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2024 global forecast for LGBTQ+ rights

2024 global forecast for LGBTQ+ rights

Predictions for Ukraine, Namibia, Ghana, Malawi and many more


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Berlin Pride 2023. (Photo courtesy of Reuters)
Berlin Pride 2023. (Photo courtesy of Reuters)

The Openly project of the Reuters news service asks:

What will the world do on LGBTQ+ rights in 2024?

By Lucy Middleton

There were huge milestones and setbacks for LGBTQ+ rights around the world during 2023.

Same-sex marriage was legalised in nations including Slovenia and Andorra, gay sex was decriminalised in Mauritius and the Cook Islands and self-identification laws for transgender people were passed in Spain, Finland and New Zealand.

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Cover of Bangladesh human rights report for 2022

However, trans rights lost ground in Russia and parts of the United States, while Uganda passed one of the world’s strictest anti-gay laws, imposing the death sentence for certain same-sex acts.

Here is what to watch out for in 2024.

  • Thailand appears to be on track to legalise same-sex marriage this year after lawmakers overwhelmingly passed draft legislation in December.
  • Same-sex marriages officially became legal in Estonia from Jan. 1.
  • Fellow Baltic state Latvia legalised same-sex civil unions in 2023, with the law set to come into effect from July 2024.
  • Activists have also named Ukraine as a nation to watch, after a bill on civil partnerships was submitted in 2023.
  • Namibia’s High Court will decide whether to decriminalise same-sex relations, with a final decision due by May 2024.
  • Colombia, Costa Rica, New Zealand, the Philippines, the United States and Venezuela have all introduced bills to expand discrimination protections to LGBTQ+ people, which could be passed in 2024.
  • In April, Japan’s Aichi Prefecture will introduce the country’s first district-level certificate system allowing the children of same-sex couples to be officially recognised as family. Several regions already issue similar same-sex partnership certificates.
  • Germany will debate a gender self-determination law to simplify the transitioning process, after it was submitted to parliament in 2023.
  • Vietnam could see the advancement of a legal gender recognition law introduced in April 2023. The country currently has no legal framework for people to change gender.
  • A ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court that declares LGBTQ+ activists and organisations to be “extremist” will come into effect in early January. Those involved in organising or funding such activities could face up to 10 years in prison.
  • House Republicans have added provisions to seven of the 12 2024 federal funding bills that will restrict spending on gender-affirming care for trans people in the United States. It follows the fourth consecutive year that a record-breaking number of anti-trans bills was introduced in the country.
  • A stringent anti-LGBTQ+ bill in Ghana that would further criminalise same-sex relations and introduce punishment for even identifying as LGBTQ+ is expected to have its second reading in 2024.
  • The European Court of Human Rights is due to hold a hearing on the case of intersex Olympic champion Caster Semenya in May 2024, following a referral from the Swiss government. The runner says governing body World Athletics has discriminated against her by asking that she medically reduce her testosterone levels.
  • In Malawi, the High Court is due to give a final decision on the case of a trans woman that will determine the constitutionality of the nation’s laws against gay sex and cross-dressing.

Openly’s swources: ILGA World, ILGA Europe, Outright International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Campaign, TGEU

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