By Lucy Middleton
LONDON, Dec 21 (Openly) - 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.
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.
Sources: ILGA World, ILGA Europe, Outright International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Campaign, TGEU
(Reporting by Lucy Middleton; Editing by Helen Popper. The Thomson Reuters Foundation is the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters. Visit https://www.openlynews.com/)
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