Sadly, while LGBT rights have made considerable progress in some parts of the world recently, a surprising number of countries still punish same-sex relationships with life imprisonment or even death. Meaning it is still illegal to be gay in some countries. So discriminatory !!!!!
Now I know LGBT rights have come a considerably long way in recent years. Particularly in 2015, when the US Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional and the Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage. However, while stigma against LGBT communities is certainly lessening in many countries, many states and countries still continue to criminalise same-sex sexual contact under the threat of imprisonment or even death.
Some countries even have a ‘Gay Panic’ clause which really appalled me. The ‘Gay Panic’ clause allows criminals to claim they committed their crimes out of ‘gay panic’; making their crimes excusable.
The fact that there are still countries where it is illegal to be gay means they If you’re lesbian or gay and travelling abroad, it’s sensible to check the laws governing sex and sexuality in whichever country you’re visiting.
Here are 8 countries where it is illegal to be gay and how they will punish you if they find out you are.
In Iran, being homosexual is punishable by imprisonment, lashing and/ or execution. While people can change gender, same sex couples are condemned. Gay men will experience harsher treatment when compared to lesbians.
In India, being homosexual results in a life sentence in prison with a fine. However over the last decade same sex couples have gained more recognition and tolerance in India. Nonetheless it can result in honour killings, torture and beatings as well as being banished from the family.
In Ghana, being homosexual results in a life sentence in prison or 3 years in prison if consensual. Physical and violent homophobic attacks are common and encouraged by political leaders. Young gay male locals are also kicked out of their homes and denied freedom of speech.
In Egypt, being homosexual results in 17 years in prison and can be accompanied with hard labour and/or fines. In 2013 95% of Egyptians believed homosexuality shouldn’t be accepted by society. The opposition to homosexuality is relevant to how the Egyptian legal system deals with sexial orientation.
In Malaysia, being homosexual results in 20 years in prison due to being heavily influenced by Islam. This is sometimes accompanied by whipping and/or fines.
In Barbados, being homosexual results in a life sentence in prison however it is the next country which activists are trying to get decriminalized. Police over there have to go through LGBT sensitive training.
In morocco, being homosexual results in up to 3 years in prison as it is a Muslim country. This does however depend on where about in the country the conviction takes place. Morocco in particular is stricter against same sex Muslim couples and their law doesn’t affect gay tourists; but discretion is still advised.
In the Maldives homosexuality conviction carries torture as a punishment, and results in 20 strokes of being whipped, as it is a Muslim country. Certain convictions also result in 8 years in prison and some result in the death penalty; depending on the ‘gay’ act and who is the witness. Some private hotels in the Maldives do welcome Gay couples but do your research before hand.
If you are part of the LGBT community make sure you know the LGBT laws of your holiday destination and make sure you are discreet if homosexuality is illegal there.
One day I hope all countries legalise homosexuality but for now let’s keep on fighting,
What do you think of these countries where it is still illegal to be gay? Let us know in the comments below!
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Current University Graduate, Hampshire UK