1999 in LGBT Rights

In 1999, there were 43 recorded legal changes made affecting LGBT people. In the previous year, there were 61 changes made and 72 in the following year. A total of 421 legal changes were made in the 1990s.

  • December 30
    Same-sex marriage becomes banned.
    Article 77 of the constitution states that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. It also limits de facto unions to opposite-sex couples only. Article 77 of the Constitution reads as follows: «Marriage between a man a woman, which is based on free consent and absolute equality of rights and obligations of the spouses, is protected. A stable de facto union between a man and a woman which meets the requirements established by law shall have the same effects as marriage.» Efforts to legalize marriage equality or civil unions in the legislatures have come and gone, with symbolic marriages being recognized in one city. These marriages were criticized as being expensive by LGBT activists, providing nothing. Some indigenous two spirit individuals are recognized by the Warao people, known as tida wena. They participated in two-spirit marriages. The relative comfort these individuals enjoyed for centuries were shattered at the beginning of Spanish settlement and prevailing norms have changed.
  • December 28
    LGBT housing discrimination becomes no protections.
  • Same-sex adoption becomes illegal.
    According to a study by the Council of Europe or the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, same-sex couples cannot adopt since Article 120 of the Family Code (1999) states that joint adoption is only allowed for married couples. The report suggests that in principle, there aren't any legal restrictions around adopting as an individual — gay or straight — however, all individuals are usually denied the right to adopt.
  • December 21
    Equal age of consent becomes equal.
    The age of consent is 16 years old. However, this is due to the LGBT population not being officially mentioned or recognized in the law
  • November 15
    Same-sex marriage becomes civil unions (limited rights).
    Under French law, both same sex and different sex couples can get a PACS, a civil union with limited rights. PACS are still available today.
  • October 29
    Equal age of consent becomes equal.
    Age of consent for Anal or Vaginal sex is 14 years old.
  • October 25
    Intersex infant surgery becomes parental approval required.
    In 1999, in Judgment SU-337/99 (1999), the Constitutional Court ruled that surgery on a child's genitals can only be authorized with the consent of the intersex child and that the recommendations of doctors and the consent of parents are not enough for authorization to take place. In addition, the Court suggested that less invasive medical interventions could be carried out gradually if the child is not considered sufficiently autonomous to make the decision.
  • July 12
    Equal age of consent becomes unequal.
    Article 365 of the Penal Code establishes 18 as age if consent for gay couples, whereas 14 is the standard age if consent for straight couples.
  • Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in Chile since 1999 after Law 19,617 came into effect.
  • July 1
    Same-sex adoption becomes single only.
    There were no restrictions for adoption for single LGBT individuals in the 1998 Family Law. Adoptive parents in parental adoption could be joint spouses, one spouse with the consent of the other spouse, or a person who is not married (Article 134).
  • Same-sex marriage becomes unrecognized.
    Family laws from 1999 and 2003 in Article 5 define marriage as a legally regulated life union of a man and a woman. The 1990 Constitution did not define marriage: "Marriage and legal relations in marriage, cohabitation and family are regulated by law" (Article 61).
  • May 29
    LGBT housing discrimination becomes no protections.
    Homosexuality is still illegal there.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes no protections.
  • LGBT discrimination becomes no protections.
    Although the discrimination protection clause protect citizens against all forms of discrimination, there are also provisions within the protection against discrimination that encourages "the evolution and promotion of family life" with a family having a "traditional" family connotation.
  • May 7
    Right to change legal gender becomes legal, but requires medical diagnosis.
    The current law concerning legal gender recognition dates from 7 May 1999, the Common Requirements for Medical Operations for Gender Reassignment. Transgender people are not required to undergo sex reassignment surgery since 1997, sterilisation or divorce their partner, due to the specific wording of the Family Law Act. From October 2021, neither genetic testing or hormone replacement therapy are mandatory to later change legal data. First appointment with a medical expert committee is required to receive a ministerial decree authorizing hormone replacement therapy, followed by a second appointment with the same committee authorizing the change of legal data. Diagnosis from a psychiatrist before first committee appointment strongly recommended, committee bases its decision on this diagnosis as well as self-determination.
  • March 22
    Conversion therapy becomes sexual orientation only.
    On March 22, 1999, Brazil became the first country to ban gay conversion therapy. The Federal Council of Psychology enacted Resolution CFP No. 001/99, which explicitly states that "homosexuality does not constitute a disease, disorder, or perversion." This landmark decision prevents psychologists from engaging in practices intended to 'cure' or alter an individual's sexual orientation.
  • March 19
    Same-sex marriage becomes banned.
    Marriage was defined as "a civil contract whereby a man and a woman mutually agree to become husband and wife." with the passing of H.B 1013 in 1999. Article 68 of the Civil Code also explicitly prohibited marriages "between persons of the same sex or transsexuals contracted in other jurisdictions" from being recognized in Puerto Rico.
  • Blood donations by MSMs becomes banned (indefinite deferral).
    The Northern Estonia Blood Centre did not initially allow MSM persons to donate blood.
  • February 16
    Blood donations by MSMs becomes banned (indefinite deferral).
    Homosexual behavior is one of the grounds for permanent exclusion from donating blood (Guidelines on blood and blood components, Article 16)
  • February 1
    Censorship of LGBT issues becomes imprisonment as punishment.
    not allowed entirelty
  • January 19
    Homosexual activity becomes legal.
    Settlement of Williams v. Glendening, Baltimore Circuit Court. In 2023, Maryland removed the statute criminalising sodomy from its state constitution.
  • (date unknown)
    Gender-affirming care becomes legal.
    In 1999, Trinidad and Tobago adopted the ICD-10 classification, which contains codes for diagnosing transsexualism in adulthood and childhood, which authorize the initiation of medical transition.
  • Gender-affirming care becomes legal.
    In 1999, Romania adopted the ICD-10 classification, which contains codes for diagnosing transsexualism in adulthood and childhood, which authorize the initiation of medical transition.
  • Gender-affirming care becomes legal.
    In 1999, Peru adopted the ICD-10 classification, which contains codes for diagnosing transsexualism in adulthood and childhood, which authorize the initiation of medical transition.
  • Gender-affirming care becomes legal.
    In 1999, Kiribati adopted the ICD-10 classification, which contains codes for diagnosing transsexualism in adulthood and childhood, which authorize the initiation of medical transition.
  • Gender-affirming care becomes legal.
    In 1999, Turkmenistan adopted the ICD-10 classification, which contains codes for diagnosing transsexualism in adulthood and childhood, which authorize the initiation of medical transition.
  • Gender-affirming care becomes legal.
    In 1999, Spain adopted the ICD-10 classification, which contains codes for diagnosing transsexualism in adulthood and childhood, which authorize the initiation of medical transition.
  • Gender-affirming care becomes legal.
    In 1999, Philippines adopted the ICD-10 classification, which contains codes for diagnosing transsexualism in adulthood and childhood, which authorize the initiation of medical transition.
  • Gender-affirming care becomes legal, but restricted for minors.
    In 1999, Fiji adopted the ICD-9 classification, which included codes allowing for the diagnosis of transsexualism in adults.
  • Gender-affirming care becomes legal.
    In 1999, Cyprus adopted the ICD-10 classification, which contains codes for diagnosing transsexualism in adulthood and childhood, which authorize the initiation of medical transition.
  • Gender-affirming care becomes legal.
    In 1999, Bahamas adopted the ICD-10 classification, which contains codes for diagnosing transsexualism in adulthood and childhood, which authorize the initiation of medical transition.
  • Gender-affirming care becomes legal.
    In 1999, Russia adopted the ICD-10 classification, which contains codes for diagnosing transsexualism in adulthood and childhood, which authorize the initiation of medical transition.
  • Homosexual activity becomes male illegal, female legal.
    Male homosexuality is explicitly illegal and sodomy— defined as sexual intercourse between men —is punishable by up to two years in prison, with additional terms of two to five years in a labor camp possible, under the Criminal Code of Turkmenistan, Chapter 3; Article 135, section. In addition, the provisions of Article 19 of the code allow for increased penalties for repeat convictions, applying to any crime under the code. Prior to a 2019 amendment, the 1997 code's maximum term was two years.
  • Conversion therapy becomes banned.
    Under federal regulation.
  • Conversion therapy becomes banned.
    Under federal regulation.
  • Conversion therapy becomes banned.
    Under federal regulation.
  • Conversion therapy becomes banned.
    Under federal regulation.
  • January 1
    Conversion therapy becomes banned.
    Nationwide since 1999.
  • Same-sex marriage becomes unrecognized.
    No laws in the legal system.
  • (date unknown)
    Serving openly in military becomes lesbians, gays, bisexuals permitted, transgender people banned.
    Portugal is not one of the 22 countries that allows trans military service. Trans people aren't explicitly banned from joining the army, but due to discrimination and regulations that also apply to cis people, but more commonly affect trans people, they are unable to join.
  • January 1
    Equal age of consent becomes equal.
    The age of consent of 16 years is equal for everyone.
  • LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Employment discimination due to sexual orientation (1999), change of legal gender (1996), crossgender identity and expression (2009) are illegal.
  • January
    LGBT employment discrimination becomes sexual orientation only.
    Ireland's Employment Equality Act, 1998, and the Equal Status Act, 2000 outlawed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

LGBT Organizations Founded in 1999

  • Hegoak FaviconHegoak
    Hegoak is a non-profit association focused on deepening the freedom of expression and sexual-affective life from a progressive and transforming viewpoint. It is based in Bilbao…
  • LifeLong Adoptions FaviconLifeLong Adoptions
    LifeLong Adoptions is an organization specializing in LGBT adoptions. Their mission is to keep the adoption process affordable while creating the bond between Birthmothers and…
  • Labrisz Lesbian Association FaviconLabrisz Lesbian Association
    Labrisz Lesbian Association was founded in 1999 in Budapest, Hungary. Its purpose is making the lives and issues of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women more visible, along…
  • Ruth Ellis Center FaviconRuth Ellis Center
    Named in honor of a resilient Detroit icon, Ruth Ellis Center works to create a supportive environment and community with LGBTQ+ young people
  • TransMann e.V. FaviconTransMann e.V.
    Transmann e.V. is a German non-profit organization that provides support and resources for transgender men. The organization aims to provide a safe and supportive environment for…