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- Homosexuality is decriminalized in Bosnia and Herzegovina, although Republika Srpska didn't remove homosexuality from its criminal code until 1998.
- March 26 — Kevin M. McCarthy becomes the first openly-gay man in the U.S. to become a judge by standing for election to the San Francisco Superior Court.
- May 8 — South Africa becomes the first nation in the world to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in its constitution.
- May 20 — The Supreme Court of the United States rules 6–3 that Colorado's Amendment 2 is unconstitutional.
- May 21 — Hungary legalizes same-sex unions, first among the ex-communist countries, and as 5th country worldwide. The Parliament voted 207–73 in favor for the bill.
- September 10 — The United States Senate passes the Defense of Marriage Act (85–14) and rejects prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation in the private sector (49–50).
- September 15 — The European Parliament calls for an end to anti-gay discrimination.
- September 21 — U.S. president Bill Clinton signs the Defense of Marriage Act into law.
- November 18 — Evelyn Hooker, whose research helped lead to declassifying homosexuality as a mental illness.