While we’ve made excellent progress on the recognition of the LGBT community, this progress isn’t equal across the world. Depending on where you live, your sexual preference can still be an issue for contention and can often have extremely bad consequences.
There are several reasons, but the most prominent is the difference in culture and traditional views towards gender identity development in various parts of the world.
A family lawyer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for example, will most likely provide different services and advice than someone in Russia, and it’s this difference where LGBT legislation is still a big work in progress.
Here’s a brief overview of that progress so far around the world:
While generally seen as a role model for innovation and progress when it comes to liberal attitudes, the relationship that the Americas has with LGBT legislation is often complicated. The general attitude towards same-sex unions is accepted either in culture or law (largely due to the American Convention on Human Rights), and most countries in this territory recognize marriages under this umbrella.
However, there is still some fierce opposition from leading parties when it comes to legislation on their stance towards same-sex marriage, instead preferring the heteronormative model between a man and a woman. Some nations still have actual punishments for same-sex sexual relationships.
On the other hand, LGBT rights in Asia remain particularly limited compared to other parts of the world. While the majority of Asian countries have acknowledged the LGBT movement as a whole, given the cultural importance of gender roles in the region, legislation has been slower to catch up.
In fact, in some cases, this can prove fatal. The Middle East is a good example of how same-sex unions are still widely discriminated against, as they are one of the few nations that still implement the death penalty for those who are part of the LGBT community.
Finally, the African continent is probably one of the most complex when it comes to the issue of gender politics and LGBT rights. With the exception of Cape Verde and South Africa, the majority of the countries in this region do not recognize or outright ban same-sex unions. While the more developed parts of the world have increasingly tried to put pressure on the leaders to adopt a more liberal mindset and rule of law, this has often been met with fierce opposition.
This is strange due to how prevalent homosexuality is in Africa, though given the culture and the viewpoints surrounding it, it is often practiced secretly. Like the Middle East, it is advisable for foreign travelers to refrain from public displays of affection in the region, which sometimes applies to heterosexual couples as well, for their own safety.
With a quick glance at these regions, it’s easy to see why LGBT rights are still an on-going battle for love and acceptance. However, people can take heart in the progress that’s been made (albeit slightly) as an indicator that with enough time and effort, it is possible for attitudes about sexuality to change.