Today 20 of the world’s leading economies meet to discuss issues of global importance, the G20 summit is to take place in Russia which has found itself at the centre of an international storm of controversy over its law which bans the promotion of “non traditional” relationships.

With the Winter Sochi Olympics taking place in Russia early next year many activist are calling upon world leaders to raise the issue of Russia’s anti-gay laws with President Vladimir Putin.

On Tuesday it was confirmed by the Foreign Office that David Cameron will raise the issue of the Russian law banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships”, with Russian President Vladimir Putin, when he travels to St Petersburg for the G20.

Below PinkNews outlines the records of the G20 countries when it comes to LGBT rights.



LGBT Rights Record – Good

The recognition of LGBT rights in Argentina are among some of the most advanced in Latin America. Argentina legalised same-sex marriage in 2010 becoming the first country in Latin America to do so. The country also provides full adoption rights to same-sex couples and as of 2012 people can legally change their gender. Currently no national laws are in place to provide discrimination protections however such laws do exist in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s largest city as well as the heavily populated city of Rosario. In 2012 senators approved a Gender Identity law that allows for adults to legally change gender and status on legal documents without the approval of a doctor or a judge.



LGBT Rights Record – Good

Same-sex sexual activity has been legal nationwide in Australia since 1997 with gradual strides forward being made in terms of LGBT rights. While same-sex marriage is not recognised in Australia there is recognition of same sex relationships with options of registered partnerships available or unregistered cohabitation rights available. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who is currently in the middle of an election campaign has come out in support of same-sex marriage rights and in recent weeks criticised his opponent Tony Abbot who remains opposed to equal marriage.



LGBT Rights Record – Very Good

Same-sex marriage has been available nationwide in Brazil since May 2013. Many states have laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Earlier this year over 1 million people turned out for the Sao Paulo pride event, Brazil provides gender reassignment operations free as part of public healthcare but a person has to be 21 years of age and doctors need to approve the operation.



LGBT Rights Record – Very Good

Canada was the third nation in the world where same-sex marriages were legally performed and has sexual orientation discrimination protections nationwide. Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper the Government has been very vocal in the stand they have taken for LGBT rights around the world. The Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has strongly criticised Russia as well as other countries that have poor records on LGBT rights. He described the gay propaganda law in Russia as a “hateful” piece of legislation. 



LGBT Rights Record – Poor

Same sex sexual activity is legal in China and in 2001 homosexuality was removed from the Ministry’s of Health list of mental disorders. However no recognition of same-sex relationships exist, same-sex couples cannot adopt children and no discrimination protections exist for LGBT people. On the whole the human rights record of China is considered poor with various organisations and governments raising concerns over freedom of speech and expression in the country.



LGBT Rights Record – Very Good

Under the socially liberal Francois Hollande, equal marriage and adoption rights have been extended to same-sex couples. France has both sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination protections in place and is generally considered one of the most gay friendly places in the world. Trans people are able to legally change their gender and in 2009 France became the first country in the world to remove gender dysphoria from its list of diseases. French officials have expressed concern over Russia’s anti gay legislation in the run up to the Sochi Winter Olympics.


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LGBT Rights Record – Good

Since reunification in 1990 Germany has progressed well on LGBT issues. Equal marriage is not available in the country but registered partnerships have been available since 2001. Discrimination protections exist to LGBT people in the workplace and the public are generally supportive of equal rights. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle strongly criticised Russia over its gay propaganda law calling the treatment of LGBT people in the country “unacceptable.”



LGBT Rights Record – Very Poor

In 2009 the Delhi High Court struck down a law that criminalised homosexual intercourse on the basis that it violated fundamental rights provided by the Indian Constitution. Currently however no legal protections exist for LGBT people, there are no discrimination protections and there are no laws to protect against discrimination in the workplace. Transgender people gained legal recognition in 1994 but discrimination is widespread and the country does not provide safe medical facilities to allow people to change their gender.



LGBT Rights Record – Very Poor

On a national level homosexual activity is not illegal in Indonesia but discrimination and violence is a very real issue for people living in the country. In 2002, the Indonesian Government gave Aceh province the right to introduce Islamic sharia law. Fifty-two regions have since enacted sharia from the Koran which criminalizes homosexuality. Earlier this year Banda Aceh Deputy Mayor Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal labelled homosexuality “a social disease that should be eradicated” and went onto propose a law that would make homosexuality punishable by up 100 public lashes.



LGBT Rights Record – Poor

Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Italy, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples. Since 2002 there have been several attempts to legislate to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, including one bill that is currently in progress.