1996 in LGBT Rights

In 1996, there were 33 recorded legal changes made affecting LGBT people. In the previous year, there were 24 changes made and 21 in the following year. A total of 336 legal changes were made in the 1990s.

  • November 26
    Same-sex marriage becomes banned.
    Article 32 of the Constitution of Belarus defines marriage to be exclusively between a man and woman.
  • November 6
    LGBT housing discrimination becomes no protections.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes ambiguous.
    Some protection under gender based discrimination under Article 17 of Basic Law. According to the World Report 2018.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes no protections.
    Homosexuality is illegal and as such not covered as a ground to have protection against discrimination.
  • November 1
    Equal age of consent becomes equal.
    Age of consent in North Macedonia is set to 14 years and is equal for everyone.
  • Same-sex marriage becomes unrecognized.
    There is no definition of marriage in the 1991 Constitution. Article 40: "Legal relations in marriage, family and cohabitation are regulated by law." Family Law from 1992, article 6: "Marriage is a legally regulated union of life between a husband and wife in which the interests of the spouses, the family and society are realized."
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    The Criminal Code of the Republic of Macedonia adopted on July 23, 1996 decriminalized consensual homosexual intercourse between men.
  • October 16
    Same-sex marriage becomes banned.
    State Statute defining marriage as between one man and one woman
  • August 29
    Same-sex marriage becomes unrecognized.
    There is a ban on same sex marriage
  • August 24
    Same-sex marriage becomes banned.
    Mississippi governor ordered an executive order to ban same sex marriage
  • July 1
    Same-sex marriage becomes civil unions (marriage rights).
    On July 1, 1996, Greenland embraced Denmark's registered partnership law, granting legal recognition to same-sex couples. This move was a pivotal moment in advancing LGBTQ+ rights in Greenland, signaling a step towards greater equality and inclusion within the community.
  • June 28
    LGBT discrimination becomes no protections.
    No protections afforded
  • June 1
    LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation only.
    Federal human rights law applies directly to only federal government employment and employers which fall under federal jurisdiction. Gender identity is only implicitly protected under interpretation of the law by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Attempts have been made to have gender identity and gender expression added as protected classes to both the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code, though none of these attempts so far has been successful. Provincial human rights acts are separate, but Supreme Court precedent exists for requiring provinces to protect the same classes as the Canadian Human Rights Act. At this time all provinces protect against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Of the provinces only Ontario has explicit protection on the basis of both gender identity and gender expression in its human rights code, though several provide implicit protections on the basis of gender identity or "transsexualism" under the category of "sex" or "gender".
  • May 15
    Same-sex marriage becomes unrecognized.
    Tennessee Act of 1996 define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
  • May 8
    Same-sex marriage becomes unrecognized.
    Country just got rid of the constitutional ban on gay marriage.
  • Same-sex marriage becomes banned.
    Several provisions within the constitution, the family law and the civil code points to the definition of a marriage as being a union between a man and a woman.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
    Prohibition of "sexual orientation" discrimination was first included at Section 8 of the Interim Constitution that came into force in April 1994, and was carried through Section 9(3) of the Constitution of South Africa (1996).
  • Serving openly in military becomes legal.
    South Africa is currently the only African country to allow transgender service in their military.
  • January 26
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Campbell v. Sundquist struck down the state's Homosexual Practices Act, ruling the state's same-sex-only sodomy law violated their right to privacy under Tennessee's Constitution, which is a right that was recognized in the 1992 case of Davis v. Davis.
  • January 24
    Right to change legal gender becomes legal, but requires surgery.
    Gender reassignment surgeries are legal in Singapore, and in 1973 the government allowed patients to change their identity cards. This change implicitly recognized marriages that included an individual that had undergone surgery. In 1996, Member of Parliament (MP) Abdullah Tarmugi made an announcement that individuals who have undergone surgery could marry someone of the opposite sex.
  • (date unknown)
    Homosexual activity becomes illegal (death penalty as punishment).
    Homosexuality became legal in every Russian federal subject in 1993, except for Chechnya. While Chechnya does not have an official law dictating what to do against LGBTQ+ people, openly LGBTQ+ people will either get arrested, or possibly killed. Chechen police will participate in "honor killings" towards anyone who demonstrates homosexual activity or activism for queer rights.
  • January 1
    Right to change legal gender becomes legal, but requires surgery.
    Since 1996, it has been possible for someone who has gone through sex reassignment surgery to change their sex in their documents
  • (date unknown)
    Same-sex marriage becomes unregistered cohabitation.
    Unregistered cohabitation confers limited rights to unmarried couples.
  • January 1
    LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Employment Discrimination illegal.
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Under Icelandic Criminal Code.
  • Equal age of consent becomes equal.
    No laws have ever existed.
  • Equal age of consent becomes equal.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Under Icelandic Criminal Code.
  • (date unknown)
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
    Outlined in BC Human Rights Code
  • LGBT housing discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Section 9(3) of the South African Constitution prohibits unfair discrimination on the grounds of sex, gender and sexual orientation. In addition, the Constitutional Court has stated that the section must also be interpreted as prohibiting discrimination against transgender people.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Section 9(3) of the South African Constitution prohibits unfair discrimination on the grounds of sex, gender and sexual orientation. In addition, the Constitutional Court has stated that the section must also be interpreted as prohibiting discrimination against transgender people.
  • January 1
    LGBT discrimination becomes illegal.
    There is protection against discrimination at court in the criminal code.
  • (date unknown)
    Blood donations by MSMs becomes banned (1-year deferral).
    The Red Cross controls blood donations in Australia and it has a ban on MSMs active in the last year

LGBT Organizations Founded in 1996

  • Equality Pennsylvania FaviconEquality Pennsylvania
    Equality Pennsylvania is the commonwealth
  • ILGA-Europe FaviconILGA-Europe
    Global
    ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association ILGA-Europe works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay…