposed).[231] No
Peru Peru Yes Legal since 1836-1837
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No (Solidary community pending).[232] No No Yes Since 2009.[233] No[234][235][236] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name after completion of medical intervention. Judicial permission required.[237][238]
Suriname Suriname Yes Legal since 1869
+ UN decl.
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Uruguay Uruguay Yes Legal since 1934
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Concubinage union since 2008.[239] Yes Legal since 2013[240] Yes Legal since 2009[241] Yes Since 2009.[242] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination since 2004.[243] Yes Transgender persons can change their legal gender and name since 2009.[244]
Venezuela Venezuela Yes Legal since 1997
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No (Proposed).[245] No No Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination.[5] No

Asia

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

Central Asia

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Yes Legal since 1998[5] No No No No[246] No No
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan Yes Legal since 1998[5] No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Tajikistan Tajikistan Yes Legal since 1998[5] No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan No Male illegal
Penalty: up to 2-year prison sentence
Yes Female always legal[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan No Male illegal
Penalty: up to 3-year prison sentence
Yes Female always legal[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No

Eurasia

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.[5]
Yes Since 2005 Yes Legal since 2014 Emblem-question.svg Yes UK responsible for defence Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[247] Emblem-question.svg
Armenia Armenia Yes Legal since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No Constitutionally banned since 2015[248][249] No No/Yes No explicit ban. However, LGBT persons have been reportedly discharged because of their sexual orientation.[250] No No
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Yes Legal since 2000[5] No No No No No Yes (Requires sterilization for change).[251]
Cyprus Cyprus Yes Legal since 1998
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Since 2015 No No No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[252] Yes Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.
Georgia (country) Georgia Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No (Constitutional ban proposed) No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[253] Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[251]
Russia Russia Yes Male legal since 1993
Female always legal[254][5]
No No (Constitutional ban proposed) No LGBT individuals may adopt. No No Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[251]
Turkey Turkey Yes Legal since 1858[5] No No No No (Proposed)[255] No (Proposed)[256] 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 (Age of consent discrepancy)[5] No No No No No No
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.[5]
No No No No No Yes Legal gender recognition in Iran is legal if accompanied by a medical intervention.[257]
Iraq Iraq Yes Legal since 2003[258] No No No No No No
Israel Israel Yes Legal since 1963 (de facto), 1988 (de jure)[259]
+ UN decl. sign.[5][260]
Yes Unregistered cohabitation since 1994. No/Yes Unrecognized if performed in country, but foreign same-sex marriages are recognized. Yes Step-child adoption since 2005.
Joint adoption since 2008.[261][262]
Yes Since 1993 Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination;[263][264] Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty applies to homosexuals and bisexuals.[265] Yes Full recognition of gender's ID without a surgery or medical intervention;[266] equal employment opportunity law bars discrimination based on gender identity;[267][268] Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty applies to transgender individuals.[267][269]
Jordan Jordan Yes Legal since 1951[5] No No No Emblem-question.svg No Yes Legal since 2014 [270]
Kuwait Kuwait No Male illegal
Penalty: Fines or up to 6-year prison sentence
Yes Female always legal[5][271]
No No No No No No
Lebanon Lebanon Yes Legal since 2014[272] No No No No No Yes Legal gender change allowed
Oman Oman No Illegal
Penalty: Fines and prison sentence up to 3 years (Only enforced when dealing with "public scandal")[5]
No No No No No No
Qatar Qatar No Illegal
Penalty: Fines, prison sentence up to 7 years. Death penalty offense. (Applies to Muslims only)[5]
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.[5]
No No No No No No
Syria Syria No Illegal
Penalty: Prison sentence up to 3 years (Law in de-facto suspended)[273][5]
No No No No No Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender
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[5]
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.[5]

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)[5]
No No No No No No
Bangladesh Bangladesh No Illegal
Penalty: 10 years to life imprisonment[5]
No No No No No Yes A third option (hijra) beside male and female[274]
Bhutan Bhutan No Illegal
Penalty: Prison sentence up to 1 year (Not enforced)[5]
No No No No No No
India India No Illegal nationwide since 1861, was legal from 2009 to 2013 only for National Capital Territory of Delhi[275]
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment (sporadically enforced)[276][275][5]

Supreme Court to consider legalization. [277]

No No explicit recognition.[278] No No explicit recognition.[278] No Transgender individuals may adopt. No[279] No Yes "Third gender" recognised by Supreme Court[280]
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.[5]
No No No No[citation needed] No No
Nepal Nepal Yes Legal since 2007
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No (Proposed: By Supreme Court in 2008) No (Proposed: By Supreme Court in 2008) No Under consideration Yes Yes Constitution bans all anti-gay discrimination. Yes Gender change is legal since 2007.
Constitution bans all discrimination.[281]
Pakistan Pakistan No Illegal
Penalty: 2 years to life sentence[5]
No No No No No No
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka No Illegal
Penalty: Fine and up to 10 years imprisonment (Not enforced)[5]
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[5] 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[5] 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.[5]
No (Non-legally binding partnerships in 5 municipal jurisdictions (Shibuya, Setagaya, Iga, Takaraduka, Naha) No No Yes No/Yes No nationwide protections, but some cities ban some anti-gay discriminations[5] 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)[282]
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.[5]
No No No Yes Due to conscription. Yes Bans anti-gay discrimination. (New Criminal Code goes into force on September 1, 2016) Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender
North Korea North Korea Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)[5]
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.[5]
No No No No No Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender
Taiwan Taiwan
(Republic of China)
Yes Legal since 1895[283] No/Yes check.svg Registered partnership in Kaohsiung,[284] Taipei,[285] Taichung (2015),[286] Tainan,[287] New Taipei,[288] Taoyuan,[289] Chiayi City,[290] Changhua, [291] and Hsinchu (2016).
(Proposed nationwide)
No (In 2016 part of the caucus (DPP,KMT,NPP) legislative proposal, the President Tsai Ing-wen also expressed respect for the attitude) No (In 2016 part of the caucus (DPP,KMT,NPP) legislative proposal, the President Tsai Ing-wen also expressed respect for the attitude) 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[292]

Southeast 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
Brunei Brunei No Illegal
Penalty: Fines and imprisonment up to 10 years or death by stoning[5]
No No No No No No
Myanmar Myanmar (Burma) No Illegal
Penalty: Up to life sentence (Not enforced) [5]
No No No No No No
Cambodia Cambodia Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)[5]
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.[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans hate crimes based on sexual orientation Emblem-question.svg
Indonesia Indonesia Yes Legal nationwide, except;
No Illegal in the provinces of Aceh and South Sumatra and the city of Palembang (Applies only to Muslims)[293][294][5] (Age of consent discrepancy)
No No No No[295] No No
Laos Laos Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)[5]
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[5]

No No No No No No
Philippines Philippines Yes Legal nationwide since 1933
[296][5][297]
No (Pending)[296] No (Pending)[298] No LGBT individuals may adopt.[299] Yes Since 2009 Yes[300] Cebu[301] Quezon City, Davao[302] and Albay have anti-discrimination ordinances[303] (National bill pending but still not made into law) No (Pending)[304]
Singapore Singapore No Male illegal
Penalty: up to 2 years prison sentence (Not enforced since 1999)
Yes Female legal since 2007[5]
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.[5]
No (Proposed)[305] No No Yes Since 2005 Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination. Yes Transsexuals may change their legal name after having a sex change operation.[306]
Vietnam Vietnam Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)[5]
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Yes Sex-change recognized for sex assignment for persons of congenital sex defects and unidentifiable sex. Gender reassignment surgery from 2017

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 Constitutionally banned since 2006 [307] No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus Yes Legal since 2014[308][309][5] No No No No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[308][309] Yes Discrimination or hate speech banned since 2014.[308][309]

