2003 in LGBT Rights

In 2003, there were 90 recorded legal changes made affecting LGBT people. In the previous year, there were 28 changes made and 56 in the following year. A total of 536 legal changes were made in the 2000s.

  • December 18
    Right to change legal gender becomes legal, but requires surgery.
    Article 21 was amended in 2003 so that legal sex can be rectified to correct for "errors" without changing other details in the civil registry.
  • December 2
    LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • November 1
    Right to change legal gender becomes legal, but requires surgery.
  • October 8
    Right to change legal gender becomes legal, but requires surgery.
    Requires a notarized affidavit from a surgeon outlining the surgical procedure(s). A court order may also be used as evidence.
  • October
    Same-sex marriage becomes unrecognized.
    Taiwan was the firs country in the Asia-Pacific region to consider legalizing same-sex marriage but the legislation stalled in the legislature.
  • September 30
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    No
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    No
  • September 20
    Homosexuals serving openly in military becomes legal.
    Don't Ask, Don't Tell is officially repealed throughout the United States, and gays and lesbians may openly serve.
  • July 24
    Same-sex marriage becomes unregistered cohabitation.
  • July 16
    Same-sex adoption becomes single only.
    there are no restrictions for single individuals based on sexual orientation
  • July 15
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
    In 2003 Discrimination protection was extended to Sexual orientation and Gender identity in the penal code. In 2004, an official anti-discrimination bill was passed that includes provisions for sexual orientations and gender identities
  • July 9
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal in some contexts.
    Only discrimination in workplace banned.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation only.
    Discrimination protection is afforded on the grounds of sexual orientation
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes no protections.
    Currently, only employment discrimination is in place.
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes ambiguous.
    Only for gender identity and expression.
  • July 1
    Homosexuals serving openly in military becomes legal.
    Major-General of Medical Service Valery Kulikov stated that "the new statute about military and medical expertise from July 1, 2003 does not forbid people of non-standard sexual orientation from serving in the military." Also, in February of 2010, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stated in an interview that gays are not banned from serving in the Russian armed forces.
  • July
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
    producing homophobic material can carry up to one year's imprisionment
  • July 1
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
    People are protected from discrimination based upon both sexual orientation and gender identification.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    State law provides for protections against employment discrimination in regards to both sexual orientation and gender identification.
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    This state explicitly bans housing discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identification. Additionally, the Human Rights Campaign states, "The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires grantees and participants of HUD programs to comply with local and state non-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation and gender identity. HUD also prohibits inquiries regarding the sexual orientation or gender identity of a prospective tenant or applicant for assisted housing in every state (March 2012)."
  • June 26
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Homosexual activity is legal in the United States.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Legal due to the US Supreme ruling about homosexual activity.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    U.S. Supreme Court decision superceding any state or local statute making such activity illegal
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Lawrence v. Texas, U.S. Supreme Court (2003)
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Lawrence v. Texas, U.S. Supreme Court (2003)
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Lawrence v. Texas, U.S. Supreme Court (2003)
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    US Supreme Court ruling issued in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all sodomy laws on the basis of privacy and liberty. The decision overturned any laws remaining in all US states which prohibited acts of sodomy.
  • June 16
    LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    No
  • June 10
    Same-sex marriage becomes legal.
    Through the case Halpern v. Canada, the definition of marriage as "one man and one woman" was changed to “the voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others” to comply with the couples' equality rights under section 15(1) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • June 1
    Same-sex marriage becomes legal.
  • May 27
    Equal age of consent becomes equal.
  • April 29
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
    The National Council to Prevent Discrimination, CONAPRED, takes action to ensure equality for all citizens. This includes promoting new policies and resolving complaints of allegedly discriminatory acts.
  • April 22
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
  • April 18
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
  • March 15
    Homosexuals serving openly in military becomes illegal.
    As homosexuality is illegal, it is also illegal to serve in the army
  • LGBT discrimination becomes no protections.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes no protections.
    No
  • March 13
    Right to change legal gender becomes legal, but requires surgery.
    Only in Mexico City.
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes no protections.
    No
  • January 16
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal in some contexts.
    Prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit, and the exercise of civil rights. No protections exist on the basis of gender identification.
  • January 10
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
    State Law 7309 of 10 January 2003
  • LGBT discrimination becomes illegal in some contexts.
    Employment protections only.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes illegal in some contexts.
    No protection not many people living there.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    No
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Under federal Hate Crimes.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    No
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Under federal hate crimes.
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    No
  • January 1
    Homosexual activity becomes illegal (imprisonment as punishment).
    The Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code states that all kinds of sexual acts, except for the natural sex, are illegal. People found guilty are liable for a 10-year imprisonment. "Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person ... shall be liable to imprisonment for 10 years." Moreover, homosexual immigrants are prohibited an entry to the country.
  • Same-sex marriage becomes not legal.
    Homosexuality is illegal in Belize.
  • Same-sex adoption becomes legal.
    California law states that an adult related to the child, a person named in a deceased parent’s will, a legal guardian, or a person with whom the child has been placed for adoption is permitted to petition to adopt. California §8600, 8601 permit same-sex adoption, and second-parent adoption is legal per case law exhibited via Sharon v. Supreme Court, 31 Cal. 4th 417 (2003). This case also explicitly banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in all adoptions and foster care placements in California.
  • (date unknown)
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
  • January 1
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal in some contexts.
    "The Labour Code has contained anti-discrimination protections in employment since 2003. This prohibition is also reflected in the new Equal Treatment Law of 2010, which entered into force on 1 January 2011. The Equal Treatment Law bans sexual orientation discrimination in employment only.
  • (date unknown)
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
  • January 1
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal in some contexts.
    missing protection of sexual orientation in housing, hate crime law.
  • Right to change legal gender becomes legal, but requires surgery.
    The authorities shall recognise a person as belonging to the opposite sex to that recorded on the population register, provided he/she: • Provides a medical report testifying that he/she permanently experiences being a member of the opposite sex and that he/she lives in that gender roles and that he/she has been sterilised or is otherwise incapable of having children • He/she is an adult • He/she is not married or in a registered partnership; unless the spouse or partner gives their consent in which case a marriage become a registered partnership and a registered partnership becomes a marriage • He/she is a Finnish citizen or is resident in Finland
  • Right to change legal gender becomes legal, surgery not required.
    No
  • Right to change legal gender becomes legal, surgery not required.
    completely legal in South Africa.
  • (date unknown)
    LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation only.
    Sexual orientation was protected.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation only.
    State law provides protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation only. However, public state employees are allowed domestic partner benefits. Additionally, public state employees are protected from employment discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identification.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    The same law applies to the Mainland and to the Regions
  • January 1
    LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    sexual orientation was added in 2003. Gender indentity was always there.
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    No

LGBT Organizations Founded in 2003

  • Freedom to Marry FaviconFreedom to Marry
    Global
    Freedom to Marry was launched in 2003 by Evan Wolfson, the civil rights attorney generally considered the architect of the national marriage equality movement. From a prophetic…
  • National Center for Transgender Equality FaviconNational Center for Transgender Equality
    The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is a United States social justice organization dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy…