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These Are Some of the Most Important Pieces of LGBTQ Legislation Passed in the Last Decade

In the last decade, we’ve seen significant strides in legislation that supports and uplifts the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. These legal milestones have shaped societal norms and provided much-needed protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. The battle for equality is ongoing, and it’s essential to acknowledge and remember these legislative landmarks that have led us to where we are today. Here are 15 key pieces of LGBTQ+ legislation passed in the last decade:

1. The Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (2010)

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This significant US military policy, which barred openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual persons from military service, was repealed in 2010. This change allowed LGBTQ+ individuals to serve openly in the armed forces without fear of dismissal or harassment. The repeal marked a considerable shift in military policy and a major victory for LGBTQ+ rights.

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2. The Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage in the US (2015)

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Perhaps one of the most celebrated milestones, the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, made same-sex marriage legal nationwide in the US. This landmark decision gave same-sex couples the same legal rights and benefits as heterosexual couples, marking a significant advance for LGBTQ+ equality.

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3. The Equality Act Passage in the House of Representatives (2019)

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While not yet law as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the Equality Act’s passage in the House represented a significant stride. The Act seeks to provide comprehensive protections against discrimination for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, and education.

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4. Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage (2019)

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Taiwan made history by becoming the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. This groundbreaking law gave same-sex couples the right to marry and enjoy the same benefits as their heterosexual counterparts, marking a milestone in LGBTQ+ rights in Asia.

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5. The Bostock v. Clayton County Supreme Court Ruling (2020)

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This pivotal ruling in the US made it illegal for employers to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This decision by the Supreme Court extended Title VII protections of the Civil Rights Act to include LGBTQ+ employees, providing a major victory for workplace equality.

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6. The Ban on Conversion Therapy in Germany (2020)

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Germany took a major step forward in protecting LGBTQ+ rights by outlawing so-called conversion therapies for minors. The law also makes it illegal to advertise or offer conversion therapies, marking a crucial stand against these harmful practices.

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7. The Approval of the Civil Partnership Act in Thailand (2020)

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In a landmark move for LGBTQ+ rights in Southeast Asia, Thailand approved the Civil Partnership Act, giving same-sex couples legal recognition. While not equivalent to marriage, it’s a significant step towards equality, granting couples property rights, inheritance rights, and the ability to adopt children.

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8. Recognition of Non-Binary Gender in Pakistan (2018)

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Pakistan approved the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, a law recognizing a third gender that includes non-binary or transgender individuals. This groundbreaking legislation grants legal recognition and protection to these groups, a significant advance in the region.

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9. Ecuador Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage (2019)

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The Ecuadorian Constitutional Court ruled in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, making Ecuador the fifth Latin American country to do so. This ruling advanced LGBTQ+ rights in the region, offering legal protections and benefits to same-sex couples.

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10. Botswana Decriminalizes Homosexuality (2019)

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In a major milestone for LGBTQ+ rights in Africa, Botswana’s High Court ruled that laws criminalizing homosexuality were unconstitutional. This landmark ruling decriminalized same-sex relations, marking a significant shift in the country’s stance towards LGBTQ+ rights.

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11. Supreme Court of India Strikes Down Section 377 (2018)

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India’s Supreme Court unanimously voted to repeal Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized consensual homosexual activities. This historic ruling marks a significant victory for LGBTQ+ rights in India.

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12. Malta Bans Conversion Therapy (2016)

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Malta became the first European country to ban conversion therapy, a practice aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This ban represents a significant stride in the protection of LGBTQ+ rights.

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13. Northern Ireland Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage (2020)

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After a long campaign by activists, Northern Ireland legalized same-sex marriage. This legislation offers same-sex couples the same legal protections and recognition as their heterosexual counterparts, marking a pivotal moment for LGBTQ+ rights in the region.

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14. Costa Rica Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage (2020)

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Costa Rica became the first Central American country to legalize same-sex marriage, marking a significant victory for LGBTQ+ rights in the region. The ruling provides same-sex couples with the same legal benefits as heterosexual couples.

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15. The Passing of the Gender Recognition Act in Argentina (2012)

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Argentina passed a groundbreaking law allowing individuals to change their gender on official documents without the need for medical diagnosis or surgery. This marked a significant advance in the recognition of transgender rights.

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Final Thoughts

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Over the past decade, we’ve seen remarkable progress in legislation aimed at protecting and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community. Each piece of legislation has not only had a tangible impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals but has also moved societies worldwide towards greater acceptance and equality. Yet, the journey is far from over. As we celebrate these milestones, let’s also remember to continue the fight for comprehensive equality and acceptance for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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