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We Love Because They Can’t

LGBTQIA+ Rights: Hard Won – Easily Lost

This year’s Brighton & Hove Pride Campaign raises awareness about the oppressive laws in countries that prohibit their LGBTQIA+ citizens from enjoying the fundamental freedoms and rights that many of us take for granted. The campaign aims to shed light on injustices, mobilise support, and advocate for change, ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can live freely and authentically.


Across the globe there are still at least 62 countries where being LGBT is against the law.


There are at least 6 countries where being LGBT is punishable by death.


There are at least 20 countries where being LGBT is punishable by life in prison.

The objectives of the campaign include raising awareness by educating the about the harsh realities faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals in countries with oppressive laws as well as building a coalition of allies and supporters who are committed to advocating for the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals worldwide. Use the tabs at the top of the page to explore the history of the LGBTQ+ Rights Movement, discover some of the recent triumphs and find out what you can do using the list of resources.

Follow us on socials here for updates.
And join the conversation using the hashtag #WeLoveBecauseTheyCant
Triumphs & Challenges

As well as homophobic regimes overseas, the campaign will also highlight anti-LGBT legislation and rhetoric here at home and in Europe that has caused the UK to plummet down the rankings of LGBTQ-friendly countries in the past decade, as well as some of the recent triumphs like the current 36 countries where same-sex marriage is legal!

The state here at home in the UK

Until 2015, ILGA-Europe – one of the biggest LGBTQ+ advocacy groups – consistently described Britain as the most queer-friendly place in Europe. But a failure to ban conversion therapy and a toxic row over rights for trans people have seen the UK fall dramatically. According to the organisation’s annual Rainbow Map, which ranks European countries on their legal and policy practices for LGBTQ+ people, the UK now places 16th.

This year is an election year and a time for a new government to reverse that downward spiral and get the UK back into the top rankings. 

The campaign will have a number of activities that anyone can view and participate in, including:
  • A physical exhibition in the windows of Jubilee Library Brighton
  • A city-wide exhibition of banners on lamp posts in high profile sites
  • A digital campaign of impactful social media posts, videos, and infographics that highlight the oppressive laws and their effects on LGBTQIA+ individuals with the hashtag #WeLoveBecauseTheyCant

The history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement is a testament to the resilience and determination of marginalised communities fighting for equality and recognition. Over the past 6 decades, significant strides have been made, from the decriminalisation of homosexuality in many parts of the world to the legalisation of same-sex marriage and the increasing visibility and acceptance of our transgender siblings.

These hard-won victories have often come despite significant barriers, including criminalisation, societal stigma, and institutionalised discrimination. Key moments such as the Stonewall Riots in 1969, the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, and the ongoing fight for transgender rights underscore the community’s resilience and determination. However, these gains remain precarious. Shifts in political climates can quickly undermine progress, as evidenced by the rollback of protections under various administrations worldwide. The resurgence of conservatism and the far right in many countries has further emboldened anti-LGBT+ rhetoric and legislation, and discrimination in areas such as employment, healthcare, and housing continues to impede true equality.

The LGBTQ+ rights we currently have were achieved through persistent advocacy and solidarity, but they require constant vigilance and collective effort to prevent them from being eroded.

It’s not all bad news

Reflecting a growing recognition of LGBTQ+ rights, in the past five years alone, there have been significant advances in LGBT legislation. Whist the global Covid pandemic has hindered some of that progress, and indeed caused some countries to regress, here are some of the advances:

Marriage Equality and Civil Partnerships

  • Andorra (2023): Legalised same-sex marriage, becoming the 17th country in Europe to do so.
  • Slovenia (2022): Constitutional Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage and adoption rights, making it the first former communist country in Europe to do so.
  • Mexico (2022): Achieved nationwide marriage equality as the last states (Guerrero and Tamaulipas) passed laws to legalise same-sex marriage.
  • Chile (2021): Legalised same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.
  • Switzerland (2021): Approved same-sex marriage through a national referendum.
  • Cuba (2022): Legalised same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.
  • Costa Rica (2020): Legalised same-sex marriage, becoming the first Central American country to do so.
  • Ecuador (2019): Legalised same-sex marriage following a Constitutional Court ruling.

Anti-Discrimination Laws

  • Latvia (2022): Constitutional Court ruled that the definition of family should include same-sex couples, mandating changes to current laws to protect their rights.
  • Greece (2022): Passed a law that bans conversion therapy for minors, joining a growing list of countries taking action against this practice.
  • Japan (2021): Sapporo District Court ruled that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, a significant step towards broader anti-discrimination legislation.
  • New Zealand (2022): Banned conversion therapy practices.
  • Canada (2021): Banned conversion therapy nationwide.

