Serving openly in military

LGBTQ+ people are banned from serving openly in the military in 100 countries.

DATE

Serving openly in military

The issue of serving openly in the military concerns the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals to serve in the armed forces without hiding their sexual orientation or gender identity. Historically, many countries enforced policies that either banned LGBTQ+ individuals from military service or required them to conceal their identity as a condition of service. Policies can restrict individuals from serving based on their sexual orientation, their gender identity, or both. Notable examples include the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy formerly in place in the United States, which allowed gay people to serve provided they did not openly disclose their sexual orientation.

As the LGBTQ+ rights movement progresses, more countries have revised their military policies to allow LGBTQ+ individuals to serve openly. These changes often occur after extensive advocacy, shifts in public opinion, and recognition of the need for equality and respect for human rights within the armed forces.

Summary

59
Legal
59 regions (30%)
Legal
54
Somewhere in between
54 regions (27%)
Somewhere in between
46
Illegal
46 regions (23%)
Illegal
38
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
38 regions (19%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
Europe
50%
LEGAL EQUALITY
Legal
25 regions (50%)
Somewhere in between
19 regions (38%)
Illegal
1 regions (2%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
5 regions (10%)
Oceania
36%
LEGAL EQUALITY
Legal
5 regions (36%)
Somewhere in between
regions (0%)
Illegal
regions (0%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
9 regions (64%)
South America
83%
LEGAL EQUALITY
Legal
10 regions (83%)
Somewhere in between
2 regions (17%)
Illegal
regions (0%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
regions (0%)
North America
39%
LEGAL EQUALITY
Legal
9 regions (39%)
Somewhere in between
4 regions (17%)
Illegal
2 regions (9%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
8 regions (35%)
Africa
2%
LEGAL EQUALITY
Legal
1 regions (2%)
Somewhere in between
18 regions (34%)
Illegal
26 regions (49%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
8 regions (15%)
Asia
21%
LEGAL EQUALITY
Legal
9 regions (21%)
Somewhere in between
11 regions (25%)
Illegal
17 regions (39%)
No data, no laws, N/A, or ambiguous
7 regions (16%)

Timeline of serving openly in military

Number of countries to allow serving openly in the military over the past 61 years.

Recent Changes

Serving openly in military by Country

Lesbians, gays, bisexuals permitted, transgender people banned

Serving openly in military is lesbians, gays, bisexuals permitted, transgender people banned in 40 regions.

  1. North America (4)
  2. El Salvador 2018
  3. Guatemala
  4. Honduras
  5. Mexico 2012
  6. South America (2)
  7. Peru 2009
  8. Venezuela 2023

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Serving openly in military is don't ask, don't tell in 14 regions.

Spot an error? Visit the region and select "Accurate?: No" so Equaldex's editors can review it.