LGBTQ rights around the world: from marriage to the death penalty
Singapore announced on Sunday that it would repeal a law criminalizing same-sex sex, but in many other parts of the world homosexuality is illegal and sometimes punishable by death.
According to a 2020 report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), homosexuality was banned in 69 countries, including 11 where it carries the death penalty.
Here is an overview:
About thirty African countries prohibit homosexuality, Mauritania, Somalia and Sudan applying the death penalty for homosexual relations.
South Africa is the only nation on the African continent to allow same-sex marriage, which it legalized in 2006.
Gay sex is only decriminalized in a handful of countries: Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique and Seychelles.
Several countries in the conservative region still apply the death penalty for homosexuality, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Israel is leading the way in terms of gay rights, recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, but not allowing such unions in the country itself. Homosexual couples can adopt children.
Lebanon is also more tolerant than other Arab countries.
While much of Asia tolerates homosexuality, Taiwan became the first country in the region to allow same-sex marriage after a landmark ruling by its Constitutional Court in 2017.
Vietnam decriminalized same-sex marriage celebrations in 2015, but failed to gain full legal recognition of same-sex unions.
In June, Thailand took a step toward same-sex marriage when lawmakers gave initial approval to legalize same-sex unions.
In 2018, India’s Supreme Court decriminalized gay sex.
Gay marriage and adoption are legal in New Zealand and Australia.
The Netherlands became the first country in the world in 2001 to allow same-sex couples to marry.
Since then, 17 European countries have followed: Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Slovenia and Switzerland.
Some countries only allow same-sex civil partnerships, including the Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Hungary and Italy.
In Russia, homosexuality was considered a crime until 1993 and a mental illness until 1999. Now legal, a 2013 law punishes the promotion of homosexuality among minors.
In Hungary, a law passed in 2021 made the “promotion” of homosexuality or gender reassignment to minors punishable by a fine.
A number of countries allow same-sex couples to adopt.
Assisted reproduction for lesbian couples is authorized in 12 European countries.
Canada was the first American country to allow same-sex marriage and adoptions in 2005, and 10 years later the United States legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
In Latin America, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Chile and Uruguay allow same-sex marriage.
Mexico’s federal capital was the pioneer in the region, allowing same-sex civil unions in 2007 and marriages in 2009. Nearly half of its 32 states followed suit.
Cuba will hold a referendum in September on whether to pass an updated family law, which would include the legalization of same-sex marriage for the first time.