The Decriminalization of same-sex relationships

This is a timeline showing how a wave of countries have removed laws which had criminalised same-sex relations. As this is a simplified visualisation it cannot show all the complexity of how laws have been changed over time, but it does illustrate the scale of change that has been taking place.

Progress is never given, it is only ever won. This timeline tells the story of a struggle which continues, and in which there have been and will continue to be set backs. But the trend over time is clear: decriminalisation is set to be the future.

Laws that punish same sex relations, in addition to contravening the human rights of LGBT people, are a significant obstacle to improving health outcomes, including in the HIV response. Criminalising laws have exacerbated stigma and discrimination against LGBT people, and have been barriers to LGBT people seeking and receiving healthcare for fear of being punished or detained. Decriminalisation saves and changes lives.


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