LGBT rights around the world: A timeline
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LGBT rights around the world: A timeline

From death for homosexuality, to legalisation to same-sex marriage: A timeline of homosexual rights throughout the world

india Updated: Dec 12, 2013 10:13 IST

From death for homosexuality, to legalisation to same-sex marriage: A timeline of homosexual rights throughout the world

Middle Ages: Homosexuality was punishable in Europe up to varying degrees, including cutting off testicles, burning, or death.

1811: Netherlands became the first country to legalise homosexuality.

1835: Britain - Last known execution performed for homosexual activity.

1861: England criminalises homosexuality; law applies to India as well since it is part of the British empire. This law continues to exist in India today.

1895: Oscar Wilde prosecuted for "gross indecency" and sentenced to two years hard labour in prison.

1897: George Cecil Ives organizes the first homosexual rights group in England, the Order of Chaeronea.

1910: Anarchist Emma Goldman first begins speaking publicly in favor of homosexual rights.

1917: Russia decriminalises homosexuality.

1924: The first homosexual rights organization in America is founded.

1930s and 1940s: Several Scandinavian countries decriminalise homosexuality.

1961: Czechoslovakia and Hungary decriminalize sodomy. The Vatican declares that anyone who is "affected by the perverse inclination" towards homosexuality should not be allowed to take religious vows.

1966: Lilli Vincenz becomes the first lesbian to appear on the cover of a magazine with her face showing.

1967: Homosexuality is decriminalised in England and Wales.

1969: The Stonewall riots occur in New York. This becomes a flashpoint and is now regarded as a key moment in the battle for gay rights around the world.

1971: Homosexuality is decriminalised in most Western European nations.

1972: Sweden becomes the first country to allow transgenders to perform sex change operations.

1973: The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

1979: The first national homosexual rights march is held, on Washington DC.

1980: The United States Democratic Party becomes the first major political party in the US to endorse a homosexual rights platform plank.

1988: Sweden is the first country to pass laws protecting homosexual regarding social services, taxes, and inheritances.

1989: Denmark becomes the first country in the world to enact registered partnership laws for same-sex couples, with most of the same rights as marriage.

1992: WHO says homosexuality is not an illness.

1993: Norway allows gay civil unions.

1996: the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is passed in the US allowing states to refuse recognition to same-sex marriages performed in other states.

1998: South Africa ends ban on gay people in the military.

2001: Netherlands becomes the first country in the world to officially recognise same-sex marriage.

2002: South Africa allows same-sex adoption. China decriminalises homosexuality.

2003: Belgium allows same-sex marriages.

2004: Several US states ban same-sex marriage. Australia also officially bans it.

2005: Canada and Spain allow same-sex marriage.

2006: South Africa allows same-sex marriage.

2007: Nepal decriminalises homosexuality.

2008: The US state of California allows same-sex marriage for the first time in the US.

2009: Sweden and Norway allow same-sex marriage. Delhi HC decriminalises homosexuality.

2010: Portugal, Iceland and Argentina allow same-sex marriage. Don't Ask Don't Tell repealed in US, allowing gay people in the US military.

2011: Elio Di Rupo, first openly-gay male head of government, becomes Prime Minister of Belgium. New York allows same-sex marriage.

2012: Denmark allows same-sex marriage. Several US states legalise gay marriage in late 2012-early 2013.

2013: England and Wales pass laws allowing same-sex marriage. New Zealand, Brazil and France allow same-sex marriage.

First Published: Dec 11, 2013 16:32 IST