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LGBT Legal, Human and Civil Rights

Updated/Revised Date: 17th Jul 2022
Author: Sexual Diversity | Contact:
Additional References: LGBT Rights Publications

Synopsis: Information regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community rights including laws and regulations.


LGBT Rights

Today, LGBT rights are considered human and civil rights. People worldwide face violence, inequality, and sometimes torture, even execution, because of who they love, look or are. Rights affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people vary greatly by country or jurisdiction - encompassing everything from the legal recognition of same-sex marriage to the death penalty for homosexuality.

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People around the world face violence and inequality, and sometimes torture, even execution, because of who they love, how they look, or who they are. Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral aspects of our selves and should never lead to discrimination or abuse.

Laws affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people vary greatly by country or territory - everything from legal recognition of same-sex marriage or other types of partnerships, to the death penalty as punishment for same-sex romantic/sexual activity or identity. Today, LGBT rights are considered human rights and civil rights. LGBT rights laws include, but are not limited to, the following:

LGBT Rights in the United States

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) social movements is a political ideology and social movement that advocate for the equalized acceptance of LGBT people in society. In these movements, LGBT people and their allies have a long history of campaigning for what is now generally called LGBT rights, sometimes also called gay rights or gay and lesbian rights. Although there is not a primary or an overarching central organization that represents all LGBT people and their interests, numerous LGBT rights organizations are active worldwide.

Civil rights for LGBT people in the United States are advocated by a variety of organizations at all levels and concentrations of political and legal life, including the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in the United States have evolved over time and vary greatly on a state-by-state basis. Sexual activity between consenting adults and adolescents of a close age of the same sex has been legal nationwide since 2003, pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. Age of consent in each state varies from age 16 to 18; some states maintain different ages of consent for males/females or for same-sex/opposite-sex relations.

Adoption policies in regard to gay and lesbian parents also vary greatly from U.S. state to state. Some allow adoption by same-sex couples, while others ban all unmarried couples from adoption.


A commonly stated goal among LGBT Rights movements is social equality for LGBT people. Some have also focused on building LGBT communities or worked towards liberation for the broader society from biphobia, homophobia, and transphobia. LGBT movements organized today are made up of a wide range of political activism and cultural activity, including lobbying, street marches, social groups, media, art, and research.

Human Rights Watch works for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people's rights, with activists representing a multiplicity of identities and issues. In addition, Amnesty International believes that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, should be able to enjoy the full range of human rights, without exception.

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Latest LGBT Rights Publications

The above information is from our reference library of material relating to LGBT Rights that includes:

 Majority of U.S. Public Opposes Using Religious  Beliefs as a Reason to Discriminate Against LGBTQ People thumbnail image.
Most U.S. adults oppose denying medical care, employment, and other services to LGBTQ people based on religious beliefs.
Publish Date: 15th Jun 2023
LBQ Girls and Women of Color Overrepresented in Child Welfare and Criminalization Systems thumbnail image.
The proportion of Black and American Indian LBQ girls in foster care is four times higher than in the general population.
Publish Date: 7th Apr 2022
Executive Order Under Consideration Would Allow Discrimination Against LGBT thumbnail image.
Order could impact hundreds of thousands of LGBT people, including LGBT youth in foster care and same-sex couples seeking to foster or adopt.
Publish Date: 14th Feb 2017
Civil Rights Leaders Stand Up To Hate Issues thumbnail image.
Amid surge of bias crimes, A.G. Schneiderman stands with civil rights leaders to stand up to hate issues - urgent bulletin to local law enforcement offering guidance in identifying and prosecuting hate crimes.
Publish Date: 31st Dec 2016
Transgender and LGBT Rights in 2016 thumbnail image.
Recent controversial EEOC Ruling concludes that discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited under Title VII.
Publish Date: 1st Jan 2016 - Updated: 22nd Mar 2018

1How Many Genders Are There?
Alphabetical list of gender identities.

2Transgender Reporting Guide
How to write about transgender people.

3Glossary of Sexuality Terms
Definitions of sexual terms & acronyms.

4Glossary of Sexual Identities
Definitions of gender related terms.

5Am I Gay? Questions to Ask
Think you may be gay or bisexual?

• Submissions: Send us your coming events and LGBTQ related news stories.

• Report Errors: Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.

• (APA): (2022, July 17). LGBT Legal, Human and Civil Rights. Retrieved May 24, 2024 from

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