|Status||Yes, legal since 1995|
|Gender identity||Yes, right to change legal gender (with psychiatric diagnosis)|
|Military||Gays, lesbians and bisexuals allowed to serve|
|Discrimination protections||Sexual orientation protections in employment (see below)|
|Recognition of relationships||No recognition of same-sex relationships|
|Restrictions||Same-sex marriage constitutionally banned|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Moldova face legal and social challenges and discrimination not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same rights and benefits as households headed by opposite-sex couples. Same-sex unions are not recognized in the country, so consequently same-sex couples have little to no legal protection. Nevertheless, Moldova bans discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace, and same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1995.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Moldova has come increasingly under the influence of the Orthodox Christian Church. As result, it has been marred by human rights violations, including violations of freedom of association and freedom of speech.Moldova's first pride parade was held in 2002. Since then, however, pride parades have encountered stiff opposition from authorities and religious leaders, and have often been cancelled or banned due to safety concerns. A successful pride parade took place in May 2018 in Chișinău, after police officials protected the participants from violent radical Orthodox groups.
Moldovan society remains very traditional, and discrimination and violence against members of the LGBT community are commonplace. In 2018, ILGA-Europe ranked Moldova 43rd out of 49 European countries with regards to LGBT legislation. This is an improvement from six years prior, when Moldova ranked last.
Since 1995, homosexuality between consenting adults in private has been legal in Moldova. In September 2002, new laws were introduced equalising the age of consent.
Moldova does not recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions. The Moldovan Constitution explicitly defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.
For a long time, a large coalition of human rights organisations, including GenderDoc-M, was lobbying the Moldovan Government for the implementation of anti-discrimination legislation in line with European standards, which would include sexual orientation as a protected ground.
A law, which bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, was adopted by the Moldovan Parliament on 25 May 2012,and signed into law by President Nicolae Timofti on 28 May 2012. The law took effect on 1 January 2013.
The so-called "media propaganda law", which entered into force on 1 January 2019, controversial for its ban on "Russian television programs on news, analysis, politics, and military issues", also contains a clause banning media broadcasters from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. Article 11 of the law, entitled the Codul serviciilor media audiovizuale al Republicii Moldova, states that "audiovisual programs are prohibited: ... from propagating incitement, promotion or justification of racial hatred, xenophobia, anti-Semitism or other forms of hatred founded on intolerance or discrimination based on sex, race, nationality, religion, disability or sexual orientation."
Transgender people are allowed to change their legal name and gender on official documents in Moldova, but require a psychiatric diagnosis confirming their "transgenderism" to do so.
The main gay and lesbian campaigning group is called GenderDoc-M. The group seeks to support and protect gays and lesbians in Moldova, and raises awareness of the lives of LGBT people.
Moldovan society remains very traditional; politicians often make derogatory remarks about the LGBT community, and discrimination against its members is commonplace.
|2016||Fundația Soros – Moldova||5%||94%|
|2017||Pew Research Center||5%||92%|
A sociological survey by the Institute of Public Policies in 2014 showed negative public attitudes among Moldovans towards the LGBT community. Asked what they think about gays and lesbians, 7.9% responded to "mental illness", 6.3% "abnormal", 6.1% "sick", 5.5% "loose" , while 2.5% believe gays and lesbians should be killed.83% of Moldovans did not accept LGBT people, and 35.8% strongly supported the criminalization of homosexual relations by banning rights (61.2%), fining LGBT people (35.5%) or imprisonment (27.2%). 88.8% of Moldovans would be bothered if a family member was LGBT, and 92% would not accept an LGBT educator/teacher in the class where their child is studying.
According to the study "Church and State in the Republic of Moldova" presented by the Soros Foundation - Moldova in 2016, 84% of Moldovans would not accept homosexuals living in Moldova, 89% would not accept that they live in the same locality, 94% would not accept to have them as neighbors, 95% would not accept being friends and 97% would not want gay family members.The same study revealed that only 5% of Moldovans agreed with same-sex marriages and 6% with civil partnerships. These observations showed that Moldovan society is conservative, and with little willingness to accept minorities.
In May 2017, a survey by the Pew Research Center in Eastern European countries showed that 92% of Moldovans believed that homosexuality should not be accepted by society.Among young people between 18 and 34, the percentage fell to 88%. According to the same survey, 5% of Moldovans supported same-sex marriages.
However, since the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1995, the attitude of various state institutions has become increasingly tolerant. For example, the Ministry of Health communicated in an official letter that homosexuality is not considered a disease, and medical services are accessible to all, regardless of the sexual orientation of the citizen.
Moldova has a rather small but lively and open-minded gay scene. Chișinău's first gay club, Jaguar Dance and Music Club, opened in 2009. Moldova's first gay pride parade (named Moldova Pride) was held in April 2002,but it was banned in 2007, because homosexuality was said to "undermine the Christian values of Moldova".
Moldovan society still remains very traditional. Virulent homophobic statements are casually made by politicians, and lesbians and gays are routinely discriminated against. Violence towards gay men is not uncommon.
Scott Lively, a vociferous opponent of gay rights who has linked homosexuality to having played a part in the spawning of the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust, visited Moldova in 2010 to oppose an anti-discrimination measure. The bill had passed through committee twice before stalling subsequent to opposition from the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova, which cited Lively's visit as a reason for its opposition.The bill, however, was approved in 2012.
In May 2019, Doina Ioana Străisteanu, a human rights lawyer representing Moldova's only LGBT organization, GENDER-DOC, since 2010, was the victim of an arson attack. She found her car alight outside her office in central Chișinău by an unknown male assailant. She reported the attack to police whom, she said, refused to investigate because it did not consider the damage "significant".
On 11 May 2008, the police and authorities stood by as the Moldova Pride parade was prevented by crowds who surrounded, intimidated and even attacked parade participants. The Mayor of Chișinău, Dorin Chirtoacă, whose campaign slogan was "a young mayor, a liberal team, a European capital", had banned the parade the evening before.
The banning of the pride parade and the crackdown of freedom of assembly drew criticism and concern internationally, including by the then British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.
The May 2007 Bączkowski and Others v. Poland ruling was a landmark case, in which the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that by banning peaceful pride parades the then Mayor of Warsaw, Lech Kaczyński, had violated three articles of the European Convention of Human Rights: article 11 concerning freedom of assembly, article 13 which deals with the right to appeal, and article 14 which outlaws discrimination.
In 2012, the ECHR ruled that Moldovan authorities had violated human rights by cancelling the 2008 event.
In May 2017, LGBT activists organised a peaceful march to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Police officials cancelled the event shortly after it started, due to safety concerns because fundamentalist Orthodox groups began attacking pride participants.President Igor Dodon supported the violent attacks, saying: "I have never promised to be the president of the gays, they should have elected their own president." He also personally met the radicals' group and congratulated them. Nevertheless, 450 people attended the march, which was the highest ever at the time.
In May 2018, LGBT activists successfully organised the 17th edition of Moldova Pride. Police protected the participants from radicals, using tear gas to repel them. President Dodon again congratulated the radical groups.The event drew support from numerous embassies (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States).
Since 2012, several cities have enacted bans on "propaganda" of homosexuality (which do not include any kind of administrative sanctions or fines). These cities are:
Similar bans were also enacted in the following districts:
Similar provisions were enacted by following villages of Făleşti District:
On 30 April 2013, the Parliament of Gagauzia approved a bill to forbid the "propaganda" of homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism such as same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. The bill didn't include any kind of administrative sanctions or fines but some of its provisions banned any LGBT-related organizations from being registered in the region. Another provision was intended to ban any LGBT-related clubs and entertainment establishments. On 20 June 2013, these provisions were invalidated by a court decision, which held that these laws violated freedom of speech and human rights.
On 23 May 2013, despite the anti-discrimination law which prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, the Parliament of Moldova passed a bill which bans the propaganda of prostitution, paedophilia and "any other relations than those related to marriage and family in accordance with the Constitution and the Family Code". The bill also includes fines. The bill was signed into law on 5 July 2013 and came into effect on 12 July 2013. The law did not explicitly prohibit the "propaganda" of homosexuality, but it could have been interpreted as such by judges.On 11 October 2013, the Parliament passed a bill intended to remove the content which could have been interpreted as a ban on "homosexual propaganda".
In June 2011, Moldova used its seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council to vote against the first successful UN resolution condemning discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
|Same-sex sexual activity made legal|
|Equal age of consent (16)|
|Anti-discrimination laws in employment|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the media|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services|
|Anti-discrimination laws in all areas (including hate speech)|
|Anti-discrimination laws concerning gender identity|
|Recognition of same-sex unions|
|Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples|
|Joint adoption by same-sex couples|
|Right to change legal gender|
|Gays, lesbians and bisexuals allowed to serve in the military|
|Access to IVF for lesbians|
|Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples|
|MSMs allowed to donate blood|
The Czech Republic is one of the most liberal Central European countries with regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights. In 2006, it legalized registered partnerships for same-sex couples and a law legalizing same-sex marriage is being considered by the Parliament as of 2019.
LGBT people in Hungary may face legal and social challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Homosexuality is legal in Hungary for both men and women. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is banned in the country. However, households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for all of the same legal rights available to opposite-sex married couples. Registered partnership for same-sex couples was legalized in 2009, but same-sex marriage is banned.The Hungarian government has passed legislation that restricted civil rights on LGBT Hungarians and continues to deteriorate under his government.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Serbia face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Serbia, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in areas such as employment, education, media, and the provision of goods and services, amongst others, is banned. Nevertheless, households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.