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

State of Palestine Palestinian territories West Bank:
Yes Legal since 1951 (As part of Jordan)[5]
Gaza:
No Male illegal
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment
Yes Female always legal[5]
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
South Ossetia South Ossetia Yes Legal after 1991 No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg

Europe

List of countries or territories by LGBT rights in Europe


Tables:

European Union

Main article: LGBT rights in the European Union
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 Union European Union Yes Legal in all 28 member states.[310] Yes/No Legal in 22/28 member states.
Yes/No Legal in 11/28 member states.
Yes/No Joint adoption legal in 14/28 member states.
Step-child adoption legal in 18/28 member states.
Yes/No Legal in 27/28 member states.
Yes/No Membership requires a state to ban anti-gay discrimination in employment only. Yes Legal in all 28 member states.[311]

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
Austria Austria Yes Legal since 1971[5]
+ UN decl. sign.
Yes Registered partnership since 2010[312] No (Pending)[313] Yes Step-child adoption since 2013.
Joint adoption since 2016.[314][315]
(+automatic co-parent recognition)[316]
Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes Gender change is legal.[251]
Czech Republic Czech Republic Yes Legal since 1962 (As part of Czechoslovakia)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Registered partnership since 2006[318] No No (Step-child adoption pending)[319] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes Legal recognition is granted and birth certificate is amended after reassignment surgery (with mandatory sterilisation).[251]
Germany Germany Yes Legal in East Germany since 1968
Legal in West Berlin and West Germany since 1969
+ UN decl. sign.[5][320]
Yes Registered life partnership since 2001[321] No (Pending)[322] Yes/No Step-child adoption since 2005; (Joint adoption pending) Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[323][324] Yes Gender change is legal.[325]
Hungary Hungary Yes Legal since 1962
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Registered partnership since 2009[326] No (Pending)[327][328]
Constitutionally banned since 2012.[329][330]
No LGBT individuals may adopt; (Joint and step-child adoption pending)[328] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes Full legal recognition granted, birth certificate replaced. No surgery or hormone therapy is required for legal gender change.[251]
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein Yes Legal since 1989
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Registered partnership since 2011[331] No No LGBT individuals may adopt.[332] Has no military No (Proposed)[citation needed] No Gender change is not legal.[251]
Poland Poland Yes Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No[333] No[334] No LGBT individuals may adopt, joint adoption forbidden.[335] Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes
Romania Romania Yes Legal since 1996
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No LGBT individuals may adopt.[336] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes Legal recognition and birth certificates amended after reassignment surgery.[251]
Slovakia Slovakia Yes Legal since 1962 (As part of Czechoslovakia)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No Constitutionally banned since 2014[337] No LGBT individuals may adopt.[338] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[339][340] Yes (Requires sterilisation for change[251])
Slovenia Slovenia Yes Legal since 1977 (As part of Yugoslavia)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Registered partnership since 2006[341] No Yes/No Step-child adoption since 2011[342] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes Gender change is legal.[343]
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.[5]
Yes Registered partnership in Geneva (2001),[344] Zurich (2003),[345] Neuchâtel (2004)[346] and Fribourg (2004)[346]
Nationwide since 2007[347]
No (Pending)[348] Yes/No Step-child adoption since 2016 Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination. (Banning all anti-gay discrimination pending)[349] Yes Legal documents can be issued based on a person's new gender identity. Sterilisation is technically required but has not been enforced since 2012. Registered Partnership can become Marriage between the new opposite-sex couple.[350]

