Commonwealth of Nations

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The Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, formerly the British Commonwealth, is an organisation of independent countries, most of which were at one time part of the British Empire.

In 2017, the Commonwealth approved the accreditation of The Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN), making it the first LGBTI-focused organisation to be officially accredited by the Commonwealth.[1]

Commonwealth members and other territories

This section lists:

  • current and former members of the Commonwealth
  • British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies: these are not independent countries and hence not members of the Commonwealth in their own right; however several of them have entered teams in the Commonwealth Games (as have the constituent countries of the United Kingdom).
Country Category Region Gay sex legal?[2] Same-sex marriage? Notes
Anguilla Overseas territory Caribbean yes no
Antigua and Barbuda Commonwealth member Caribbean no no
Australia Commonwealth member Australasia yes varies Same-sex marriage introduced in the Australian Capital Territory 2013, but ruled unconstitutional. Some recognition of same-sex relationships in different states
Bahamas Commonwealth member Caribbean yes no
Bangladesh Commonwealth member South Asia no no
Barbados Commonwealth member Caribbean no no
Belize Commonwealth member Central America no no
Bermuda Overseas territory Caribbean yes no
Botswana Commonwealth member Africa no no Anti-gay law not enforced
British Antarctic Territory Overseas territory Antarctica - - No native inhabitants
British Indian Ocean Territory Overseas territory Indian Ocean - - No native inhabitants
British Virgin Islands Overseas territory Caribbean yes no
Brunei Commonwealth member South East Asia no no
Cameroon Commonwealth member Africa no no
Canada Commonwealth member North America yes yes Same-sex marriage in most of Canada from 2003; nationwide from 2005.
Cayman Islands Overseas territory Caribbean yes no
Cyprus Commonwealth member Europe yes no The military bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia remain British Overseas Territories
Dominica Commonwealth member Caribbean no no
Falkland Islands Overseas territory South Atlantic yes no
Fiji Suspended member Oceania yes no
Gambia Former member Africa no no
Ghana Commonwealth member Africa no no
Gibraltar Overseas territory Europe yes no
Grenada Commonwealth member Caribbean no no
Guernsey (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Crown Dependency Europe yes no
Guyana Commonwealth member South America no no
India Commonwealth member South Asia no no Section 377 of the 1860 Indian Penal Code outlawing gay sex was ruled unconstitutional by the Delhi High Court in 2009, but this was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2013.
Ireland (Republic of Ireland) Former member Europe yes no Civil partnerships since 2011.
Isle of Man Crown Dependency Europe yes no
Jamaica Commonwealth member Caribbean no no
Jersey (Bailiwick of Jersey) Crown Dependency Europe yes no
Kenya Commonwealth member Africa no no
Kiribati Commonwealth member Oceania no no
Lesotho Commonwealth member Africa no no
Malawi Commonwealth member Africa no no
Malaysia Commonwealth member South East Asia no no
Maldives Commonwealth member Indian Ocean no no
Malta Commonwealth member Europe yes no
Mauritius Commonwealth member Indian Ocean no no
Montserrat Overseas territory Caribbean yes no
Mozambique Commonwealth member Africa yes no
Namibia Commonwealth member Africa no no
Nauru Commonwealth member Oceania no no
New Zealand Commonwealth member Australasia yes yes Same-sex marriage from 2013.
Nigeria Commonwealth member Africa no no
Pakistan Commonwealth member South Asia no no
Papua New Guinea Commonwealth member Australasia no no
Pitcairn Islands Overseas territory Oceania yes no
Rwanda Commonwealth member Africa yes no
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Overseas territory South Atlantic yes no
Saint Kitts and Nevis Commonwealth member Caribbean no no
Saint Lucia Commonwealth member Caribbean no no
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Commonwealth member Caribbean no no
Samoa Commonwealth member Oceania no no
Seychelles Commonwealth member Indian Ocean no no
Sierra Leone Commonwealth member Africa no no
Singapore Commonwealth member South East Asia no no
Solomon Islands Commonwealth member Oceania no no
South Africa Commonwealth member Africa yes yes Same-sex marriage since 2006.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Overseas territory South Atlantic yes no
Sri Lanka Commonwealth member South Asia no no
Swaziland Commonwealth member Africa no no
Tanzania Commonwealth member Africa no no
Tonga Commonwealth member Oceania no no
Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth member Caribbean no no
Turks and Caicos Islands Overseas territory Caribbean yes no
Tuvalu Commonwealth member Oceania no no
Uganda Commonwealth member Africa no no
United Kingdom Commonwealth member Europe yes varies Civil partnerships throughout the UK. Same-sex marriage in England and Wales from 2014; legislation in progress in Scotland; no further legislation planned for Northern Ireland
Vanuatu Commonwealth member Oceania yes no
Zambia Commonwealth member Africa no no
Zimbabwe Former member Africa no no

Applicants for membership

Country Category Region Gay sex legal?[2] Same-sex marriage? Notes
Algeria Applicant Africa no no
Madagascar Applicant Africa yes no
Somaliland Applicant Africa no no Not a recognised country. Was British Somaliland until 1960; now part of Somalia.
South Sudan Applicant Africa no no
Sudan Applicant Africa no no
Suriname Applicant South America yes no
Yemen Applicant Arabia no no

References

  1. "Commonwealth grants recognition to LGBT Equality Network", Pink News, 20 June 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Refers to sex between men; there is much less information about the legality of sex between women.