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Year-End Round Up: LGBTQ+ Legislation that Passed in 2021 

lgbtq+ legislation
Various policies were implemented globally that decriminalize homosexuality, provide protections for transgender people, and have easier access to healthcare

Even though there were many challenges and barriers for the LGBTQ+ community in 2021, there was also much progress, especially regarding new legislation. Various policies were implemented globally that decriminalize homosexuality, provide protections for transgender people, and have easier access to healthcare.

Here is a timeline of all the positive changes that occurred for the queer community this year. 

January LGBTQ+ Legislation

January 7 

In the United States, the Labor Department halted an executive order prohibiting government agencies and contractors from offering and providing diversity training. After LGBTQ+ advocacy groups from the Northern District of California filed suit, this policy was put into place. Then, a federal judge issued a preliminary nationwide injunction against the executive order.

January 20 

In the U.S., President Joe Biden signed an executive order right after his inauguration to make the government recognize more protections against discrimination on the basis of sex and gender. This order was in line with the interpretation of sex discrimination in Bostock v. Clayton County. It reversed the previous president’s anti-discrimination laws towards discrimination in housing, education, accessing shelters, and other areas.

In addition, all federal agencies were required to review existing regulations and policies that ban sex discrimination and revise them as needed to clarify that “sex” includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

January 25 

In the U.S., President Joe Biden signed an executive order that ended the ban on service by transgender people in the military. This order had previously gone into effect on January 22, 2019.

February LGBTQ+ Legislation

February 9

In Angola, a new criminal code was implemented after the parliament passed it in January 2019 and was signed into law in November 2020. This new penal code no longer criminalizes homosexuality. In addition, it offers full anti-discrimination protections on the basis of sexuality and gender identity.

February 14 

In New York, U.S., commercial surrogacy became legal for same-sex and opposite-sex couples. This law had also previously been banned.

February 17 

A new penal code was enacted in Bhutan, ensuring homosexuality was no longer a crime.

March LGBTQ+ Legislation

March 11  

The EU parliament determined that the whole territory of all EU member states is a freedom zone for LGBTQ+ individuals.


May
LGBTQ+ Legislation

May 10 

President Joe Biden in the U.S. reversed a policy from the Trump administration that permitted healthcare companies to refuse coverage for LGBTQ+ people. 

June LGBTQ+ Legislation

June 7 

The Madras High Court of India offers protections for conversion therapy in the country. After delivering his verdict for S Sushma v. Commissioner of Police, Justice N Anand Venkatesh put forth extensive measures to remove prejudices against the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, the court stated that changes would be made to the curriculum of schools and universities to better educate students on understanding LGBTQ+ issues.

June 16 

The Mexican State of Sinaloa legalized same-sex marriage after various past failed attempts. This state will officially recognize same-sex relationships at the end of this year. 

July LGBTQ+ Legislation

July 11 

The Israeli High Court amended the Surrogacy Law enacted in 2018, which discriminates against same-sex couples. In addition, it will be amended by a High Court order that will be implemented within the year. 

September LGBTQ+ Legislation

September 26 

Swiss Voters approved same-sex marriage in a national referendum. According to the vote, 64.1% of voters accepted the reform, while none of the 26 Swiss cantons were against it.

November LGBTQ+ Legislation

November 5 

In Spain, an executive order was signed into law. This order ensures that there is free IVF treatment for single women and women in same-sex relationships throughout the nation. In addition, a bill has been formally introduced to permanently put the decision into practice.

**Note: This language features gender dichotomously as that is what is indicated in the information, and it does not talk about any variability. We have used the language reported in the research. 

November 29

The Botswana Appeals Court stood by the High Court’s ruling to decriminalize gay sex in Botswana.

November 30 

In Chile, the Chamber of Deputies of Chile passed and approved a bill that permits same-sex marriages. The bill was suggested on November 23, and the Senate of Chile supported it on November 30. 

December LGBTQ+ Legislation

December 7 

Canada put protections into place regarding conversion therapy. The government makes providing, promoting or advertising this type of discredited practice to children, consenting adults, and non-consenting adults a criminal offense.

In addition, the bill describes conversion therapy as the “practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual, or to change a person’s gender identity to cisgender.” In addition, this law will permit courts to authorize the removal of online content promoting the practice.

Other Highlights in LGBTQ+ Rights in 2021

New Zealand Making it Simpler for Transgender People to Update Information on their Birth Certificates

In New Zealand, residents can now update their sex on birth certificates. This new law that passed ensures that these individuals can make any changes without having to provide evidence of undergoing a medical procedure.

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