Which Countries Still Criminalize Homosexuality?
While the battle for marriage equality in America rages on through courts, legislatures and public opinion, LGBT people in many nations have to worry about their safety and, in some countries, their lives. India recently became the 77th country to make homosexual acts illegal, and in 10 countries it’s a crime punishable by death.
"This is a sad day for India and for the world. No one should have to go to jail because of who they are or who they love. We stand in solidarity with India’s human rights community," said Joe Mirabella, Director of Communications for All Out in a statement.
"Sadly this ruling now brings the total number of countries that make it a crime to be gay, lesbian, bi, or trans from 76 to 77. It essential that we bring that number to zero. No person should have to sacrifice their family or freedom, safety or dignity, because of who they are or who they love."
In the African country of Cameroon, anti-gay violence is on the rise and All Out believes it’s "out of control." The country this year rejected a request from the United Nations to end their anti-gay law.
"Violence against lesbian, gay, bi, and trans (LGBT) people in Cameroon is some of the worst in the world," a statement from All Out reads. "Activists are regularly harassed, threatened, beaten, and even tortured to death in their homes like Eric Lembembe, a prominent and outspoken LGBT advocate in Cameroon who was murdered in July 2013."
The graphic shows the current state of LGBT people around the world. Even in our own hemisphere there’s still work to be done, especially in the Caribbean.
Green - Countries where homosexual acts are legal
Purple - Countries where homosexual acts are illegal
Red - Countries where homosexual acts are punishable by death
Yellow - See Below
Iraq - After the American invasion of 2003 the Penal Code of 1969 was reinstated in Iraq. This code does not prohibit same sex relations. However, various reports have shown that self-proclaimed Sharia judges have sentenced people to death for committing homosexual acts.
India - Recently, India’s Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling from 2009 that decriminalized the love between two men. Now, gays could once again face prosecution under section 377, which makes it illegal for to perform "unnatural offenses." People found guilty of violating section 377 could face 10 years in prison.
Palestine - In the Gaza Strip, some homosexual acts are illegal, whereas in the West Bank there are no laws against homosexual acts.