2021 has been a year of slight progress in the fight against anti-LGBTQ laws, with many nations fiercely resisting any acknowledgement that their LGBTQ citizens deserve the same rights as everyone else.
During the year, one nation — the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan — repealed its anti-LGBTQ law and several other nations seemed close to doing so.
But many nations stubbornly resisted repeated appeals for change and, as the year wound down, Ghana and Senegal were deliberating proposals to increase the penalties that sexual minorities already face there.
This is a quick year-end review of changes in anti-LGBTQ laws in countries covered by the Erasing 76 Crimes news site, which focuses on the human toll of 70+ countries’ anti-LGBTI laws and the struggle to repeal them.
One nation repeals anti-LGBTQ law
- Bhutan drops its law against sodomy (March 11, 2021)
- Number of nations with anti-gay laws drops to 71 (March 12, 2021)
Countries that recently repealed or overturned such laws include:
- Bhutan (2021)
- Gabon (2020, repealing a law that had existed for only one year)
- Angola (2019 vote, taking effect in 2021)
- Botswana (2019)
- India (2018)
- Trinidad & Tobago (2018)
- Belize (2016)
- Seychelles (2016)
- Nauru (2016)
- Mozambique (2015)
- Palau (2014)
- São Tomé and Príncipe (2014)
Namibia, Mauritius and Singapore consider whether to repeal anti-LGBTQ laws
- Namibia justice minister announces plan to decriminalize gay sex this year (May 26, 2021). That hasn’t happened yet, but Namibia had other good news: Namibia court bans anti-gay discrimination in child citizenship case (Oct. 21, 2021)
- Mauritius: Island nation’s Supreme Court weighs constitutionality of anti-LGBT law (Nov. 18, 2021)
- Singapore activists appeal gay sex ban court ruling (France24, Jan. 25, 2021)
Three Caribbean nations stubbornly refuse to repeal anti-LGBTQ laws
- Catholic bishop reverses himself, favors Dominica’s anti-gay laws (Jan. 27, 2021)
- After long delay, scathing report blasts Jamaica’s anti-gay laws (Feb. 18, 2021)
- Challenge to Antigua buggery law comes from unlikely source (May 20, 2021)
Uganda parliament passes anti-LGBTQ bill; president blocks it
- Parliament of Uganda passes new anti-gay bill (May 4, 2021)
- Uganda gay activists urge president to reject new anti-gay bill (May 5, 2021)
- Ugandan President sends new anti-gay bill back to Parliament (Aug. 18, 2021)
Homophobes in Ghana seek tougher new anti-LGBTQ law
- Leader of Ghana parliament vows passage of strict anti-LGBTQI bill (March 22, 2021)
- Anti-gay bill reaches Ghana parliament, boosted by speaker (June 30, 2021)
- Ghana leader opposes bias ‘in every form’ as anti-LGBTQ bill awaits action (Dec. 14, 2021)
Homophobes in Senegal seek tougher new anti-LGBTQ law
- Senegal: Anti-gay protesters blame Masons, seek harsher laws (May 24, 2021)
- As Senegal homophobes seek law to jail all LGBTQ, advocates fight back (Dec, 15, 2021). On Dec. 22, Islamic homophobes introduced their bill to toughen Senegal’s anti-homosexuality laws. On Dec. 24-25, a majority of Parliament rejected it. That was a victory for LGBTQ rights, but the war will continue in the new year.