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.[5]
No No Constitutionally banned since 2015[351][352] No No/Yes No explicit ban. However, LGBT persons have been reportedly discharged because of their sexual orientation.[353] No No
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Yes Legal since 2000[5] No No No Yes[354] No Yes (Requires sterilisation for change[251])
Belarus Belarus Yes Legal since 1994[5] No No Constitutionally banned since 1994 [355] No No/Yes Banned from military service during peacetime, but during wartime homosexuals are permitted to enlist as partially able.[356] No LGBT activism/expression deemed terrorism[357] Yes
Georgia (country) Georgia Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No (Constitutional ban proposed)[358][359] No Emblem-question.svg Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[360] Yes (Requires sterilisation for change[251])
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Yes Legal since 1998[5] No No No No No Emblem-question.svg
Moldova Moldova Yes Legal since 1995
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No Constitutionally banned since 1994[361] No Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination [317] Yes (Requires sterilisation for change[251])
Russia Russia Yes Male legal since 1993
Female always legal[362][5]
No No (Constitutional ban proposed)[363] No Yes No Yes (Requires sterilisation for change[251])
Ukraine Ukraine Yes Legal since 1991
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No Constitutionally banned since 1996[364] No LGBT individuals may adopt.[365] No/Yes Policies depend on the regional commissioners.[366] Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[367] Yes (Requires sterilisation for change[251])

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
Denmark Denmark Yes Legal since 1933
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Registered partnership from 1989 to 2012 (Existing partnerships are still recognised.)[368] Yes Legal since 2012[369][370] Yes Step-child adoption since 1999.
Joint adoption since 2010.[371]
(+automatic co-parent recognition)[372]
Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes Legal gender change and recognition possible without surgery or hormone therapy.[373]
Estonia Estonia Yes Legal since 1992
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Cohabitation agreement since 2016[374] No Yes/No Step-child adoption since 2016. Couples where both partners are infertile may also jointly adopt non-biological children since 2016. Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.[251]
Faroe Islands Faroe Islands
(Constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark)
Yes Legal since 1933
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No (Pending) [375] No (Awaiting Danish parliament approval) No (Awaiting Danish parliament approval) Yes (Denmark responsible for defence) Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[376][377] No[378]
Finland Finland
Åland Islands(includes Åland Islands)
Yes Legal since 1971
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Registered partnership since 2002[379] Yes From March 2017[380] Yes Step-child adoption since 2009.
Joint adoption from March 2017.
Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes Legal change and recognition is possible only with sterilisation.[381]
Iceland Iceland Yes Legal since 1940
(As part of Denmark)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Registered cohabitation since 2006[382];
Registered partnership from 1996 to 2010 (Existing partnerships are still recognised.)[383]
Yes Legal since 2010[384][385] Yes Legal since 2006[386]
(+automatic co-parent recognition)[387]
Has no military Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes Documents can be amended to the recognised gender.[388][251]
Latvia Latvia Yes Legal since 1992
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No Constitutionally banned since 2006[389] No LGBT individuals may adopt.[390] Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes Documents are amended accordingly, no medical intervention required.[391]
Lithuania Lithuania Yes Legal since 1993
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No (Pending)[392] No Constitutionally banned since 1992[393] No Only married couples can adopt.[394] Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes Gender change is legal since 2003.[395]
Norway Norway Yes Legal since 1972
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Registered partnership from 1993 to 2009 (Existing partnerships are still recognised.)[396] Yes Legal since 2009[397][398] Yes Legal since 2009[399]
(+automatic co-parent recognition)[400]
Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes All documents can be amended to the recognised gender.[251]
Sweden Sweden Yes Legal since 1944
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Registered partnership from 1995 to 2009 (Existing partnerships are still recognised.)[401] Yes Legal since 2009[402] Yes Legal since 2003[403]
(+automatic co-parent recognition)[404]
Yes [405] Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes[406]

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.[5][407][408]
Yes(for members of British forces)[409] Yes (for members of British forces)[410] Emblem-question.svg Yes UK responsible for defence Yes Bans all[citation needed] anti-gay discrimination[411] Emblem-question.svg
Albania Albania Yes Legal since 1995
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No Yes Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] Yes Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.[412]

No Gender change is not legal.[251]

Andorra Andorra Yes Legal since 1990
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
Yes Stable union since 2005[413]; Civil union since 2014.[414] No Yes Legal since 2014[415][414][416] Has no military Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[317] No Gender change is not legal.[251]
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Yes Legal since 1998 in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska since 2000 and Brcko District since 2001
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination[317]