Key issues that the LGBTQ+ Community face across the world in 2021

Key issues that the LGBTQ+ Community face across the world in 2021

The global campaign to secure protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other (LGBTQ+) people has made noteworthy progress in recent decades, especially in the realm of marriage equality.  

Yet in many countries, LGBTQ+ individuals still face repression, imprisonment, and even the threat of death. Given the severity and ubiquity of such abuses, laws and safeguards protecting this community from legal discrimination and political, social, and economic marginalization have become a priority for activists and a growing number of governments.  

The ten places where LGBTQ+ communities are severely persecuted.  

  1. Nigeria 

  1. Qatar 

  1. Yemen 

  1. Saudi Arabia 

  1. Tanzania 

  1. Iran 

  1. Sudan 

  1. Barbados 

  1. Malaysia 

  1. Malawi 

These countries have no LGBTQ+ protections. Homosexuality in these countries is subject to imprisonment, stoning, flogging, and, in some countries, can result in the death penalty. 

LGBTQ+ rights vary between countries. In some countries, homosexuality is illegal, while in others it is legal but organizations and promotion of “nontraditional sexual relations” are illegal. In a few countries, homosexuality can receive a death penalty. 

Homosexual activity is a capital offense in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, Sudan, and Somalia.    

European Union (EU) sanctions on Hungary and Poland 

Calls are growing for the European Commission, to impose further sanctions on Hungary and Poland. 

The EU said it would withhold funding from a town-twinning scheme to so-called LGBT-free zone towns in Poland, prompting the nationalist government to threaten a legal challenge. 

 Hungary banned trans people from changing their gender on identity documents. 

The country's constitution was amended to effectively ban adoption by same-sex couples and mandate that children be raised with "values based on our Christian culture". 

Conversion therapy 

Germany outlawed conversion therapy for minors in May, joining Brazil, Ecuador, Malta in instituting forms of nationwide bans on the practice, which aims to alter a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. 

In the United States, LGBT+ activists are calling on the incoming Biden administration to pass a federal ban on the controversial treatment, which is currently banned for minors in 20 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. He has vowed to put an end to the discredited practice of conversion therapy, which he called “sick.” Globally, there are mounting efforts to outlaw the practice, with Britain, Israel, and Mexico among those mulling bans. 

Transgender rights 

Trans rights, hotly debated around the world as to whether they encroach upon those of women, will see battles in many countries in 2021. 

In Britain, an appeal is expected to be heard in the recent High Court case of Keira Bell on whether puberty blockers can be given to children without a court order. 

A judicial review of the waiting lists for gender identity clinics within England's national health service is also likely. 

A further judicial review will also decide England and Wales's prison policies for trans inmates. 

Globally, trans participation in school and higher sports is likely to come under focus in the wake of last year's ruling by World Rugby to ban trans women from international matches. 

The United States 

Trans rights been high on the U.S. political agenda since Biden took office, with the repeal of a ban on new transgender military personnel. More is expected to follow with the Equality Act.  

Biden signed an order to allow trans troops to serve openly in the US military, confining Donald Trump hated ban to the trash bin of history.  

Just five days after taking office, the new president acted to abolish one of the most toxic anti-LGBT+ policies imposed by his predecessor. 

Hate crime laws. 

Italy is mulling hate crime legislation that would specifically protect LGBT+ people from discrimination, with campaigners pushing Belize to follow suit. 

Britain's Law Commission is set to report on a consultation into whether to place the five current protected characteristics of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and transgender status on an equal footing. 

Scotland is expected to pass its controversial – and amended – Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, early next year following protests from free speech campaigners. The Caribbean 


This year, Japan is set to host the delayed 2020 Olympic Games and the international spotlight has focused increased scrutiny on the country's relative absence of pro-LGBT+ laws. 

Same-sex relations have always been legal, apart from a brief eight-year period in the 19th century. 

However, LGBTQ+ people lack many of the same legal protections as heterosexual peers, with gay marriage outlawed and sexual orientation and gender identity not protected by national workplace or housing laws. 

Calls are growing for the government to pass a pro-LGBT+ rights Equality Act in advance of the expected summer Games.