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Country Overview

United States

At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?


Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?


Legal Gender Recognition Possible?


LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?


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In the United States, the situation of LGBTIQ people is mixed. In some ways, the US has progressed on LGBTIQ issues in recent years, but there has also been a conservative backlash against the LGBTIQ community. The legal recognition of LGBTIQ rights has largely occurred through court cases. The US Supreme Court legalized same-sex sexual activity nationally in 2003, and in 2015, the US Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage across the country as well. As of 2017, same-sex adoption is also legal in every state. Still, laws regarding LGBTIQ people often vary by state. For example, although, as of 2020, employment discrimination against LGBTIQ people is nationally banned, other kinds of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity are not federally outlawed, and many states do not have any provisions against these grounds of discrimination. Due to this lack of comprehensive legal protections and social stigma, LGBTIQ people remain vulnerable to violence and discrimination. LGBTIQ people often face family rejection, bullying, and hate speech and are more likely to experience economic insecurity and homelessness. Trans women, and Black trans women in particular, face high levels of violence and murder, including by police officers. Public opinion about LGBTIQ issues is very mixed. Although there have been more positive and diverse media representations in recent years, media representation can still perpetuate harmful stereotypes. There have been many openly LGBTIQ government officials, but many politicians also routinely engage in hate speech against the LGBTIQ community. In recent years, there has been a strong backlash against trans visibility, and there have been a record number of anti-trans bills pushed forward across the US that mainly target trans youth.

Global Impact

Sub-Saharan Africa

Outright supports LGBTIQ organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa and works with mainstream human rights organizations to respect human rights and influence positive changes in laws, policies, attitudes and beliefs that cause discrimination against LGBTIQ people.

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United Nations

Our work at the United Nations centers around advocating for the advancement of the rights of LGBTIQ people.

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Our work in Asia promotes acceptance of sexual and gender diversity at all levels of society.

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Middle East and North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa, we partner with local groups in various countries as part of our international solidarity work. We also work with our local partners on different topics through capacity building, advocacy, research and holistic security.

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Europe and Central Asia

Outright International partners with activists to fight for an end to human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in Europe and Central Asia, where most of our work involves emergency responses to harassment, discrimination, violence, and most recently, Russia’s brutal and expanded invasion of Ukraine.

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Our work in the Americas continues to build on the fundamental and positive transformation of human rights protections in recent years. We partner with groups in the Caribbean that focus on ending gender-based violence and eradicating discrimination against trans people.

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Our work in the Pacific aims to increase the visibility of activists, respond to human rights emergencies, and actively bridge local, regional, and international activism to achieve equality and justice.

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Human Rights Research

Since 1990, we have partnered with activists from all over the world to produce hundreds of groundbreaking reports.

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