The countries where homosexuality is still illegal

20 Sep, 2018
The good news is that India recently passed a law that decriminalize gay sex but LGBT rights remain restricted across much of the 3rd world

Here is the list of the countries where gay sex remains a criminal offence:

The Americas

Antigua and Barbuda
Barbados
Dominica
Grenada
Guyana
Jamaica
St Kitts and Nevis
St Lucia
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Gay rights are constitutionally enshrined in most of South and North America. However, there are exceptions, mostly in the Caribbean.

Earlier this year, Trinidad and Tobago took a stand and rolled back long-standing sodomy laws. But according to The Economist, “the political power of Caribbean churches frustrates gay-rights activists”, and “Caribbean governments have sought to block regionwide efforts to protect sexual minorities”.

Europe

No countries in Europe have laws explicitly preventing homosexual activities.

However, activist website 76 Crimes notes that Russia “enacted an anti-‘gay propaganda’ law in 2013 prohibiting any positive mention of homosexuality in the presence of minors, including online”. Lithuania, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine have similar laws in place, or have proposed implementing them, the site adds.

Africa

Algeria
Angola
Botswana
Burundi
Cameroon
Comoros
Egypt
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Kenya
Liberia
Libya
Malawi
Mauritania
Mauritius
Morocco
Namibia
Nigeria
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Somalia
South Sudan
Sudan
Swaziland
Tanzania
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe
Africa tops the list of anti-gay legislation, with 33 of its 54 nations criminalising homosexual activity.

Newsweek reports that “across much of Africa, gay people face discrimination, persecution, and potentially even death”. Homosexuality is a capital punishment in Mauritania, Sudan, southern Somalia and northern Nigeria.

The future looks even bleaker, with Amnesty International warning that “legal rights are diminishing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people across the African continent”.

Middle East

Iran
Kuwait
Lebanon
Oman
Palestine
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Syria
United Arab Emirates
Yemen
In the overwhelmingly Islamic Middle East, it is quicker to highlight the countries that do not currently have anti-gay laws than those that do.

Bahrain, Israel, Iraq and Jordan are the only countries in the region that do not outlaw homosexuality. Even in these countries, police protections offered to sexual minorities are minimal and vigilante justice often prevails.

Meanwhile, a number of nations in the Middle East do not currently have a stable government, and legislative protections of LGBT minorities have been compromised as a result. For example, Iraq decriminalised homosexuality in 2003, but the subsequent collapse of its government and territorial claims by the extremist Islamic State (Isis) group led to widespread persecution and informal punishment of homosexuals, including execution.

Central, South and East Asia

Afghanistan
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Brunei
Indonesia
Malaysia
Maldives
Myanmar
Pakistan
Singapore
Sri Lanka
Turkmenistan
United Arab Emirates
Uzbekistan
The remainder of Asia has a mixed record on gay rights. Many countries on the continent have never passed any form of anti-gay legislation, including Cambodia, South Korea, Taiwan, Laos and the Philippines, while Japan decriminalised homosexuality almost 140 years ago.

However, at the other end of the spectrum are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Brunei, Myanmar and parts of Indonesia, all of which have laws that carry sentences up to life or execution for homosexual activity.

Oceania

Kiribati
Papua New Guinea
Samoa
Solomon Islands
Tonga
Tuvalu
Oceania is a continent of sharp contrasts when it comes to anti-LGBT laws. Six of the 14 countries of the continent have passed anti-gay legislation. Kiribati and the Solomon Islands are the harshest enforcers of these laws, with sentences of up to 14 years for homosexual acts, according to a report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

“Much remains to be done to improve the human rights records” of Pacific Ocean countries “that still have laws against same-sex intimacy”, 76 Crimes concludes.