1997 in LGBT Rights

In 1997, there were 13 recorded legal changes made affecting LGBT people. In the previous year, there were 30 changes made and 49 in the following year. A total of 311 legal changes were made in the 1990s.

  • November 27
    Equal age of consent becomes equal.
    The age of consent in Ecuador is 14, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. (Penal Code, Art 512)
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Article 516 of the code which criminalizes homosexual activity (from 4-8 years imprisonment) was repealed in 1997.
  • November 26
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    The penal code of 1997 is amended from the past penal code in which homosexuality if also legal
  • November 15
    Right to change legal gender becomes legal, but requires surgery.
    Transgender people are able to change their gender on identification documents after being issued a document from a health institution confirming the surgical requirements.
  • October 1
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
  • July 16
    Equal age of consent becomes equal.
    The law sets the age of consent as 16 for all sexual activities ("sodomy and "lesbianism" included explicitly.)
  • June 28
    LGBT housing discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 made it to where LGBTQ persons are not to be discriminated against through housing, banking, and other rights
  • June 5
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Even though homosexuality was not directly illegal, a law regarding Vagrants and Thugs could have indirectly punished LGBT community. This act was repealed in 1997.
  • May 1
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    In 1997 the High Court of Australia ruled that Tasmania's anti-gay laws were inconsistent with federal law, and Tasmania (the final jurisdiction with contrary laws) was forced to decriminalise homosexuality.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Tasmania decriminalizes homosexual activity, making homosexual activity legal in all Australian states.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Follows from Australian law due to being a territory of Australia without any population
  • April 24
    Right to change legal gender becomes legal, surgery not required.
    Previous ministerial decree regulating legal gender recognition, the on the Establishment of Mandatory Processes for Gender Reassignment. Transgender people were not required to undergo sex reassignment surgery, sterilisation or divorce their partner. Appointment with medical expert committee required.
  • April 17
    Same-sex marriage becomes not legal.
    The family code was amended to prohibit same sex marriage.