Lesbian, gay, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Ukraine may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Noncommercial, same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults in private is legal in Ukraine, but prevailing social attitudes are often described as being intolerant of LGBT people and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for any of the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Romania may face legal challenges and discrimination not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Attitudes in Romania are generally conservative, with regard to the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizens. Nevertheless, the country has made significant changes in LGBT rights legislation since 2000.The 2016 Pew Research poll found that 85% of Romanians said homosexuality should not be accepted by society.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Russia face legal and social challenges not experienced by non-LGBT persons. Although same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults in private was decriminalized in 1993, homosexuality is disapproved of by most Russians, and same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are ineligible for the legal protections available to opposite-sex couples. There are currently no separate laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in Russia, however, Constitution disallows any discrimination at all in Chapter 2, mainly in Article 19 and others. Transgender people are allowed to change their legal gender following sex reassignment surgery, however, there are currently no laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression and recent laws could discriminate against transgender residents. Homosexuality has been declassified as a mental illness since 1999 and although gay and lesbian individuals are legally allowed to serve openly in the military, there is a de facto "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Iceland are very progressive. Iceland is frequently referred to as one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in the world. Same-sex couples have had equal access to adoption and IVF since 2006. In February 2009, a minority government took office, headed by Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, the world's first openly gay head of government in modern times. The Icelandic Parliament amended the country's marriage law on 11 June 2010 by a unanimous vote to define marriage as between two individuals, thereby making same-sex marriage legal. The law took effect on 27 June 2010.
Article 200 was a section of the Penal Code of Romania that criminalised homosexual relationships. It was introduced in 1968, under the communist regime, during the rule Nicolae Ceauşescu, and remained in force until it was repealed by the Năstase government on 22 June 2001. Under pressure from the Council of Europe, it had been amended on 14 November 1996, when homosexual sex in private between two consenting adults was decriminalised. However, the amended Article 200 continued to criminalise same-sex relationships if they were displayed publicly or caused a "public scandal". It also continued to ban the promotion of homosexual activities, as well as the formation of gay-centred organisations. Until it was repealed completely in 2001, the article was seen as the last Romanian law that discriminated against gays.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Cyprus may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Cyprus, and civil unions which grant several of the rights and benefits of marriage have been legal since December 2015.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Montenegro may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Montenegro, but households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples.
Bucharest Pride, known previously as GayFest, is the annual festival dedicated to LGBT rights in Romania, taking place in Bucharest for nearly a week. It first took place in 2004 and now occurs in May–June of each year, culminating with the March of Diversity. It is organised by the non-profit organisation ACCEPT, the country's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights organisation. The festival also receives funding from the Romanian Ministry of Health and the National Council for Combating Discrimination, as well as a number of private organisations, such as the Open Society Institute and the British Council in Romania.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in South Korea face unique legal challenges and discrimination that is not experienced by non-LGBT individuals. While male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal in South Korea, marriage or other forms of legal partnership are not available to same-sex partners.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Lithuania face legal and social challenges not experienced by non-LGBT citizens. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Lithuania, but neither civil same-sex partnership nor same-sex marriage are available, meaning that there is no legal recognition of same sex couples, so LGBT people do not enjoy all of the rights that non-LGBT people have, and same sex couples in the country do not enjoy the same legal recognition that is given to opposite sex couples. Although homosexuality was decriminalised in 1993, the historic legacy has only resulted in rights for LGBT people that are limited at best. Protection against discrimination was legislated for as part of the criteria for European Union accession and in 2010 the first gay pride parade took place in Vilnius.
Homophobic propaganda is propaganda based on homonegativity and homophobia towards homosexual and sometimes other non-heterosexual people. Such propaganda supports anti-gay prejudices and stereotypes, and promotes social stigmatization or discrimination. The term homophobic propaganda was used by the historian Stefan Micheler in his work Homophobic Propaganda and the Denunciation of Same-Sex-Desiring Men under National Socialism, as well as other works treating the topic.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Namibia face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is not banned in Namibia, and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples. However, despite the lack of legal rights experienced by Namibian LGBT citizens, acceptance and tolerance of LGBT people is much higher than in most African countries.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in North Macedonia may face legal and social challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity have been legal in North Macedonia since 1996, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples. Currently, there are no laws prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in the country.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the U.S. state of Arizona may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Arizona, and same-sex couples are able to marry and adopt. Nevertheless, the state provides only limited protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Several cities, including Phoenix and Tucson, have ordinances in place designed to protect LGBT people from discrimination. Phoenix and Tucson have a large presence of LGBT community. The first Phoenix Pride parade took place in 1981, and now attracts thousands of attendees every year. Tucson Pride was founded in 1977, the first in the state.
This article gives a broad overview of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history in Canada. LGBT activity was considered a crime from the colonial period in Canada until 1969, when Bill C-150 was passed into law. However, there is still discrimination despite anti-discrimination law. For a more detailed listing of individual incidents in Canadian LGBT history, see also Timeline of LGBT history in Canada.
The history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) in Russia and its historical antecedents has largely been influenced by the political leanings of its rulers. Medieval Catholic-Protestant Europe had the largest influence on Russian attitude towards homosexuality. Russian LGBT history was influenced by the ambivalent attitude of the Russian Orthodox religiosity regarding sexuality.