This year has been challenging for LGBTQ+ people around the world, but some countries have been making slow progress for their queer communities. We’re recapping some of the best LGBTQ wins around the globe for 2023.
Though much of the western world has legalized same-sex marriage, there remain a great deal of hateful policies and rhetoric circulating in political and social spheres. Hundreds of laws have been put in place to limit the freedoms of LGBTQ+ people, making hypocrites of the countries which claim to embrace freedom and equality for all.
Upward movement has been seen most prominently in the eastern world, primarily in Asia, where a few countries have moved to officially legalize same-sex marriage.
Nepal’s Supreme Court issued an interim order this year which would allow registration of sam-sex marriages. The first same-sex couple to have their marriage officially and legally recognized in the country celebrated their union in late November. The court order was a result of a petition filed by gay rights activists advocating for same-sex couples and third-gender people.
Hong Kong, China
Though wider China hasn’t made much of an effort to secure the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, Hong Kong continues to inch toward equality. Though they didn’t legalize same-sex marriage this year, a court in Hong Kong ordered a framework to be drawn up for the recognition of same-sex unions within the next two years.
Japan is the only G7 state to not allow same-sex unions. However, over the summer, the Nagoya District Court in Japan ruled that bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. Though this did not grant same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, it is surely a big stride for the Japanese LGBTQ+ community. Also this year, a Japanese court ruled mandatory sterilization of transgender people unconstitutional.
Taiwan has been leading the way in LGBTQ+ rights in Asia and they became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019. Since then they’ve continued to hold the torch, and earlier this year they granted same-sex couples the right to adopt. They also hosted Taipei Pride, one of the most exciting Pride celebrations on the continent.
Though Thailand has been relatively LGBTQ+ friendly for years, they made strides in 2023 in working toward a more equitable system with the possibility of same-sex marriage being legalized soon. Not only do the country’s politicians support same-sex marriage, but Thai Pride is one of the most highly attend LGBTQ+ celebrations in Asia.
East African island nation Mauritius decriminalized homosexuality in September following the Supreme Court decision that stated the criminal code was in violation of the country’s constitution. Despite much of the African continent being staunchly opposed to LGBTQ+ rights and identities, Mauritius leads by example for countries teetered on the edge of acceptance and tolerance.