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LGB Rights Around the World

England, Scotland and Wales may have marriage equality, but there are still countries around the world where it is illegal to be gay or bisexual with a same-sex partner. This is an important thing to consider if you are booking your honeymoon or even your summer holiday.

Some countries still enforce the death penalty or imprisonment for homosexual acts. This may sound crazy in 2015, but it's true. In many places, the ruling religion dictates the laws so it's important to check before you consider visiting.

There are 78 countries that still list homosexuality as illegal – 35 in Africa, 23 in Asia and the Middle East, 11 in the Americas, and 9 in Oceania. Russia has enacted an anti-gay propaganda law but being homosexual isn’t technically illegal. You may risk arrest if you are “openly gay” in Russia according to recent reports.

Some of these countries are ones that you may well consider for your holidays. For example, many of the Caribbean islands that look idyllic may not welcome you and your partner.

These include:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago

Some countries have different laws regarding gay or bisexual men and lesbians or bisexual women. In some countries, lesbians aren't recognised in law but it would still be risky to be openly affectionate with your partner in public.

Some American states still enforce anti-sodomy laws even though they have been ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 2003. 13 states still have anti-sodomy laws on their books and police have enforced them.

These states are:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah 
  • Virginia

It’s important to consider that even if you visit a country where being LGB isn’t illegal they still might not accept your partner as next of kin if you have an accident abroad. Many countries do not accept same-sex marriage or recognise same-sex partnerships.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation for people injured on holiday. Call our expert Personal Injury Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9046 or alternatively contact us online and we will be happy to help you.

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