Select a country to read more about #whereloveisillegal

Australia/

LAWS:

  • Same-sex sexual activity is legal
  • Same-sex marriages are banned federally under the Marriage Amendment Act 2004

STATISTICS:

  • A 2013 poll conducted by Pew Research indicated that 79% of Australians viewed that homosexuality should be accepted by society, making it the fifth most supportive country in the world behind Spain (88%) / Germany (87%) / Canada and Czech Republic (both 80%)
sources: Pew Global / Australian Government


// Read stories from Australia

Brazil/

LAWS:

  • Same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1830
  • Same-sex marriage was legalised nationwide on May 16th 2013
  • LGBTI people can serve in the military and police force
  • Same-sex adoption has occurred and is occurring because Brazilian laws do not specifically prohibit it
  • Anti-discrimination laws including indirect discrimination and hate speech are illegal

STATISTICS:

  • In 2008 the National LGBT Conference was held in Brazil. The event, the first in the world to be organized by a government, was a result of demands made by civil society and the Brazilian government’s support of LGBTI people’s rights
  • The São Paulo Gay Pride Parade is one of the biggest events of its kind in the world, if not the biggest
sources: Equaldex / Wikipedia


// Read stories from Brazil

Burundi/

LAWS:

STATISTICS:

  • Same-sex sexual activity has been illegal since 2009
  • Constitutional ban of same-sex marriages since 2005

EXTRAS:

sources: HRW / Burundi Government

 


// Read stories from Burundi

Cameroon/

LAWS:

STATISTICS:

  • Homosexuality was criminalised in 1972

EXTRAS:

sources: HRW / Wikipedia


// Read stories from Cameroon

China/

LAWS:

  • Type of law: Same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1997
  • No recognition of unions or same-sex marriage
  • Adoption by same-sex couples is illegal
  • Adoption of Chinese children by foreign LGBT couples and individuals is prohibited by the Chinese authorities
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation
  • Transsexuals are allowed to change their legal gender, but only after sex reassignment surgery

STATISTICS:

  • The earliest law against a homosexual acts in China dates from the Zheng He era of the Song Dynasty, punishing “young males who act as prostitutes with a fine of 100 blows with a heavy bamboo and a fine of 50,000 cash
sources: ILGA / Sex, Law, and Society in Late Imperial China / Marriage Law of thePeople’s Republic of China


// Read stories from China

Colombia/

LAWS:

  • Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalised in 1981
  • Recognises same-sex unions, but not marriage (see below)
  • Since 2014, homosexuals can adopt the biological child of their partner
  • Anti-discrimination laws on the grounds of sexual orientation were passed in 2011
  • LGBTI people can serve in the military and police force

STATISTICS:

  • As the Colombia Congress failed to pass a same-sex marriage bill, the courts began approving marriages themselves. The same-sex marriage issue will now once again come before the Constitutional Court in 2015 after the country’s Inspector General requested that the Court invalidate all the marriages approved in Colombia. A hearing scheduled for May 2015 was delayed and a new hearing open to the public will be held some time in 2015.
sources: Equaldex / Wikipedia

 


// Read stories from Colombia

Democratic Republic of the Congo/

LAWS:

  • Type of law: Same-sex sexual activity is legal. No laws have never existed in the country
  • Penalities: Subject to prosecution under public decency provisions in the penal code and articles in the 2006 law on sexual violence
  • No recognition of same-sex unions
  • Constitutional ban since 2005 of same-sex marriages
  • No adoptions allowed by same-sex couples
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning gender identity/expression
source: US Department of State


// Read stories from Democratic Republic of the Congo

Gabon/

LAWS:

  • Type of laws: Same-sex sexual activity is legal. No laws have ever existed in the country
  • No recognition of same-sex unions or same-sex marriages
  • No adoptions allowed by same-sex couples
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation

Statistics:

  • Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal in Gabon, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples
source: ILGA


// Read stories from Gabon

Indonesia/

LAWS:

  • Same-sex sexual activity is legal nationwide, excepting the provinces of Aceh and South Sumatra
  • Same-sex marriage and unions are not recognised
  • Same-sex couples are not eligible to adopt
  • No anti-discrimination laws in place

STATISTICS:

  • Indonesia allows its provincial governments to establish certain Islamic based laws, such as criminal sanctions for homosexuality. These local penalties exist in some provinces where provincial bylaws against LGBT rights was passed in September 2014. The bylaws extend Sharia (Islamic law) to non-Muslims, criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual acts as well as all zina (sexual relations outside of marriage). This sharia-based criminal code permits as punishment up to 100 lashes and up to 100 months in prison for consensual same-sex sex acts, while zina violations carry a penalty of 100 lashes
sources: Equaldex / Jakata Post


// Read stories from Indonesia

Iran/

LAWS:

sources: HRW


// Read stories from Iran

Iraq/

LAWS:

  • Type of laws: In 2003 the Penal Code of 1969 was reinstated in Iraq. This code does not prohibit same-sex relations.
  • No recognition of same-sex unions or same-sex marriages
  • No adoptions allowed by same-sex couples
  • No laws concerning gender identity/expression
  • LGBTI people are not allowed to serve in the military
sources: GJPI / ILGA


// Read stories from Iraq

Israel/

LAWS:

  • Same-sex sexual activity was legalized in 1988
  • Limited recognition of unregistered partnerships since 1998
  • Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2006
  • Same-sex couples have been allowed to jointly adopt since 2008
  • Bans all anti-gay discrimination
  • Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation was prohibited in 1992

STATISTICS:

  • Although same-sex marriages are not performed in the country, Israel recognizes same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, making it the first and only country in Asia to do so
sources: Wikipedia


// Read stories from Israel

Jamaica/

LAWS:

  • Jamaica’s laws do not criminalise the status of being LGBT but instead outlaw conduct
  • The act of “buggery” (anal penetration) is illegal, with a sentence of up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
  • Attempting to commit offences against the person can be liable to up to seven years sentencing.
  • Sentencing of up to two years in prison if convicted of “outrages on decency” – which is not defined but refers to any kind of physical intimacy
  • Men can be detained without a warrant under suspicion of intent to commit indecent acts for loitering between 7pm and 6am
  • No recognition of same-sex unions or same-sex marriages
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation
  • Name of Law/Penal Code: The Offences Against the Person Act, Section 76, 77, 79 & 80
sources: Wikipedia / Human Rights First

STATISTICS:

  • Eighty-eight percent of respondents to a 2012 survey by Humans Rights First believe that male homosexuality is immoral and nearly 84 percent believe that female homosexuality is immoral.
  • More than 75 percent of respondents in the survey are against repealing the “buggery” law and 65 percent oppose amending the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms to protect the rights of members of the LGBTQI+ community.
  • Thirty-seven percent of Jamaicans believe that leadership is not doing enough to protect the LGBT community from violence and discrimination.
  • A 2008 poll of more than 1000 Jamaicans showed that more than 70% of Jamaicans felt that homosexuals are not entitled to the same basic human rights as other people in Jamaica.
sources: Human Rights First


// Read stories from Jamaica

Jordan/

LAWS:

  • Type of laws: Same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1951
  • No recognition of same-sex unions or same-sex marriages
  • No adoptions allowed by same-sex couples
  • No laws concerning gender identity/expression

STATISTICs:

  • The Jordain penal code no longer permits family members to beat or kill a member of their own family whose “illicit” sexuality is interpreted as bringing “dishonor” to the entire family. As of 2013, the newly revised Penal Code makes honor killings, as a legal justification for murder, illegal
sources: BBC / Wikipedia


// Read stories from Jordan

Kenya/

LAWS:

  • Type of laws: Same-sex sexual activity is outlawed
  • Sentence for breaking law: 10 years – life imprisonment
  • Additional Penalties: 14 years in prison
  • Same-sex relations between women is not outlawed
  • No recognition of same-sex unions
  • Constitutional ban since 2010 on same-sex marriages
  • No adoptions allowed by same-sex couples
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation
  • Sterilization is required for change concerning gender identity/expression
  • Name of Law/penal code: Penal Code of Kenya, Revised Edition 2012 [2010], section 162.

STATISTICS:

  • Traditional female same-sex marriage is practiced among the Gikuyu, Nandi, Kamba, Kipsigis, and to a lesser extent neighboring peoples. Approximately 5–10% of women in these nations are in such marriages. However, this is not seen as homosexual, but is instead a way for families without sons to keep their inheritance within the family. The couples are considered married, though the terms used for them are mother-in-law and daughter-in-law

EXTRAS:

sources: HRW / Gender and Language in Sub-Saharan Africa


// Read stories from Kenya

Kuwait/

LAWS:

  • Same-sex sexual activity is illegal
  • Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment
  • Additional sentences: Up to 7 years in prison
  • Legal provision(s): Consensual intercourse between adult men
  • No recognition of same-sex unions or same-sex marriages
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning gender identity/expression
  • Name of Law/penal code: Kuwait Penal Code (1960), Law No. 16, article 193

STATISTICS:

  • Cross dressing has been illegal since 2008

EXTRAS:

sources: HRW / HRW


// Read stories from Kuwait

Lebanon/

LAWS:

  • Type of Law: Outlaws same-sex relations
  • Sentence for breaking law: 0-10 years
  • Additional penalties: up to 1 year in prison
  • Same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 2014
  • No recognition of same-sex unions or same-sex marriages
  • No adoptions allowed by same-sex couples
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning gender identity/expression
  • Name of Law/penal code: Criminal Code of 1943, article 534.

Statistics:

  • Lebanon was the first Arab country to declassify homosexuality as a “disease”.

EXTRAS:

sources: HRW / Huffington Post


// Read stories from Lebanon

Malawi/

LAWS:

STATISTICS:

  • The Penal Code prohibits “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”, attempts to commit “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”, and acts of “gross indecency”. However, in November 2012, President Joyce Banda suspended all laws that criminalized homosexuality. In July 2014, the Justice Minister announced that Malawi would no longer arrest people for same-sex sexual activity and review its anti-gay laws
  • In 2010, Malawi amended its penal code to include criminal penalties for sexual relations between consenting adult women
sources: HRWNyasa Times


// Read stories from Malawi

Malaysia/

LAWS:

STATISTICS:

  • Human Rights Watch reports that state-level Shari’a (Islamic) laws prohibit cross-dressing, and transgender people “face arbitrary arrest, physical and sexual assault, imprisonment, discriminatory denial of health care and employment, and other abuses

EXTRAS:

sources: HRW / Wikipedia


// Read stories from Malaysia

Nigeria/

LAWS:

  • Same-sex sexual activity is illegal under federal law
  • Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment
  • Additional sentences: Up to 14 years in prison; death penalty (state Sharia laws)
  • Same-sex sexual activity is also illegal in the 12 Northern states (Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara)
  • Penalty: Shari’a law – death penalty by stoning for men. Whipping and/or imprisonment for women
  • No recognition of same-sex unions or same-sex marriages
  • No adoptions allowed by same-sex couples
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning gender identity/expression
  • Name of Law/penal code: Criminal Code Act (Chapter 77), 1990, sections 214, 215, 217; Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013

STATISTICS:

  • On 13 January 2014, The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan signed into law the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which parliament passed in May 2013. The law follows a similar one passed in Uganda in December 2013, which imposes life imprisonment for some types of homosexual acts

EXTRAS:

sources: HRW / Wikipedia


// Read stories from Nigeria

Republic of Ireland/

LAWS:

  • Type of laws: Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalised in 1993
  • Same-sex marriage was made legal in the Republic of Ireland in 2015
  • The legalisation of same-sex marriage in Ireland, in conjunction with the passage of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, means that married same-sex couples are permitted to adopt, though will not likely be able to avail themselves of this option until May 2016, when all provisions of the Act are expected to be in effect
  • Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation are in place
  • Anti-discrimination laws concerning gender identity/expression are in place

STATISTICS:

  • The Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to bring in same-sex marriage by a popular vote following approval of a referendum in May 2015
  • Since July 2015, transgender people in Ireland can self-declare their gender for the purpose of updating passports, driving licences, obtaining new birth certificates, and getting married
sources: Irish Times / The Journal

 


// Read stories from Republic of Ireland

Republic of the Congo/

LAWS:

  • Same-sex sexual activity is legal. No laws have never existed in the country
  • No recognition of same-sex unions
  • Constitutional ban since 2005 of same-sex marriages
  • No adoptions allowed by same-sex couples
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning gender identity/expression
source: Government of the Republic of the Congo / Wikipedia


// Read stories from Republic of the Congo

Russia/

LAWS:

STATISTICS:

  • In January 2015, the country implemented a new road safety law blocking those with mental disorders as defined by the World Health Organization, a list which included transsexualism under the category of “sexual disorders”, from holding a driver’s license

EXTRAS:

sources: HRW / Guardian


// Read stories from Russia

South Africa/

LAWS:

  • Same-sex male sexual activity has been legal since 1998
  • Same-sex female sexual activity has always been legal
  • Limited recognition of unregistered partnerships since 1998
  • Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2006
  • Adoptions allowed by same-sex couples have been legal since 2002
  • Bans all anti-gay discrimination
  • Anti-discrimination laws are interpreted to include gender identity
  • Legal gender may be changed after surgical or medical treatment

