1987 in LGBT Rights

In 1987, there were 14 recorded legal changes made affecting LGBT people. In the previous year, there were 16 changes made and 35 in the following year. A total of 225 legal changes were made in the 1980s.

  • April 30
    Same-sex marriage becomes banned.
    Article 72 of the constitution states that marriage is between a man and a woman.
  • January 1
    Gender-affirming care becomes restricted.
    The process of undergoing sex reassignment surgery is extensive and arduous, and is restricted to those over the age of 18. There further exists a requirement for adult trans individuals to provide formal certification of parental approval to be issued a permit for surgery. Access to HRT likely requires similar steps.
  • Homosexual activity becomes illegal (imprisonment as punishment).
    In 2021, Mauritanian officials announced at its third Universal Periodic Review, that moratorium on the death penalty has been in place since 1987. This has been verified by various UN mechanisms such as the Committee Against Torture. However, arrests in the country are still common.
  • Gender-affirming care becomes ambiguous.
    In 1987, Liechtenstein legalized sterilization, which de facto meant legalizing sex reassignment surgery, however, medical records regarding transsexualism had to be obtained abroad. As of 2024 is unclear if trans people can seek gender affirming care in Liechtenstein or have to go abroad.
  • (date unknown)
    Gender-affirming care becomes legal, but restricted for minors.
    In 1987, Finland adopted the ICD-9 classification, which included codes allowing for the diagnosis of transsexualism in adults.
  • January 1
    Serving openly in military becomes illegal.
    not allowed at all
  • Legal recognition of non-binary gender becomes not legally recognized.
    not recognized a tall
  • (date unknown)
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal in some contexts.
    Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation was made unlawful through inclusion in the provisions of the Swedish Penal Code.
  • January 1
    Same-sex marriage becomes banned.
    The Philippines does not recognize any form of same-sex union under any circumstance. The Philippine Supreme Court has also denied and dismissed the petition to legalize same-sex marriage.
  • (date unknown)
    Right to change legal gender becomes legal, but requires surgery.
    Became legal due to a fatwa from Khomeini in 1987. Trans individuals have the gender they identify with legally recognized and sex reassignment surgeries are publicly funded.
  • January 1
    Homosexual activity becomes male illegal, female legal.
    Article 431 in Grenada’s Criminal Code of 1958, which was amended in 1987 states “If any two persons are guilty of unnatural connexion, or if any person is guilty of unnatural connexion with any animal, every such person shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” Unnatural connexion is a term that has been used in legal and moral contexts to refer to sexual activities that were considered deviant or immoral by societal standards of the time. This often included homosexual acts, both between men and between women. However in this Criminal Code, while the language is gender-neutral, only sexual acts between men are criminalized.
  • Same-sex marriage becomes banned.
    Same-sex marriage in the United Arab Emirates is not legal.
  • (date unknown)
    Serving openly in military becomes legal.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Homosexual activity is legal in Argentina.

LGBT Organizations Founded in 1987