LGBT Guide to Picking a World Cup Team
With the US out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, American fans are turning to other methods to find a team to cheer for. From simply cheering for favorite MLS players to spending money on a DNA test, there are plenty of options out there. But what if you want to root for the LGBT friendliest country? We’re going to look at each competing nation and see where they stack up, including any positive or negative as reported by The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ilga.org) in their most recent 2017 report. Their listings were used to keep things as objective as possible, and this is solely based on law and court decisions. It does not include LGBT issues within the nations’ soccer cultures to prevent subjective opinions.
✔Belgium has never criminalized same-sex activity, neither under Napoleonic Code nor as an independent country.
✔The Federal Anti-Discrimination Law was passed in 2003 covering employment.
✔Discrimination in areas such as housing, education, and healthcare are also included in Belgium’s anti-discrimination law.
✔Belgian law has a list of factors that are discriminatory motives in crimes.
✔Belgium’s anti-discrimination law specifies various forms of incitement and penalties.
✔Civil Code in Belgium was amended to include same-sex marriage in 2003.
✔Law guarantees same-sex couples full joint parental rights, including in adoptions.
✔The same Civil Code amendments also ensure second-parent adoption rights.
✔The Croatian Penal Code of 1977 overturned the sections of the Yugoslavia’s Criminal Code dealing with same-sex relations.
✔Amendments to Croatia’s Labor Law add sexual orientation as a protected class.
✔Croatia has protections against discrimination in housing, healthcare, education, and other areas.
✔The Penal Code specifies acts motivated by hatred based on “sexual preference.”
✔A 2006 addition to the Penal Code specifies incitement to hatred based on “sexual preference.”
✔Same-sex civil unions have been protected in Croatia since 2014.
✔Denmark’s 1933 Penal Code replaced prior law that criminalized sodomy.
✔Labor law passed in 1996 prohibits direct and indirect discrimination based on sexual orientation.
✔The Danish Board of Equal Treatment handles cases of discrimination in education.
✔Sexual orientation was added in 2004 as an aggravating circumstance for crimes based on hate.
✔Criminal code includes “sexual inclination” as a status for which threats may result in up to two years imprisonment.
✔In 2012 same-sex marriages were incorporated into existing marriage law.
✔Denmark has an Adoption Law that ensures any spouse or partner may jointly adopt.
✔An update to Denmark’s registered partnership law expressly says a partner may adopt their partner’s child.
✔The Sexual Offenses Act of 1967 decriminalized homosexual acts between two men in private.
✔The UK’s 2010 Equality Act is the most recent legislation that prohibits employment discrimination.
✔The Equality Act also forbids discrimination in housing, education, and social protection.
✔England and Wales impose enhanced sentences for crimes motivated by sexual orientation.
✔Since 2010 there has been a protection on hatred being incited on the ground of sexual orientation.
✔Same-sex marriages became lawful in England and Scotland in 2014.
✔The UK’s Adoption and Children act establishes that joint adoption may apply to same-sex couples.
✔That act also allows for second-parent adoption by same-sex couples.
✔In 1971 France became the first country to decriminalize same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults.
✔Labor law in France has protected sexual orientation since 1985.
✔A number of sections of French law cover discrimination based on sexual orientation.
✔France’s Criminal Code specifically criminalizes violence committed on the basis of sexual orientation.
✔Criminal code incriminates threats based on real or supposed sexual orientation.
✔Laws were changed in 2013 to provide for same-sex marriage, four years after civil unions.
✔Several articles of the Criminal Code include joint adoption including by same-sex couples.
✔The same article changes establish second-parent adoption.
✔The two Germanies stopped enforcing portions of their criminal code related to “lewd and lascivious acts” in the late 1960s and the law was formally abolished in 1994.
✔Germany combined several labor laws into the General Law on Equal Treatment in 2006, which covers employment discrimination.
✔The equal treatment law also covers healthcare, education, housing, and a number of other areas.
✔An act in 2001 provides significant protections for same-sex partnerships.
✔The Act on Registered Life Partners allows for second-parent adoption by same-sex spouses.
✔Iceland’s 1940 Penal Code removed provisions of prior laws that punished “unnatural forms of sexual intercourse.”
✔Iceland’s labor law covers sexual orientation.
✔Discrimination in providing goods and services can be punished with a jail sentence of up to six months.
✔The General Penal Code includes a punishment of up two to years in prison for threats or denigration based on “sexual inclination.”
✔Parliament made changes to the Marriage Act to include same-sex couples in 2010.
✔The Marriage Act changes also stipulated privileges of marriage for same-sex couples including joint adoption.
✔An update to Iceland’s Registered Partnership Act specifies that life partners may adopt one another’s children.
✔After independence in 1918, Poland returned to Napoleonic Code traditions and didn’t include provisions forbidding same-sex acts in their 1932 Penal Code.
✔Labor law prohibits direct and indirect discrimination based on sexual orientation.