STATISTICS:

  • Despite South Africa being the fifth country in the world, and the first in Africa, to legalise same-sex marriage LGBT South Africans continue to face considerable challenges, including social stigma, homophobic violence (particularly corrective rape), and high rates of HIV/AIDS infection
sources: American Bar / Wikipedia


// Read stories from South Africa

South Korea/

LAWS:

  • Same-sex sexual activity is legal
  • Same-sex couples are not entitled to the same legal protections available to heterosexual couples
  • Same-sex marriage is not recognised
  • There are no LGBTI anti-discrimination protections in South Korea

STATISTICS:

  • Article 92 of the Military Penal Code (which is currently under a legal challenge) defines sexual activity between members of the same sex as “sexual harassment” punishable by a maximum of one year of imprisonment. Military courts ruled in 2010 that this law was illegal, saying that homosexuality is a strictly personal issue. This ruling was appealed to South Korea’s constitutional court, which has not yet made a decision
sources: Equaldex / ICJ


// Read stories from South Korea

Syria/

LAWS:

  • Type of laws: Outlaws same-sex relations
  • Same-sex female sexual relation laws are unclear
  • Sentences: Prison sentences of up to 10 years
  • Additional Sentencing: Up to 3 years in prison
  • No recognition of same-sex unions or same-sex marriages
  • No adoptions allowed by same-sex couples
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation
  • LGBTI people are not allowed to serve in the military
  • Name of Law/penal code: Penal Code of 1949, article 520.

STATISTICS:

  • Since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, there have been reports of gay Syrians being blackmailed, tortured and killed in areas controlled by extremist groups

EXTRAS:

sources: HRW / RefWorld


// Read stories from Syria

Tanzania/

LAWS:

STATISTICS:

  • Tanzanian residents believe that homosexuality is a way of life that society should not accept, which was the seventh-highest rate of non-acceptance in the 45 countries surveyed by Pew Global

EXTRAS:

sources: ILGA / Pew Global

 


// Read stories from Tanzania

Uganda/

LAWS:

  • Types of laws: Outlaws same-sex relationsSame-sex male sexual activity is illegal
  • Sentences: 10 years – life
  • Additional sentences: Life imprisonment
  • No recognition of same-sex unions
  • Constitutional ban on same-sex marriages since 2005
  • No adoptions allowed by same-sex couples
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation
  • No anti-discrimination laws concerning gender identity/expression
  • Name of Law/penal code: Penal Code Act of 1950 (Chapter 120), (as amended), section 145.

STATISTICS:

  • Activists estimated in 2007 that the Ugandan gay community consisted of 500,000 people

EXTRAS:

sources: HRW / BBC / Constitution of the Republic of Uganda

 


// Read stories from Uganda

United Kingdom/

LAWS:

  • Same-sex male sexual activity has been legal in England and Wales since 1967 / Scotland since 1981 / Northern Ireland since 1982
  • Same-sex female sexual activity has always been legal
  • Same-sex marriage has been legal in England, Wales and Scotland since 2014
  • Recognition of same-sex civil partnerships since 2005
  • Bans all anti-gay discrimination

STATISTICS:

  • Today, LGBT citizens have most of the same legal rights as non-LGBT citizens and the UK provides one of the highest degrees of liberty in the world for its LGBT communities. In ILGA-Europe’s 2014 review of LGBTI rights, the UK received the highest score in Europe, with 82% progress toward “respect of human rights and full equality”
sources: ILGA Europe / UK Government / RTE


// Read stories from United Kingdom

United States/

LAWS:

  • Same-sex sexual activity has been legal nationwide since 2003
  • Same sex marriage became legal throughout the country on June 26th 2015
  • Single bisexual, gay, and lesbian persons may adopt but laws on couples adopting vary by state

STATISTICS:

  • Twenty-two states plus Washington, D.C and Puerto Rico outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, and nineteen states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico outlaw discrimination based on gender identity or expression
  • Recent analyses suggest that there are more than 8 million adults in the US who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, comprising 3.5% of the adult population
sources: HRW / Freedom to Marry


// Read stories from United States

Venezuela/

LAWS:

  • Same-sex sexual activity is legal
  • Same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples
  • No recognition of same-sex unions or same-sex marriages
  • No adoptions allowed by same-sex couples
  • Some anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation in place
  • In 2010 the Organic Law of Work and Workers prohibited discrimination on the grounds only of sexual orientation but not gender identity
sources: Wikipedia

 


// Read stories from Venezuela