1940s in LGBT Rights

Number of LGBT-related laws changed over time
  • October 1
    Serving openly in military becomes legal.
    More gay friendly than in the USA. Discrimination protections pending regionally.
  • Equal age of consent becomes equal.
    The age of consent in China is 14 for both same-sex and opposite sex couples.
  • Serving openly in military becomes legal.
    There is no law that bans LGBT people from serving in the Chinese military.
  • August 15
    LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Nationwide.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
    Nationwide.
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Nationwide.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Nationwide.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes illegal in some contexts.
    Only for gender identity and expression.
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Nationwide.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    nationwide.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
    Nationwide.
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Nationwide.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Nationwide.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
    Nationwide.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes illegal in some contexts.
    Only for gender identity and expression.
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Nationwide.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    In all areas.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
    Nationwide.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes ambiguous.
    Only for gender identity and expression.
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes ambiguous.
    only for gender identity and expression.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes illegal in some contexts.
    Only gender identity and expression.
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Full discrimination protection pending nationwide.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Transgender discrimination protections pending. Sexual orientation discrimination protection through human rights institute. Full discrimination protections pending.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes no protections.
    No known anti-discrimination protections exist for sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • June 22
    Same-sex marriage becomes unrecognized.
    In Kurdistan, Syria, foreign same sex marriage recognized under EU law.
  • Same-sex marriage becomes not legal.
    As homosexuality is illegal, same sex marriage is also illegal by default.
  • Homosexual activity becomes illegal (imprisonment as punishment).
    The penal law states any "carnal intercourse against the order of nature... shall be punished with imprisonment..."
  • September 14
    LGBT housing discrimination becomes ambiguous.
    The North Korean Constitution states that all citizens are equal but it is unclear if this equality is extended to LGBT citizens.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes ambiguous.
    The North Korean Constitution states that all citizens are equal but it is unclear if this equality is extended to LGBT citizens.
  • Serving openly in military becomes don't ask, don't tell.
    North Koreans serving in the military are required to maintain 10 (ten) years of celibacy . Homosexual behavior in the military has been described as situational behavior rather than a genuine behavior. Therefore, with no other appropriate label, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is assumed to be the most accurate status.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes no protections.
    The North Korean Constitution states that all citizens are equal but it is unclear if this equality is extended to LGBT citizens, however this is not backed by any legal resources or human accounts.
  • Same-sex marriage becomes unrecognized.
    North Korean depictions of love and marriage remain heterosexist however, the North Korean government has liberalized its views on marriage and love as private matters between consenting adults.
  • Homosexual activity becomes ambiguous.
    Contrary to popular belief, homosexuality is technically not against the law in North Korea, however, North Korea is a sexually conservative country, and this applies to sexuality anywhere on the spectrum. Overt shows of affection by anyone of any sexual orientation tend to be frowned upon. There are, however, claims that it is de-facto illegal, but this has no official backing. (Date shown is date of North Korean statehood.)
  • August 15
    Same-sex adoption becomes married couples only.
    Legalization pending.
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Full discrimination protections.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes no protections.
    Date shown is the founding of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). There are no LGBT anti-discrimination protections in South Korea.
  • Same-sex adoption becomes illegal.
    No information about when adoption regulations went into effect. Date shown is when the Republic of Korea (South Korea) was founded.
  • Same-sex marriage becomes not legal.
    There has been proposals to legalize gay marriage, but none have passed as of May 2022.
  • May 14
    Equal age of consent becomes equal.
    The age of consent in Israel is 16 for male-male, female-female, and male-female sex.
  • December 25
    Equal age of consent becomes equal.
    Unsure of date. Date shown represents ratification of the Taiwanese Constitution. The age of consent in Taiwan is 16 (sixteen).
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Unsure of date which reflects the ratification of the current constitution of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Taiwanese criminal code treats sexual acts between same-sex partners in private as equal to heterosexual sex acts performed in private.
  • December 22
    Serving openly in military becomes legal.
  • September 9
    Same-sex marriage becomes ambiguous.