✔Decisions have specified that sexual orientation is protected against discrimination in healthcare, education, and other services.
✔The 1983 Penal Code repealed laws that consensual same-sex sexual relations
✔The Constitution of Portugal states that “[n]o one shall be privileged, favored, prejudiced, deprived of any right, or exempted from any duty on the basis of…sexual orientation.”
✔Portugal’s Labor Code outlines the right to equal access to employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
✔Portugal’s Penal Code considers sexual orientation an aggravating factor in homicide and assault.
✔Homophobic incitement to hatred can be punished with imprisonment up to eight years.
✔Law passed in 2010 allows for marriage between persons of the same sex.
✔A 2016 update to the Penal Code establishes that same-sex couples have all the adoption rights of opposite-sex couples.
✔The same updates include allowing second-parent adoption.
✔Russia’s 1993 Criminal Code repealed Soviet-era laws that punished sexual acts between men.
✖The Promotion of Non-Traditional Sexual Relations Among Minors law passed in 2013 has been used frequently including to prosecute a St. Petersburg organization that works with LGBT youth.
✖Russian law requires that all organizations be accountable to the state. LGBT rights organization Maximum was fined as a foreign agent under the law.
✔Serbia’s 1994 Criminal Code removed Yugoslav prohibitions against “lewdness against the order of nature.”
✔A comprehensive anti-discrimination law including employment has been on the books since 2010.
✔The Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination also covers education and other public administration.
✔Both sexual orientation and gender identity are aggravating circumstances for hate crimes.
✔Serbia’s Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination includes incitement to hatred and humiliating treatment.
✔When Spain returned to constitutional democracy in 1979, the Penal Code removed consensual same-sex activity between men as an offense.
✔Discrimination in public or private employment may be punished with up to two years in prison.
✔A 2003 anti-discrimination law covers housing, education, healthcare, and a number of other areas.
✔Spain has a penalty of up to two years in prison for violence on the grounds of “sexual preference.”
✔Provoking discrimination, hate, or violence on the basis of “sexual preference” can be punished with up to two years in prison.
✔Amendments to the Civil Code in 2005 conferred the same marriage rights on same-sex couples as different-sex couples.
✔Civil Code dictates that all spouses may jointly adopt.
✔The 2005 amendments to the Civil Code specify that spousal second-parents may adopt.
✔Sweden removed anti-sodomy provisions from their Penal Code in 1944.
✔The Constitution of Sweden contains a number of principles against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
✔Various employment laws were combined into 2008’s Discrimination Act.
✔The Discrimination Act also covers healthcare, housing, education, and other areas.
✔The Penal Code includes aggravated penalties for crimes involving hate or bias.
✔Those who “disseminate statement or communication, threatens or expresses contempt” may be subject to a fine or up to two years in jail.
✔Sweden’s Marriage Code was amended in 2009 to be gender-neutral.
✔The 2003 Act on Parenting lays out the same conditions for joint adoption for same-sex and opposite-sex couples.
✔The Act on Parenting also allows for second-parent adoption by same-sex couples.
✔The Penal Code of 1942 codified past Napoleonic traditions of not penalizing same-sex activity.
✔There are a number of laws that provide for the prohibition of discrimination in employment.
✔The Legal Affairs Committee ruled that “sexual identity” is included in law related to bias crime.
✔Same-sex couples have had financial and property protections since 2004.
✔Decriminalization of same-sex acts took place in the various provinces of Australia between 1975 and 1997.
✔The Workplace Relations Act of 1996 includes “sexual preference” as an area of discrimination to eliminate.
✔Laws in Australia prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in health insurance and consideration of asylum applications.
✔Reforms in 2008 removed discrimination between same-sex and different-sex couples.
✔Joint adoption by same-sex couples is equal to that of opposite-sex couples in all areas except one territory.
✔The same states and territories allow for second-parent adoption for same-sex couples.
✖Male and female same-sex activity is illegal according to Iran’s 2013 Islamic Penal Code. The death penalty is codified and implemented under Sharia Law.
✖1986’s Press Law forbids a number of limitations on material considered sensitive to the public.
✔Consensual same-sex activity was only criminalized in Japan for an eight-year period in the nineteenth century.
✔A number of policies in Japan address bullying on the basis of sexual orientation.
✖Male and female same-sex activity is illegal according to Saudi Arabia’s Sura. The death penalty is codified and implemented under Sharia Law.
✖A 2001 resolution states that all internet users must refrain from accessing a number of things that contradict Sharia Law, or that breach public decency.
✖Organizations related to sexual orientation are clearly forbidden by law.
✔The 1962 Criminal Act of South Korea makes no provisions criminalizing consensual same-sex acts between adults.
✔A long list of ways to discriminate in employment based on sexual orientation are prohibited in South Korea’s human rights law.
✔South Korea’s human rights act prohibits discrimination in transportation, education, and a number of other areas.
✖While same-sex activity is technically legal, debauchery laws have been used to this purpose.
✖Laws prohibit purveyance of materials “against public morals.”