Gender Identity and Trans Rights

  • Spain (2023): Passed a comprehensive transgender rights bill allowing self-determination of gender for individuals aged 16 and over, with parental consent required for those aged 14-15.
  • Finland (2023): Parliament passed a law that simplifies the process for legal gender recognition, allowing individuals to change their gender on official documents without the need for medical sterilisation or a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
  • Germany (2024): Earlier this year, Germany became the world’s latest country to pass a clear law that allows transgender people to change their legal gender to reflect their identity based on self-declaration. 
  • Germany (2021): Introduced a law allowing people to identify as a third gender on official documents.
  • India (2019): Enacted the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, ensuring rights and protections for transgender individuals.

Parental Rights and Adoption

  • Estonia (2022): The Parliament passed a law allowing same-sex couples to adopt children, enhancing parental rights for LGBT families.
  • Colombia (2022): Passed a law allowing same-sex couples to adopt children under the same conditions as heterosexual couples.
  • Switzerland (2022): Legalised adoption rights for same-sex couples.

Protection Against Hate Crimes and Violence

  • France (2023): Strengthened hate crime legislation to include specific protections for transgender individuals and increased penalties for anti-LGBT hate crimes.
  • Italy (2022): Introduced a bill to combat anti-LGBT hate crimes and hate speech, although it is still pending final approval.
  • United Kingdom (2021): Extended hate crime laws to cover offenses motivated by hostility towards sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • South Korea (2021): Seoul introduced stricter penalties for hate crimes against LGBT individuals, though national legislation is still pending.

Other Advances

  • Singapore (2022): Decriminalised same-sex relationships by repealing Section 377A of the Penal Code, which had criminalised consensual sex between men.
  • Switzerland (2023): Introduced new legislation to protect intersex individuals from non-consensual medical interventions.
  • Dominica (2024): A local court ruled that provisions banning “buggery” and “serious indecency,” understood to criminalise gay sex, were unconstitutional.
  • Botswana (2019): High Court decriminalised same-sex relationships.
  • Angola (2019): Decriminalised same-sex relationships as part of a broader overhaul of its Penal Code.
  • Bhutan (2021): Decriminalised same-sex relationships.


These legislative advances reflect a global trend towards greater recognition and protection of LGBT rights, although progress remains uneven, and significant challenges persist in many regions.

There are many resources for LGBT activists, offering support, advocacy tools, networking opportunities and information on what you can do. Here are just a few:

Peter Tatchell Foundation:
Focuses on human rights, democracy, and global LGBT issues, offering advocacy, educational resources, and support for activists.

Kaleidoscope Trust:
Works to uphold the human rights of LGBT+ people internationally, providing advocacy, research, and support for global LGBT+ communities.

The UK’s largest LGBT rights organisation, offering a range of resources, advocacy campaigns, and support for individuals and organisations working towards equality.

LGBT Foundation:
Provides support services, resources, and advocacy for LGBT people, with a focus on health, wellbeing, and community engagement.

A UK-based anti-violence charity focused on providing support to LGBT individuals facing hate crime, domestic abuse, and sexual violence.

UK Black Pride:
Celebrates and advocates for LGBT people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Latin American descent, promoting diversity and inclusion within the broader LGBT community.

Supports transgender, nonbinary, and gender-diverse children, young people, and their families, offering resources, advocacy, and community support.

Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline:
Provides a confidential helpline offering support and information to LGBT+ individuals across the UK, staffed by trained volunteers.

Gendered Intelligence:
Focuses on increasing understanding of gender diversity and improving the lives of trans people through education, support, and advocacy.

AKT (Albert Kennedy Trust):
Supports LGBT young people who are homeless or living in hostile environments, offering housing support, mentoring, and advocacy.

OutRight Action International (UK Office):
The UK branch of this international organization focuses on advocacy and research to support LGBT rights globally, with specific initiatives and support for UK-based activists.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC):
Provides resources on a wide range of LGBT issues, including policy advocacy, educational materials, and support for activists.

OutRight Action International:
Focuses on international advocacy for LGBT rights, offering reports, resources, and support for global activists.

ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association):
A worldwide federation campaigning for LGBT rights, providing country-specific information, advocacy tools, and research reports.

GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation):
Works to shape the media narrative and promote LGBT acceptance, offering media resources, campaigns, and educational materials.

The Trevor Project:
Focuses on crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBT youth, offering resources, support networks, and advocacy tools.

National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE):
Provides resources, advocacy, and support specifically for transgender individuals, including policy updates and legal resources.

PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays):
Provides support and advocacy resources for families and friends of LGBT individuals, promoting acceptance and equality.

Transgender Law Center (TLC):
Focuses on legal advocacy and support for transgender individuals, offering resources on legal rights, policy, and community support.

Lambda Legal:
A legal organisation advocating for LGBT rights, providing legal assistance, resources, and information on key legal issues affecting the LGBT community.

Follow us on socials here for updates.
And join the conversation using the hashtag #WeLoveBecauseTheyCant