    Civil unions in some cities. Nationwide civil unions and gay marriage pending.
  • June 13
    Same-sex adoption becomes single only.
    Homosexuality got legalized in 2018. No laws in place for same sex couples.
  • Same-sex adoption becomes single only.
    Spouses and single persons may adopt but the law does not recognise same-sex spouses and favours females as single adopters.
  • May 3
    Equal age of consent becomes equal.
    The national age of consent is 13 for both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples. Cities and prefectures may set higher ages of consent.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes no protections.
    Japan does not have LGBT protections from discrimination in employment, housing, etc. The Japanese Constitution promises equal rights to all and this is widely interpretted as extending to LGBT citizens.
  • Serving openly in military becomes legal.
    Japan has a Self Defense Force in place of a traditional military. There is no specific policy either banning or encouraging LGBT participation in the Self Defense Forces. Research by Sabine Fruhstuck has shown that many Japanese do not object to open LGBT service in the military provided it does not interfere with their performance.
  • Same-sex marriage becomes unrecognized.
    Article 24 of the Japanese Constitution states that "marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis".
  • January 1
    Equal age of consent becomes unequal.
  • August 18
    LGBT housing discrimination becomes no protections.
    None exist currently.
  • August 16
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    The date listed is the ratification of the Indonesian Constitution. Homosexuality is legal in Indonesia with the exception of Aceh and the city of Palembang .
  • August 15
    Serving openly in military becomes illegal.
    Military officials used gay dating and social apps to prosecute same sex couples under article 92. They prosecuted several gay couples. Ruled illegal by military court in 2010. legalization pending.
  • Serving openly in military becomes illegal.
    Article 92 of the South Korean Military Code provides punishment for gay men in the South Korean Military including dishonorable discharge.
  • May 5
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
  • September 3
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Belgium was liberated in September of 1944. Belgian civil law reverted back to pre-war laws.
  • July 17
    Same-sex marriage becomes foreign same-sex marriages recognized only.
    Gay marriage Legalization required under 2018 IACHR Ruling. Gay marriage Pending.
  • July 1
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Homosexual activity has been legal in Sweden since 1944.
  • June 17
    Same-sex marriage becomes unrecognized.
    Dominican Republic law does not recognise any marriage or partnership between same sex couples. In 2010 the Constitution was amended to affirm that "The State shall promote and protect the family organization based on the institution of marriage between a man and a woman" (Article 55). In 2018 the IACHR ruled that the American Convention on Human Rights requires Dominican Republic to legalise same-sex marriage.
  • January 15
    Homosexual activity becomes illegal (imprisonment as punishment).
    Up to 3 years in prison. Not enforced.
  • March 1
    Homosexual activity becomes illegal (imprisonment as punishment).
    Imprisonment of up to 1 year for sexual acts that go against the nature.
  • (date unknown)
    Same-sex marriage becomes unrecognized.
    Some symbolic civil unions are recognized in select regions though no full and meaningful recognition is given.
  • January 1
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    The Swiss Penal Code introduced in 1942 allowed same sex acts between adults (above 20 years old), but punished homosexual intercourse with people between 16 and 20 years old (while allowing heterosexual acts)
  • September 16
    Same-sex marriage becomes unrecognized.
    Under the Shah's rule, the last monarch of the Pahlavi dynasty, homosexuality was criminalised, though it was mostly tolerated even to the point of allowing news coverage of a mock same-sex wedding between two men.
  • December 7
    Equal age of consent becomes equal.
    Age of consent = 14 years old
  • August 12
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    The Icelandic parliament decriminalizes homosexuality, removes the provision of the law that made homosexuality illegal.
  • May 28
    Homosexual activity becomes illegal (death penalty as punishment).
    Belgium was under German occupation during World War II and thus Paragraph 175 was in effect.
  • May 15
    Homosexual activity becomes illegal (imprisonment as punishment).
    During the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II homosexuality was criminalized by Paragraph 175.
  • January 30
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Homosexuality is technically legal. However public display of homosexual affections can be persecuted due to some other obscure laws.