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Country Overview

Belarus

At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?

Yes

Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?

Yes

Legal Gender Recognition Possible?

Yes

LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?

No

Actions Related to SOGI at the UN:

2016: Opposed IE SOGI

2019:

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Same-sex relations are legal in Belarus, but LGBTIQ people face severe barriers. Based on Russia’s infamous “anti-propaganda” law which bans dissemination about LGBTIQ people or topics to minors, Belarus passed its own law prohibiting the dissemination of information that “discredits the institution of family and marriage.” This law not only provides a legal basis for prohibiting LGBTIQ events or information, but also perpetuates negative societal perceptions of LGBTIQ people as somehow threatening to family and society. Hate speech from politicians is also pervasive. The media generally depicts the LGBTIQ community negatively and sensationalizes LGBTIQ issues. LGBTIQ issues are largely taboo, resulting in very little visibility or acceptance of LGBTIQ people. Belarusians are not protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, which allows for violence, threats of violence, and discrimination against LGBTIQ people to occur with impunity. LGBTIQ activists are particularly vulnerable to these attacks. Families often ostracize and abuse their LGBTIQ family members. Out of fear for their safety and due to societal pressure, many LGBTIQ people remain closeted. In the spring of 2021, amendments to the constitution were adopted to what the government calls as measures to counter extremism. The law targets any form of dissent and has been applied in vague ways to individuals and groups.

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 on the continent.

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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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Asia

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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Americas

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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Pacific

Our work in the Pacific aims to increase 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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