✖A 2016 amendment to a law prohibits organizations that may destabilize public morals.
✖Male and female same-sex activity is illegal according to Morocco’s 1962 Penal Code.
✖The 1962 Penal Code contains sections understood to include promoting “obscenity.”
✖Morocco prohibits organizations that “breach the laws or public morals.”
✖Male and female same-sex activity is illegal according to Nigeria’s 1990 Penal Code Act. The death penalty is implemented in twelve states.
✖The same law in Nigeria that prohibits same-sex marriage also prohibits amorous public same-sex behavior.
✖Nigeria prohibits “the registration of gay clubs, societies and organisations, their sustenance, processions and meetings.”
✖Male and female same-sex activity is illegal according to Senegal’s 1965 Penal Code.
✖Male and female same-sex activity is illegal according to Tunisia’s 1913 Penal Code.
✖As amended in 2004, the 1913 Penal Code speaks of inviting “debauchery.”
✔Private same-sex acts were decriminalized in Costa Rica in 1971. The misdemeanor of “scandalous sodomy” was repealed in 2002.
✔”Sexual option” is among the prohibited grounds for discrimination in Costa Rica.
✔Costa Rica repealed laws that forbid gay men from donating blood. Executive order allows same-sex partners leave from work to provide health care.
✔In force since 1872, the Mexican Penal Code has never made reference to consensual same-sex acts between adults.
✔Mexico’s federal constitution has prohibited discrimination based on “sexual preferences” since 2011.
✔The 2003 Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination prohibits employment discrimination.
✔Mexico lifted a ban on gay men giving blood. Law also requires equal treatment for crime victims regardless of sexual orientation.
✔A 2014 law includes “sexual preferences” as grounds specifically prohibited in incitements to violence.
✔Many Mexican states allow same-sex marriage either by law or legal decision.
✔Sodomy was criminalized by executive order in Panama in 1949, and its criminalization was repealed by executive order in 2008.
✔Panamanian law protects access to public venues based on sexual orientation.
✔Argentina’s Penal Code has never referenced sexual acts between consenting adults.
✔Law prohibits health professionals from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
✔Argentina’s hate crimes law covers hate towards sexual orientation but only for assault and homicide.
✔Marriage equality has been the law in Argentina since 2010.
✔Argentina’s same-sex marriage law also includes all benefits of marriage including adoption protection.
✔The same law also lays out conditions for which a spouse may adopt their partner’s child.
✔Brazil’s Criminal Code does not have a sodomy provision, however, other provisions have been used in the past to punish people engaged in same-sex practices.
✔70% of the Brazilian population lives in an area where employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is forbidden.
✔Laws in Brazil address discrimination in treatment of violence towards women, credit history, public health services, and a number of other areas.
✔78% of the population lives an area covered by a hate crime law that includes sexual orientation.
✔All licensed psychologists in Brazil are forbidden from offering any sort of “gay cure.”
✔The National Council of Justice stated that that no notary in the country may deny same-sex marriage. Civil unions were recognized in 2011.
✔The right of same-sex couples to adopt is protected by a 2010 court ruling.
✔“Homosexual carnal knowledge” was decriminalized in Colombia in 1981.
✔A prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation has been in the Penal Code since 2011
✔A number of Constitutional Court decisions strengthened rights for LGB people in a number of areas.
✔Motivation based on sexual orientation is considered an aggravating circumstance in crimes.
✔Colombia also prohibits incitements to acts of violence based on sexual orientation.
✔The Constitutional Court in Colombia declared that notaries may not deny same-sex marriages. Civil union rights have been given to same-sex couples since 2007.
✔A 2015 court decision ensures the rights of same-sex couples to adopt.
✔A year earlier the court determined that same-sex couples have the right to adopt the child of their partner.
✔Same-sex acts have been legal in Peru since 1924, but provisions in the same code can lead to state-sponsored discrimination against public displays of affection.
✔Peru’s criminal code criminalizes acts of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
✔Executive order prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in health services.
✔The Penal Code aggravates penalties for crimes motivated by sexual orientation.
✔Just last year Peru outlawed incitements to violence based on sexual orientation.
✔Sodomy as a crime in Uruguay was repealed in 1934
✔Multiple Uruguayan laws include “sexual orientation and identity” among prohibited grounds of discrimination.
✔Uruguay includes sexual orientation differences in their definition of genocide.
✔The Penal Code includes enhanced punishments for crimes motivated by sexual orientation or identity.
✔Penal Code criminalizes incitement to hatred or violence based on sexual orientation or sexual identity.
✔Uruguay’s Law on Marriage Equality was passed in 2013, five years after allowing civil unions.
✔The marriage equality law also ensures all rights of same-sex couples including adoption.
✔Second-parent adoption is allowed, but only when the parental rights of the biological parent are terminated.
So taking every tick above as a plus-one and every cross as a minus-one here are groupings of how each participating nation would score:
- Costa Rica
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia