STATE-SPONSORED HOMOPHOBIA MAY 2014 9TH EDITION A world survey of laws: Criminalisation,

STATE-SPONSORED HOMOPHOBIA MAY 2014 9TH EDITION A world survey of laws: Criminalisation,
Click here for the 2015 edition of ILGA’s State Sponsored Homophobia Report
MAY 2014
9TH EDITION
STATE-SPONSORED HOMOPHOBIA
A world survey of laws: Criminalisation,
protection and recognition of same-sex love
Lucas Paoli Itaborahy & Jingshu Zhu
ILGA - International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and
Intersex Association
www.ilga.org
CONTENT
FOREWORD BY ILGA CO-SECRETARIES GENERAL
GLORIA CAREAGA AND AZUSA YAMASHITA ..........................................................5
FROM THE AUTHORS ................................................................................................7
SOGII ADVOCACY AND THE UN UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW
AENGUS CARROLL................................................................................................ 11
LGB LEGISLATION GLOBAL OVERVIEW ...................................................................16
HOMOSEXUAL ACTS LEGAL .......................................................................................................................18
HOMOSEXUAL ACTS ILLEGAL ....................................................................................................................18
LEGAL STATUS OF HOMOSEXUAL ACTS UNCLEAR OR UNCERTAIN .....................................................18
HOMOSEXUAL ACTS PUNISHABLE WITH DEATH PENALTY ....................................................................18
HOMOSEXUAL ACTS PUNISHABLE WITH DEATH PENALTY - UNCLEAR ...............................................18
“HOMOSEXUAL PROPAGANDA” LAWS (AND PROPOSALS) ....................................................................18
EQUAL AGE OF CONSENT FOR HOMOSEXUAL AND HETEROSEXUAL ACTS ........................................20
UNEQUAL AGE OF CONSENT FOR HOMOSEXUAL AND HETEROSEXUAL ACTS ..................................21
PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION ...............22
CONSTITUTIONAL PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION ..............23
HATE CRIMES BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION CONSIDERED AN AGGRAVATING
CIRCUMSTANCE11 .......................................................................................................................................24
INCITEMENT TO HATRED BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION PROHIBITED..........................................25
MARRIAGE OPEN FOR SAME SEX COUPLES ..............................................................................................26
SAME SEX COUPLES OFFERED MOST OR ALL RIGHTS OF MARRIAGE (CIVIL PARTNERSHIP,
REGISTERED PARTNERSHIPS, CIVIL UNIONS, ETC) ..................................................................................27
SAME SEX COUPLES OFFERED SOME RIGHTS OF MARRIAGE ................................................................28
JOINT ADOPTION BY SAME-SEX COUPLES ..............................................................................................29
AFRICA.........................................................................................................................30
ALGERIA ..........................................................................................................................................................30
ANGOLA..........................................................................................................................................................30
BOTSWANA ....................................................................................................................................................31
BURUNDI .......................................................................................................................................................31
CAMEROON ...................................................................................................................................................32
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC ...................................................................................................................32
COMOROS ......................................................................................................................................................32
EGYPT..............................................................................................................................................................33
ERITREA ..........................................................................................................................................................34
ETHIOPIA ........................................................................................................................................................35
GAMBIA ..........................................................................................................................................................36
GHANA ...........................................................................................................................................................36
GUINEA...........................................................................................................................................................36
KENYA .............................................................................................................................................................37
LESOTHO ........................................................................................................................................................37
LIBERIA ...........................................................................................................................................................38
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LIBYA ...............................................................................................................................................................38
MALAWI ..........................................................................................................................................................39
MAURITANIA ..................................................................................................................................................39
MAURITIUS.....................................................................................................................................................40
MOROCCO......................................................................................................................................................40
MOZAMBIQUE ...............................................................................................................................................41
NAMIBIA .........................................................................................................................................................41
NIGERIA ..........................................................................................................................................................42
SENEGAL ........................................................................................................................................................44
SEYCHELLES ...................................................................................................................................................44
SIERRA LEONE ...............................................................................................................................................45
SOMALIA.........................................................................................................................................................45
SOUTH SUDAN ..............................................................................................................................................46
SUDAN ............................................................................................................................................................46
SWAZILAND....................................................................................................................................................47
TANZANIA.......................................................................................................................................................47
TOGO...............................................................................................................................................................48
TUNISIA ..........................................................................................................................................................48
UGANDA .........................................................................................................................................................48
ZAMBIA ...........................................................................................................................................................51
ZIMBABWE .....................................................................................................................................................52
ASIA .............................................................................................................................53
AFGHANISTAN ...............................................................................................................................................53
BANGLADESH ................................................................................................................................................53
BHUTAN .........................................................................................................................................................54
BRUNEI ...........................................................................................................................................................54
GAZA (OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY)............................................................................................55
INDIA ..............................................................................................................................................................56
INDONESIA ....................................................................................................................................................57
IRAN ................................................................................................................................................................57
IRAQ ................................................................................................................................................................59
KUWAIT ..........................................................................................................................................................59
LEBANON .......................................................................................................................................................59
MALAYSIA .......................................................................................................................................................60
MALDIVES.......................................................................................................................................................61
MYANMAR ......................................................................................................................................................61
OMAN .............................................................................................................................................................61
PAKISTAN .......................................................................................................................................................62
QATAR .............................................................................................................................................................62
SAUDI-ARABIA ...............................................................................................................................................62
SINGAPORE ....................................................................................................................................................63
SRI LANKA ......................................................................................................................................................64
SYRIA ...............................................................................................................................................................64
TURKMENISTAN ............................................................................................................................................64
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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES..............................................................................................................................65
UZBEKISTAN ..................................................................................................................................................66
YEMEN ............................................................................................................................................................66
LATIN AMERICAN AND THE CARIBBEAN ...............................................................67
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA ............................................................................................................................67
BARBADOS .....................................................................................................................................................67
BELIZE .............................................................................................................................................................68
DOMINICA......................................................................................................................................................68
GRENADA .......................................................................................................................................................69
GUYANA..........................................................................................................................................................69
JAMAICA .........................................................................................................................................................70
SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS ..............................................................................................................................70
SAINT LUCIA ..................................................................................................................................................71
SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES...................................................................................................72
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO ..............................................................................................................................72
OCEANIA .....................................................................................................................73
COOK ISLANDS (NEW ZEALAND ASSOCIATE ............................................................................................ 73
KIRIBATI .......................................................................................................................................................... 73
NAURU ........................................................................................................................................................... 74
PALAU ............................................................................................................................................................. 74
PAPUA NEW GUINEA.................................................................................................................................... 75
SAMOA ............................................................................................................................................................ 75
SOLOMON ISLANDS...................................................................................................................................... 76
TONGA ............................................................................................................................................................ 76
TUVALU .......................................................................................................................................................... 77
WE ARE ALL AFRICAN
ANTHONY OLUOCH ............................................................................................. 78
ASIA THESE DAYS
DOUGLAS SANDERS ............................................................................................. 84
EUROPE
BJÖRN VAN ROOZENDAAL .................................................................................. 90
IMPRESSUM ................................................................................................................95
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FOREWORD BY CO-SECRETARIES
GENERAL
This 2014 issue of our annual report on State-Sponsored Homophobia is released
slightly later than usual (i.e. on 30 May instead of the traditional IDAHOT day
of 17 May), because, for the first time, the official launch is taking place at the
Palais des Nations in Geneva. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
H.E. Navanethem Pillay is launching the report, and at the same event we are
proudly awarding her with the honour of ‘LGBTI Friend of the Year 2014’ for her
game-changing engagement on LGBTI rights in the years of her mandate.
As was the case last year, the report is released in all six UN official languages,
in an effort both to increase the readership and to make it easier to quote or
cite in (inter)governmental agencies’ and NGOs’ reports. The authors, Lucas
Paoli Itaborahy & Jingshu Zhu have provided an extensive and up-to-date body
of sources and commentary to support the content in this report. Apart from
the world overview of legislation affecting the rights of LGB people and the
individual regional sections devoted to the criminalising legislation of Africa,
Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean and Oceania, the content of this 2014
report contains a series of articles by Anthony Oluoch (Africa), Douglas Sanders
(Asia) and Björn van Roozendaal (Europe), each highlighting the developments in
those regions. There is also an article by Aengus Carroll on the Universal Periodic
Review (UPR) process at the UN Human Rights Council, and UPR information has
been included in the content of various country comments. A small section on
countries adopting or considering ‘anti-propaganda’ legislation has been created
to take into account this recent – and worrying – attempt to re-criminalise (or
further criminalise) same-sex sexual activities between consenting adults under
a different name, and to limit the freedom of expression and assembly of LGBTI
activists.
In recent years we have remarked how this report inevitably consists of a
mixture of good and bad news, though we cannot but state that 2013 was
a very painful year for the human rights of LGBTI people, not only for the
sad ruling of the Supreme Court in India, rejecting the ground-breaking and
hopeful interpretation of section 377 by the Delhi Hugh Court, but especially
because of the developments in Uganda, Nigeria and in Russia, with their risks
of ‘contagion’ on their respective bordering countries. One cannot but have the
impression that the forces of conservatism, faced with the gradual expansion
of advancements in LGBTI legislation around the world, are escalating their
efforts against what they consider to be a clash of civilizations and/or “values”,
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regardless of the cost – the human rights violations - that so many LGBTI people
are forced to bear in their everyday lives.
In recent inter-governmental discussions it has become clear to all that there is
a new geopolitical map in which politics and economics are playing a complex
game among governments and alliances. For instance, Latin America, with the
leadership of Argentina and Uruguay, seems to be the progressive region that
stands in contrast to a very conservative neighbour in the Caribbean (with the
exception of Cuba), known to be allied with conservative forces from other
regions. Likewise, the African Coalition (with the exception of South Africa)
opposes any SOGI (sexual orientation/gender identity) mention, as do the Arabic
countries (led by Egypt), with Russia and the Vatican not far behind. Accusations
of “agenda intervention” and “western vision imposition” usually follow, as if to
indicate that certain States would rather publicise their diplomatic distaste for
atypical bodies, genders and sexualities instead of endorsing the protection of
human rights and wellbeing of everyone.
We can only renew our efforts to build a better world for everyone and hope,
as always, that this report and its related map can be most useful for activists,
governmental agencies, academics and the media. As always, we are grateful
to the authors, Lucas Paoli Itaborahy and Jingshu Zhu, and all those worked
on it, particularly Aengus Carroll, Alessia Valenza, André du Plessis and Renato
Sabbadini. and – last but not least – all our member organisations who provided
the updates on the legislation of their countries.
Gloria Careaga & Azusa Yamashita
Co-Secretaries General, ILGA
Geneva, 30 May 2014
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FOREWORD BY THE AUTHORS
LUCAS PAOLI ITABORAHY1 & JINGSHU ZHU2
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it
was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before
us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”
Charles Dickens’ insight lingers on till today, when we are looking, with mixed
feelings, at the world’s laws on LGBTI issues. Since the last edition of this report,
we have been overwhelmed by loads of good news in some parts of the world.
However, there are still more than one-third countries criminalising same-sex
conducts between consenting adults in private. In many places, LGBTI people
are still living under intensive situations of homophobia which is directly or
implicitly sponsored by unfavourable state law.
Knowing the law is a very important part of any effective human rights
work to counteract homophobia. Access to this knowledge is a particular
challenge when it comes to LGBTI issues. This can be due to rapidly changing
legal provisions, contradicting sources, and the inaccessibility of certain
legal provisions in the public domain. The aim of this report is therefore to
consolidate the latest research on a range of lesbian and gay legal issues all
around the world, providing activists, lawyers, judges, academics, public officials,
or anyone else interested in the subject with the most updated information.
This report has become an important tool for the defence of LGBTI human
rights throughout the years and it has been increasingly used and cited by a
variety of media sources, NGOs, institutions, and most recently by UN agencies.
1 Lucas Paoli Itaborahy is a Brazilian LGBTI activist and international human rights specialist who holds a bachelor’s
degree in International Relations and a master’s degree in Human Rights Practice from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden),
Roehampton University (UK) and University of Tromsø (Norway). Lucas has also participated in a summer school on Sexual
Orientation Law at the University of Barcelona and has acquired a diverse professional experience with LGBT issues, both in
Brazil and abroad. He has already worked for governmental agencies like the Minsitry for Human Rights in Brazil in 2009-2010 and
the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the UN Office in Geneva in 2012. He has produced many academic and legal research
outputs, including ILGA’s State-Sponsored Homophobia over the last four years. Moreover, he has consulted with other civil
society organisations, including ARC International (Geneva). He is currently based in the city of Rio de Janeiro working for
Micro Rainbow International as an International Reseracher and Business Development Coordinator.
2 Jingshu Zhu is a Chinese lawyer, who obtained her Advanced LL.M Degree in Public International Law at Leiden
University in the Netherlands. She has followed a course on Comparative Sexual Orientation Law given by Professor Kees
Waaldijk during her Master’s, and has participated in a summer school on Sexual Orientation Law co-organised by the
Williams Institute of UCLA and University of Barcelona. She has been assisting Professor Waaldijk with comparative and
international legal research in sexual orientation law since April 2012. Currently she is preparing for her PhD thesis in law
and anthropology on the family law encounters of Chinese lesbians and gay men in three types of relationships.
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This has only motivated us to keep improving its quality so it can produce useful
resources and bring symbolic – and hopefully material - benefits to people’s
lives. After all, legal changes, particularly concerning LGBTI issues, generate
further social and pedagogical effects, educating the society on the protection
and promotion of the rights of such minorities.
The first part of the report presents a global overview of developments of LGB
legislation in a variety of legal matters: criminalisation and decriminalisation
of consensual homosexual acts between adults; the emergence of socalled “homosexual propaganda” laws; equalisation of ages of consent for
homosexual and heterosexual acts; prohibitions of discrimination based
on sexual orientation in employment and constitutional bans as such; hate
crimes based on sexual orientation considered as aggravating circumstance;
incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation; prohibition of incitement to
hatred based on sexual orientation; marriage and partnership rights for samesex couples; and joint adoption by same-sex couples. Laws on gender identity
issues are no longer included here since ILGA is producing a separate report
exclusively on transgender rights. When we speak of “countries” in this report
regarding the above list of issues, the numeric totals presented are derived
from those that are full UN members only. Non-UN members, and various
Entities are not included in the calculations, and neither are circumstances
that pertain only to a part of a country – a province or a region - although
these are recorded in this text.
The second part is comprised of a summary of countries that still maintain
legal provisions criminalising same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults
and who engage in sexual activity in private. Laws related to such acts done in
public, with minors, by force or otherwise outlawed are not included.
The compilation of this year’s report followed the same methodological
procedures introduced in the 2011 version. A call to ILGA members in more than
110 countries was made to collect the most accurate data, which were combined
with news articles and material we have been collecting for the past year
regarding LGB legal developments. For each new development, we first searched
for the original text of the law in penal codes or other relevant legislation. If
that was not available or not very clear, we then looked for other sources, such
as official reports from governmental or non-governmental agencies, the UN
or other international organisations. If these were not found, other types of
sources, like scholarly writings, were used.
Afterwards, we interpreted the texts of the laws and provided some quasi-legal/
quasi-social analysis throughout the numerous footnotes in order to help the
reader understand better the content, and whenever appropriate, the context
of such laws. This year, we had a new addition to our team and our drafts were
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reviewed and supplemented by Aengus Carroll3 and discussed with ILGA’s
Executive Director Renato Sabbadini and the Communication and Membership
Officer Alessia Valenza.4
1. As of May 2014, there are 113 countries (UN Members) where homosexual acts between adults in private are legal. Besides, Turkish Republic
of Northern Cyprus has decriminalised homosexuality in 2014 and São
Tome & Principe in 2012.
2. There are 78 countries where homosexual acts are illegal. The legal situation in India has been changed from “unclear” to “illegal”, because of
the new ruling of the Supreme Court in 2013. In Uganda and Nigeria the
situation got worse with the passing of new anti-gay laws.
3. There are 5 countries that we know of (Iran, Mauritania, Sudan, Saudi
Arabia and Yemen), and some parts of Nigeria and Somalia, that punish homosexual acts with the death penalty. There are a further 4 countries where it is not entirely clear if the Sharia code stipulating the death
penalty is being implemented – Brunei Darussalam, Iraq, Pakistan and
Qatar.
4. In 2013 and early 2014, 9 countries, including Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and
Tanzania, have either passed laws, or parliaments are considering Bills,
regarding so-called “homossexual propaganda” laws. However, it is notable that in 2013, parliaments in Moldova, Hungary and Armenia variously rejected such Bills.
5. Discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation is now prohibited in 61 countries, among which Cuba and Puerto Rico (an incorporated territory of the United States) passed laws in that respect in 2013
and El Salvador in 2010.
6. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation are considered an aggravating
circumstance in 27 countries. East Timor has amended its Penal Code
in this regard in 2009, and the Regional Court of Appeal of Debrecen
in Hungary found homophobic murder an aggravating circumstance in
2014.
3 Aengus Carroll is a professional editor and writer based in Ireland who holds a LL.M in international human rights law
and public policy. He’s currently looking at sexual orientation and gender identity in the UN’s UPR mechanism with an eye
to PhD study. Since 2007, he has written a number of LGBT titles (for ILGA-Europe and other institutions) concerned with
human rights advocacy, mostly in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. He volunteers with Outhouse, Dublin’s LGBTI centre.
4 Kees Waaldijk from Leiden Law School (The Netherlands) has also contributed immensely to this report, providing legal
advice as well as a draft version of Legal recognition of homosexual orientation in the countries of Africa from March 2011,
as well as his 2009 paper “Legal recognition of homosexual orientation in the countries of the world”, which is available at:
http://hdl.handle.net/1887/14543.
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7. Incitement of hatred based on sexual orientation is prohibited in 28
countries. Finland has introduced a such law in 2011, and Slovenia in
2008.
8. Marriage is open for same-sex couples in 14 countries, including some
parts of United Kingdom (2013/14), and in Martinique (2014) and Guadaloupe (2014), both overseas departments of France in the Caribbean.
9. Malta has introduced a same-sex union law in 2014, and now there are
11 countries where same-sex couples offered most or all rights of marriage.
10. Same-sex couples are offered some rights of marriage in 8 countries,
including Czech Republic (2006), and Costa Rica (2013).
11. Joint adoption by same-sex couples is legal 15 countries. It is legalised
in France in 2013, and in Uruguay in 2009. Second-parent adoption, but
not full adoption, by same-sex couples is also legal in 5 countries, most
recently Austria (2013).
There are some other corrections and updates in several footnotes, including
replacement of all dead links and addition of quotes of the original texts
of the laws which were not written in English. The aim here is to avoid
misinterpretation of such laws, as happens on occasion.
We would like to thank ILGA member organisations and other scholars for their
significant comments, suggestions and assistance. If you have any additional
information or further sources not available in this report, please contact ILGA
at [email protected] and we will investigate the matter.
The report has been researched and edited by Lucas Paoli Itaborahy and
Jingshu Zhu. It is an updated version of the seven annual editions of this report
that were researched and compiled by Daniel Ottosson until 2010, by Eddie
Bruce-Jones and Lucas Paoli Itaborahy in 2011, by Lucas Paoli Itaborahy in 2012,
and by Lucas and Jingshu Zhu in 2013.
Lucas Paoli Itaborahy & Jingshu Zhu
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SOGII ADVOCACY AND THE UN
UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW
In light of increased Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex (SOGII)
activism in all regions of the world we thought it might be timely to look at a
United Nations human rights mechanism that is a key site for such advocacy –
the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
The UPR is a process whereby the human rights situation of every country in
the world is peer-reviewed by other States at the United Nations. These other
States make recommendations that the State under Review (SuR) then accepts
or rejects. The Universal Periodic Review process,5 completed its first four and
a half year cycle in 2011. The second cycle began in 2012 and, at the time of
writing, around 70 States have been through it.
SOME VALUES OF THE UPR
The nature of the UPR mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council is dialogic6
– civil society organisations (CSOs), including NGOs, submit information that
provides particular insight and data about the human rights situation provided
by the State under Review. Over the months that the process lasts there are a
number chances to expand on a country’s human rights situations in the UPR
process. SOGII NGOs have made such submissions over the past few years and
sought to persuade governments to make the right recommendations.
In terms of human rights norm production, in combination with other UN
and regional mechanisms, the UPR is facilitating the global elaboration of how
human rights relate to SOGII. As a universal human rights mechanism, the
UPR is of significant import, the process does appear to mobilise advocates and
activists to take-stock of the human rights situation in their country as they
partake in the various stages of the UPR process, which gives them opportunities
for direct input. Although the UPR is a State-centric process, the dialogic
structure appears to facilitate an expansive understanding of the multiple
perspectives existing in any one State on human rights issues,7 and how they
5 http://www.upr-info.org/en/search/google/UPR%20Process?query=UPR%20Process&cx=006126235852558856633%253A5h
pzlcehnbg&cof=FORID%253A11&sitesearch=&hl=en#
6 UN General Assembly, Human Rights Council: resolution / adopted by the General Assembly, 3 April 2006, A/
RES/60/251, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4537814814.htm
7 For example, see Cowell and Milon, “Decriminalisation of Sexual Orientation through the Universal Periodic Review”
Human Rights Law Review (2012) 2.
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intersect or relate to each other. This differs from other UN mechanisms
that limit submissions by theme (disability, civil and political rights, race,
etc). The careful preparation for, and follow on from, the act of articulating
such perspectives in the UPR reporting cycle, builds capacity for civil society
organisations (CSOs), including NGOs.
The UPR enhances a potential already long-realised by SOGII advocates with
UN mechanisms: use the international space as an amplifier to get issues heard
at their own national levels.8 The UPR process, then, acts as a ‘loudspeaker’ for
CSOs’ reports and data that expose how, in the case of SOGII, the over-arching
issues of discrimination and criminalisation lead to violations of positive and
negative obligations under international human rights law in domestic settings
regarding LGBTI people. The process can, and frequently does, open human
rights defenders and particular minorities to considerable risk, often Statesponsored and citizen-led.9 Regarding the efficacy of the UPR mechanism to
directly cause legislative change, particularly around decriminalisation of
homosexuality, the outcomes to date appear negligible.10
A Mid-term Implementation Assessment is an informal stock-taking opportunity
at the midpoint between a country’s UPR reviews, that can act as focal points
for the various strands of a country’s SOGII activism. It is interesting to observe
the very large increase in SOGII-related content in submissions from civil society
actors and allies from the first cycle compared to the second, and in particular
how the number of State SOGII recommendations have simultaneously
increased.11 It is clear that the various stages of the UPR process allows civil
society voices to be heard both by their own governments and those States who
will review their country, and that the recommendations made and responses to
them both reflect and provide focal points for activism on the national and local
levels. The issue of follow-up is currently a central weakness of the mechanism12
– although encouraged, States are not obliged to deliver mid-term assessments
or develop other tracking mechanisms with CSOs between UPR cycles (such as
that recently developed in India).13
8 O’Flaherty, M., & Fisher, J., “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and International Human Rights Law: Contextualising
the Yogyakarta Principles” Human Rights Law Review 8(2) (2008) 207: Saiz, I., Bracketing Sexuality: Human Rights and Sexual
Orientation - A Decade of Development and Denial at the UN SPW Working Papers, N.2, November 2005 (Sexuality Policy Watch,
2005, Rio de Janiero).
9 For example, CAMFAIDS (Cameroon) reported, in regard to delegates going to the 24th session of the HRC where
Cameroon responded to recommendations received in the second cycle of the UPR, that on 4 September 2013 on a national
radio station, the Chairwoman of the National Human Rights Commission issued a warning to any Cameroonian human
rights activists “who denigrate their country abroad” and appeal for help from international bodies. “If they do that, she said,
they shouldn’t expect to be safe when they return to Cameroon … they themselves are responsible for what happens”.
10 The only country to act on an accepted UPR (1st cycle) recommendation to deciminalise homosexuality was Sao Tomé &
Principe in 2012. As yet, no such commitment has been made in the 2nd cycle UPR.
11 For example, regarding Russia there were two recommendations directly referencing SOGI in its 1st cycle UPR, while
there were 13 in the 2nd cycle that made direct reference and a further 47 that have direct impact on the LGBTI situation in
that State.
12 http://www.upr-info.org/followup/index.php
13 See http://wghr.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/WGHR-Press-Release-with-Introduction-to-the-Monitoring-tool.pdf
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ACTION CATEGORIES
Through the UPR process, ‘action level’ categories have been designed by
analysts that are indicated by the type of primary action verb used by the
Recommending State (hereafter RS).14 These can be divided into five types,
ranked on a scale from 1 (minimal action), 2 (continue doing), 3 ((to consider),
4 (general action) to 5 (specific action) - an extensive and interesting list of
verbs fall under each level.15 The verb used defines whether the State under
Review is requested only to ‘consider’ the action or to complete it. In his recent
analysis of the HRC, Rathberger notes that amongst all the recommendations
issued through the first cycle of the UPR (sessions 1-12),16 the more specific or
action-oriented the recommendations the lower the acceptance rate. Further,
he notes that explicit or outright rejections of recommendations tended not
to be articulated, reluctance being coded in such terms as “taking note of
recommendations” or other general responses.
However, this conciliatory or diplomatic approach appears to apply to SOGII
much less often, the subject of which has frequently elicited strong and
unambiguous rejection from many States, and where, in direct contrast to
Rathberger’s findings of the general trend, the more specific recommendations
are those that are most accepted. States’ responses to recommendations
often reflect issues of sovereignty and tradition, most often in terms of
protecting public morality.17 These rationales for rejection are often in unison
with concerns aired at the Human Rights Council when human rights issues
regarding SOGII are under discussion:18 a significant number of States reject
that SOGII is a status protected by international human rights law at all.19 The
overall acceptance rate for all recommendations in the first cycle of the UPR was
73% according to Schlanbusch,20 however acceptance of the recommendations
related to recognition of SOGI-related human rights was only 36%.
14 McMahon, E. R., The Universal Periodic Review: A Work in Progress An Evaluation of the First Cycle of the New UPR Mechanism
of the United Nations Human Rights Council (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, February 2013, Berlin) http://www.upr-info.org/sites/
default/files/general-document/pdf/mcmahon_a_work_in_progress.13.09.2012.pdf: UPR-info “Action Categories” 2012
(webpage) http://www.upr-info.org/IMG/pdf/Database_Action_Category.pdf.
15 Ibid: Category 1 includes recommendations requiring ‘minimal action’ (indicated by verbs such as ‘call on’, ‘seek’,
‘share’); category 2 includes recommendations requiring states to ‘continue’ a certain action indicated with verbs such as
‘continue’, ‘maintain’, ‘persevere’, ‘persist’, ‘pursue’); category 3 recommendations require states to ‘consider’ a certain
action (‘analyse’, ‘consider’, ‘envisage’, ‘envision’, ‘examine’, ‘explore’, ‘reflect upon’, ‘revise’, ‘review’, ‘study’); category 4
recommendations request states to undertake a general action (‘accelerate’, ‘address’, ‘encourage’, ‘engage with’, ‘ensure’,
‘guarantee’, ‘intensify’, ‘promote’, ‘speed up’, ‘strengthen’, ‘take action’, ‘take measures or steps towards’); and finally
category 5 recommendations ask for specific action from states (‘conduct’, ‘develop’, ‘eliminate’, ‘establish’, ‘investigate’,
‘undertake’, as well verbs that indicate direct legal action: ‘abolish’, ‘accede’, ‘adopt’, ‘amend’, ‘implement’, ‘enforce’, ‘ratify’),
16 Rathgeber, T., Performance and Challenges of the UN Human Rights Council: An NGOs’ View (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, February
2013, Berlin).
17 Generally, see http://www.upr-info.org/database/
18 See the various “traditional values of humankind” HRC resolutions from 2009 - 2012 http://arc-international.net/globaladvocacy/human-rights-council/hrc-advisory-committee.
19 Levesque, B., “Arab, African delegates walk out on U.N. LGBT rights conference” LGBTQ Nation, 7 March 2012 (website)
http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/03/arab-african-delegates-walk-out-on-u-n-lgbt-rights-conference/.
20 Schlanbusch, M.D., “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Rights in the Universal Periodic Review”, Dissertation submitted
in partial fulfillment for the degree: Master in Human Rights Practice. School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg
School of Business and Social Sciences, University of Roehampton Department of Archaeology and Social Anthropology,
University of Tromsø, Spring 2013 . http://www.upr-info.org/IMG/pdf/schlanbusch_-_sogi_rights_in_the_upr_-_2013.pdf.
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SOGII IN THE 1ST CYCLE OF THE UPR
From a total of 21,353 recommendations to all States in the first cycle, 493
(2.3%) referred to sexual orientation and gender identity (across the five action
types). The UPR-info database shows that of these 179 (36%) were ‘accepted’.
These 493 recommendations were issued by only 39 States in total.21 The
UPR-info database shows 314 (63.5%) of those recommendations that elicited
negative responses regarding SOGI - where no meaningful action might be
expected - were either ‘rejected’, given a ‘general response’ or received ‘no
response’ at all.
Of those 314 responses that can be read as negative, 223 are outright
rejections and 91 responses comprise general responses or no comment at
all.. Regarding the question of what evidence is there of the actual effect
of the UPR on national legislations, 7% of States (five countries; Seychelles;
Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, Sao Tomé & Principe) accepted Action level 5
recommendations (take specific action) to decriminalise sexual orientation
in the first cycle of the UPR. However, although parliamentary and other
dialogues have emerged in each of these countries, to date only Sao Tomé &
Principe repealed its legislation at the date of this publication.
The UPR offers NGOs and CSOs a most effective way to bring human rights
standards to SOGI issues into the national dialogue supported by the weight
of international human rights law. In the first cycle WEOG States were the
most prolific regional bloc producing SOGI-related recommendations, but in
the second cycle GRULAC States significantly increased their participation in
this regard. There appears to be evidence that ally States carefully examine
the stakeholder submissions that they accept: certain points of focus tend to
appear in a couple of recommendations - for example, the word “persecution”
in the recommendations to Iraq appears twice, but hardly anywhere else
amongst the body of SOGI 1st cycle recommendations.22
SOGII IN THE 2ND CYCLE UPR
Of the 78 countries that criminalise same sex sexual relations, nineteen (19)
of them have responded to second cycle recommendations.23 Of these, aside
from St Kitts and Nevis that gave a ‘General response’, all of the other eighteen
21 A recommendation to Tonga from Bangladesh demonstrated a particularly novel (and ominous) use of the UPR by
recommending denial of human rights by recommending that Tonga’s criminal laws regarding “consensual same sex”
remain as it is “outside the purvue of human rights norms”!
22 See Iraq’s appearance at the UPR’s 7th Session, where both Human Rights Watch and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal
Network used this particular term, see http://arc-international.net/global-advocacy/universal-periodic-review/i/iraq.
23 Africa (Algeria, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, Zambia), Asia (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Sri Lanka,
Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan), Latin America and the Caribbean (Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad
and Tobego), and Oceania (Tonga, Tuvalu).
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(18) criminalising States rejected all recommendations calling for general nondiscrimination and ‘decriminalisation’.
However, very interestingly, highly targeted specific aspects of discrimination
were accepted by five of these criminalising States:
r Cameroon rejected 15 SOGI recommendations regarding discrimination and decriminalisation relating to SOGI, but accepted one relating
to looking into police violence targeting diverse SOGI (Action Level 5 specific action);
r Barbados accepted accept two recommendation for human rights education (Action Level 5 – one about informing police and the other about
setting up a public forum for dialogue around SOGI issues) and two for
discrimination (Action Levels 2 (continue doing) and the other at Action
Level 4) but oddly, rejected a further two concerning discrimination, as
well as seven concerning decriminalisation;
r Ghana accepted two UPR Action Level 4 (general action) recommendations regarding protection against violence based on SOGI, while rejecting 10 others on decriminalisation and other forms of discrimination
and homophobia.
r Tonga accepted an Action Level 3 (to consider) recommendation regarding eliminating discrimination based on SOGI, while rejecting a further
five recommendations to decriminalise.
r Zambia rejected all seven recommendations for decriminalisation but
did accept one (Action Level 4) on impartial investigations into claims of
violence based on SOGI.
CONCLUSION
It appears that highly targeted recommendations in relation to SOGII
appear to be accepted by States more frequently than the more generalist
recommendations regarding decriminalisation and non-discrimination. That
Action Level 4 and 5 recommendations in both UPR cycles seem to be picked
up more frequently might also help guide the shape of what advocates, both in
and out of regional alliances, advise ally States to recommend. Finally, advocates
could, with other civil society allies, push their States to undergo processes to
produce Mid-term Implementation Assessments when working with their own
State at the local and national levels.
Aengus Carroll
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LGB LEGISLATION GLOBAL OVERVIEW
The year in brackets refers to the year when the reform came into force.
If no year is stated, either there has never been any regulation in the relevant area or no
information could be found about the year the law took effect. Countries and entities
that are not Members of the UN are indicated in this text by use of Italics.
Homosexual acts legal (113 countries)
Africa
Benin,24 Burkina Faso, Cape Verde (2004),25 Congo,26 Chad, Côte d’Ivoire,
Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti,27 Equatorial Guinea,28 Gabon, GuineaBissau (1993),29 Madagascar, Mali, Niger,30 Rwanda,31 São Tome & Principe,32 South
Africa (1998).
Asia
Bahrain (1976),33 Cambodia, China (1997),34 East Timor (1975), most parts of
Indonesia, Israel (1988), Japan (1882), Jordan (1951), Kazakhstan (1998), Kyrgyzstan
(1998), Laos, Mongolia (1961),35 Nepal (2008),36 North Korea, Philippines, South
Korea, Taiwan (1912),37 Tajikistan (1998), Thailand (1957), Vietnam, as well as the
West Bank (1951) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
24 In previous editions, Benin was placed under the Illegal category due to a misinterpretation of an unofficial translation of
the Penal Code. After reviewing other sources we realised that there was only a higher age of consent for gay and lesbian sex.
25 The 2004 Penal Code does not criminalise homosexual acts. Until it came into force, Article 71 of the previous code of
1886 provided for ‘security measures’ for people who habitually practice ’vice against the nature’. Text of the new Penal Code
is available at: www.mj.gov.cv/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=38&&Itemid=66.
26 In the Republic of Congo Brazzaville, the text of the Penal Code is the one that was in force when the country was still a
colony of France. Art. 331 of this Code (as amended in 1947) only prohibits homosexual acts with a person younger than 21
years. The text of the Penal Code (inherited from France) has been published by the Ministère de la Justice (République du
Congo, Brazzaville) in the book Codes d’Audience – Recueil de Codes et Textes Usuels (Paris: Éditions Giraf, 2001); Art. 33 at 218.
27 See Djibouti Penal Code of 1995, available at: http://www.djibouti.mid.ru/doc/UK.htm.
28 However, according to Amnesty International’s 2006 report “Sexual Minorities and the Law: A World Survey”, homosexual
acts are still illegal in Equatorial Guinea. Text available at: http://www.asylumlaw.org/docs/sexualminorities/World%20
SurveyAIhomosexuality.pdf.
29 Articles 133-138 on sexual offences in the new Penal Code of 1993 do not seem to criminalise homosexual acts more
than heterosexual acts. Text of the law is available at: http://www.rjcplp.org/sections/informacao/anexos/legislacao-guinebissau4332/codigos-e-estatutos9979/codigo- penal-e/.
30 The 1961 Penal Code with amendments up to 2003 is available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/47fb8e642.html.
31 See the Rwanda Penal Code of 1980. Original text of the law is available at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_
id=221101.
32 A new Penal Code was approved by Law 6/2012 and entered into force on 6 November 2012, which does not contain
any provisions criminalising same-sex consensual acts. Text of the law is available at: http://www.rjcplp.org/sections/
informacao/anexos/legislacao-sao-tome-e2539/codigos-e-estatutos-sao2859/codigo-penal-sao-tome-e/.
33 A new Penal Code was enacted in 1976 and this repealed the old Penal Code of the Persian Gulf imposed by the British.
Contrary to the second-hand source used an earlier edition of this report 92008), the Penal Code allows sodomy from the age
of 21, and therefore sodomy was decriminalised as of adoption of the new code. Text of the law is available at: http://www.
track.unodc.org/LegalLibrary/LegalResources/Bahrain/Laws/Bahrain%20Penal%20Code%201976.pdf.
34 In China from 1979 (when “hooliganism” was penalised in its first official criminal law) to 1997 (“hooliganism” was
decriminalised), and probably also in earlier periods since 1912 (the end of the Qing Dynasty), there was no explicit
prohibition of sexual acts between persons of the same sex. A broader word “hooliganism” was used against non-consenting
homosexual acts or those with minors. Explicit prohibitions of “consenting jijian (sodomy)” were abolished in China around
1912. Homosexual acts are also legal in all Chinese associates: Hong Kong (1991) and Macau (1996).
35 See Article 125 of the Criminal Code of Mongolia of 2002, in which “satisfaction of sexual desire in an unnatural
manner” is a crime only when it is done by violence or threat of violence or by taking advantage of the helpless situation
of the victim, as well as by humiliation. Text of the law is available at: http://www.unodc.org/res/cld/document/mng/2001/
criminal_code_of_mongolia_html/Mongolia_Criminal_Code_2002.pdf.
36 The Supreme Court of Nepal ruled in 2008 that LGBTI people would be regarded as “natural persons” under law. While legislation
to this effect was anticipated in 2010, there has been no legislation adopted as yet. See http://www.gaylawnet.com/laws/np.htm.
37 Taiwan is not a member state of the United Nations.
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Europe
Latin
America and
Caribbean
Albania (1995), Andorra (1990), Armenia (2003), Austria (1971), Azerbaijan (2000),
Belarus (1994), Belgium (1795), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1998-2001),38 Bulgaria
(1968), Croatia (1977), Cyprus (1998), Czech Republic (1962), Denmark (1933),
Estonia (1992), Finland (1971), France (1791), Georgia (2000), Germany (196869),39 Greece (1951), Hungary (1962), Iceland (1940), Ireland (1993), Italy (1890),
Kosovo (1994)40, Latvia (1992), Liechtenstein (1989), Lithuania (1993), Luxembourg
(1795), Macedonia (FYROM) (1996), Malta (1973), Moldova (1995), Monaco (1793),
Montenegro (1977), Netherlands (1811),41 Northern Cyprus (2014),42 Norway
(1972), Poland (1932), Portugal (1983), Romania (1996), Russia (1993), San Marino
(1865), Serbia (1994), Slovakia (1962), Slovenia (1977), Spain (1979), Sweden
(1944), Switzerland (1942), Turkey (1858), Ukraine (1991), United Kingdom (and
associates),43 Vatican City.44
Argentina (1887), Bahamas (1991), Bolivia, Brazil (1831), Costa Rica (1971), Chile
(1999), Colombia (1981), Cuba (1979), Dominican Republic (1822), Ecuador (1997),45
El Salvador (1800s), Guatemala (1800s), Haiti (1800’s), Honduras (1899), Mexico
(1872), Nicaragua (2008), Panama (2008),46 Paraguay (1880), Peru (1836-1837),
Suriname (1869), Uruguay (1934), Venezuela (1800s).
North
America
Canada (1969), the United States (2003).47
Oceania
Australia,48 Fiji (2010),49 Marshall Islands (2005), Micronesia, New Zealand (1986),
Vanuatu and the New Zealand associates of Niue (2007) and Tokelau (2007).
Note that same-sex sexual activities between adults have never been criminalised in
several countries, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Niger and Rwanda.
38 The three parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina decriminalised homosexuality in three different years, each by enacting a
new Criminal Code that introduced an equal age of consent: Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1998), Republika Srpska
(2000), Brcko District (2001). Text of the law is available at: http://www.ohr.int/ohr-dept/legal/crim-codes/.
39 East Germany (1968) and West Germany (1969).
40 Kosovo is not a member state of the United Nations.
41 Homosexual acts are also legal in the three Netherlands associates (Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten) and in the
Netherlands territories of Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius.
42 Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is not a member of the United Nations. On 27 January 2014, its parliament voted
to abolish Article 171 and 173 of the Criminal Code that foresaw five years’ imprisonment for homosexual acts, and three
years’ imprisonment for “attempts to commit [these] crimes”, see http://www.lgbt-ep.eu/press-releases/northern-part-ofcyprus-decriminalises-homosexuality/.
43 England & Wales (1967), Northern Ireland (1982), Scotland (1981), Akrotiri & Dhekelia (2000), Anguilla (2001), Bailiwick
of Guernsey (1983), Bermuda (1994), British Virgin Islands (2001), Cayman Islands (2001), Falkland Islands (1989), Gibraltar
(1993), Isle of Man (1992), Jersey (1990), Montserrat (2001), Pitcairn, South Georgia, St Helena, Turks & Caicos Islands (2001)
and all other territories.
44 The Vatican is not a member state of the United Nations.
45 On 27 November 1997, the Ecuador’s Constitutional Court declared Article 516 of the Penal Code unconstitutional,
which criminalised homosexual acts. See CCPR/C/ECU/5, available at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/
AdvanceDocs/CCPR-C-ECU-5.doc.
46 Decree No. 332, Official Gazette of 31 July 2008.
47 By Supreme Court verdict, it also struck down the sodomy law in Puerto Rico, which was later repealed in 2005.
Previously in: Alaska (1980), Arizona (2001), Arkansas (2002), California (1976), Colorado (1972), Connecticut (1971), Delaware
(1973), Georgia (1998), Hawaii (1973), Illinois (1962), Indiana (1977), Iowa (1977), Kentucky (1992), Maine (1976), Minnesota
(2001), Montana (1997), Nebraska (1978), Nevada (1993), New Hampshire (1975), New Jersey (1979), New Mexico (1975), New
York (1980/2001), North Dakota (1975), Ohio (1974), Oregon (1972), Pennsylvania (1980/1995), Rhode Island (1998), South
Dakota (1977), Tennessee (1996), Vermont (1977), Washington (1976), West Virginia (1976), Wisconsin (1983), Wyoming (1977)
and District of Columbia (1993), as well as the associates of American Samoa (1980), American Virgin Islands (1985), Guam
(1978) and Northern Mariana Islands (1983). Thereto, Missouri repealed its sodomy law from the books in 2006.
48 New South Wales (1983), Norfolk Island (1993), Northern Territory (1984), Queensland (1991), South Australia (1972),
Tasmania (1997), Victoria (1981), Western Australia (1990).
49 The sodomy statutes were repealed by the Crimes Decree 2009, which came into force on 1 February 2010.
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Homosexual acts illegal (78 countries)
Africa
Asia
Latin America
& Caribbean
Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic,
Comoros, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, G uinea, Kenya, Lesotho,
Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia,
Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan,
Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, India, Iran, Kuwait,
Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan,
Yemen.
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St
Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.
Oceania
Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga,
Tuvalu.
Entities
Cook Islands (New Zealand), Gaza (in the Occupied Palestinian Territory), South
Sumatra and Aceh Province (Indonesia).
Legal status of homosexual acts unclear or uncertain (1 country)
Asia
Iraq.
Homosexual acts punishable with death penalty
(5 countries and some parts of Nigeria and Somalia)
Africa
Asia
Mauritania, Sudan, as well as 12 northern states in Nigeria and the southern
parts of Somalia.
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
Homosexual acts punishable with death penalty - unclear (4 countries)
In the case of Iraq, unlike the other three countries in this category, it appears the State
is unwilling or unable to intervene is areas of the country where militias (non-State actors) target LGBTI people for persecution, including enacting a death penalty. According
to a Human Rights Watch report “They Want Us Exterminated” Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq (New York: HRW, 2009) at 5, “[i]n Iraq, armed groups still are free
to persecute and kill based on prejudice and hatred; the state still greets their depredations with impunity”.
Asia
Brunei Darussalam, Iraq, Pakistan and Qatar.
“Homosexual propaganda” laws (and proposals) (9 countries)
The concept of introducing anti-homosexuality propaganda laws to support existing
criminal laws (for example in Uganda or Nigeria), or as stand-alone pieces of legislation
in non-criminalising countries (such as former Soviet States), became significantly more
widespread in 2013. The logic presented in defence of such proposals revolves around
the protection of public morality, particularly as pertaining to children, presents serious
problems for advocates and activists in the affected territories The use of bold font in
this section indicates legislation in force, whereas non-bold indicates that the legislation
is still being discussed.
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Europe
Asia
Africa
Belarus (2013),50 Latvia (2013),51 Lithuania (2014),52 Russian Federation (2013)53
and Ukraine (2013).54
Kyrgyzstan (2014).55
Nigeria (2013),56 Tanzania (2014)57 and Uganda (2013).58
Note: in Armenia (2013),59 Hungary (2013)60 and Moldova (2013)61 such legislative proposals were
rejected by respective Parliaments, while in Georgia (2013)62 and Kazakhstan (2013)63 strong calls
for such legislation have been voiced.
50 “In July 2013, members of the Belarusian parliament began discussions on the proposal of a gay propaganda law in the
name of protecting traditional family values … he law is planned to be introduced into the National Assembly in late 2014”,
quoted from http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/spread-russian-style-anti-propaganda-laws.
51 In November 2013, Latvia’s Central Election Commission allowed anti-LGBT groups to begin collecting signatures for
a referendum introducing a measure banning gay propaganda. The proponents of the referendum need to collect 30,000
signatures by this coming November to move forward in the legal process; see, http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/
spread-russian-style-anti-propaganda-laws.
52 In January 2014, the Lithuanian Parliament introduced amendments to the Code of Administrative Violations of Law
that would levy harsh fines against participants in public demonstrations that violate so-called constitutionally established
family values. These amendments are done in the context of he Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental
Effect of Public Information that came into effect in 2010 (see Lietuvos Respublikos Nepilnameciu apsaugos nuo neigiamo
viešosios informacijos poveikio istatymas”, No. IX-1067, 21 October 2011, available at: http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/
dokpaieska.showdoc_l?p_id=410367. A draft version is available in English at: http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/dokpaieska.
showdoc_l?p_id=363137.
53 Federal Law No 50-FZ; ‘On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation with regard to limiting the
spread of information about minors, victims of illegal actions (inaction)’, at Article 6.21 - Promotion of Non-Traditional Sexual
Relations Among Minors; also for an in-depth contextual analysis of the law, see Heiss, Brian M. “Russian Federation Anti-Gay
Laws: An Analysis & Deconstruction”, 21 January 2014 at http://static.prisonplanet.com/p/images/february2014/white_paper.pdf.
54 A shelved 2011 Draft Federal Law No. 0945 ‘Regarding Protection of Children’s Rights in the Safe Information Sphere’
(previously known as Bill No. 8711), proposed to ban the promotion of homosexuality in media is expected to be reconsidered
at the parliamentary level, as is the Draft Law No.1155 ‘On the Prohibition of Propaganda of Homosexuality Aimed at
Children’, see Nash Mir’s On the Threshold: The situation of LGBT people in Ukraine in 2013 at http://gay.org.ua/publications/
lgbt_ukraine_2013-e.pdf.
55 On March 26, 2014, Kyrgyzstan’s national parliament (Zhogorku Kenesh) published a draft bill that imposes criminal
sanctions for spreading information about homosexuality or LGBT issues. According to Human Rights Watch, this Bill needs
to be withdrawn as incompatible with international human rights obligations; see, http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/03/27/
kyrgyzstan-withdraw-draconian-homophobic-bill.
56 Section 5 of the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act (passed December 2013) prohibits “directly or indirectly makes
public show of same-sex amorous relationship[s]” may receive a penal sentence of up to ten years imprisonment; text of the
law available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/52f4d9cc4.html.
57 In March 2014, a Tanzanian MP proposed a Bill to strengthen the criminalisation laws, see http://www.theeastafrican.
co.ke/news/Dar-plans-to-introduce-tougher-anti-gay-Bill--/-/2558/2262374/-/iq7xix/-/index.html.
58 Section 13 (1) and (2) of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014 refers to “promotion of homosexuality”; Text of the law is
available at: http://cryptome.org/2014/02/uganda-anti-gay.pdf.
59 In August 2013, a proposal for legislative amendment was put forward, but soon withdrawn, that there would be a ban
on “promoting” “non-traditional sexual relationships” in Armenia’s administrative offenses law; see http://www.ilga-europe.
org/home/guide_europe/country_by_country/armenia/armenian_police_propose_gay_propaganda_ban.
60 Three Bills were introduced in 2013 by the far-right opposition party Jobbik, all related to “propagation” of homosexuality – all
of which were rejected; Bill 6719; available at: http://www.mkogy.hu/internet/plsql/ogy_irom.irom_adat?p_ckl=39&p_izon=6719
Bill 6720; available at: http://www.mkogy.hu/internet/plsql/ogy_irom.irom_adat?p_ckl=39&p_izon=6720
Bill 6721; available at: http://www.mkogy.hu/internet/plsql/ogy_irom.irom_adat?p_ckl=39&p_izon=6721.
61 In May 2013, the Moldovan parliament adopted Law Nr. 117 on ‘Completing the Contravention Code’ amending it with
Article 901 ‘Public activities with negative impact on minors’ (entered in force on 12 July 2013) but This law was rejected
by parliament and annulled in October 2013 (see http://www.ilga-europe.org/home/guide_europe/country_by_country/
moldova/genderdoc_m_on_law_on_article_901_public_activities_with_negative_impact_on_minors).
62 During an IDAHOT demonstration in Tbilisi on 17 May 2013 where thousands of supporters of the Georgian Orthodox
Church rallied against a small LGBT contingent, both church and political leaders have spoken directly against the
“promotion” of homosexuality, but it appears to date that no serious legislative initiatives have been undertaken in this
regard; see, http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/spread-russian-style-anti-propaganda-laws.
63 “Anti-homosexual rhetoric is increasing among lawmakers, but proposed anti-LGBT laws have received negligible
traction and do not seem to have strong support from President Nursultan Nazarbayev” quoted from “Spread of RussianStyle Anti-Propaganda Law”, Humarightsfirst, 27 February 2014, at http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/spreadrussian-style-anti-propaganda-laws.
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Equal age of consent for homosexual and heterosexual acts (95 countries)
Africa
Asia
Europe
Burkina Faso (1996), Cape Verde (2004),64 Central African Republic, Democratic
Republic of Congo (2006),65 Djibouti,66 Equatorial Guinea (1931), Mali (1961),67
Guinea-Bissau (1993),68 South Africa (2007).69
Cambodia, China (1997-2006),70 East Timor (2009), Israel (2000), Japan (1882),
Jordan (1951), Kazakhstan (1998), Kyrgyzstan (1998), Laos, Mongolia (1961),
Nepal (2007), North Korea, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan (1896), Tajikistan
(1998), Thailand (1957), Vietnam, as well as the West Bank (1951) in the Palestinian
Authority.
Albania (2001), Andorra, Armenia (2003), Austria (2002), Azerbaijan (2000), Belarus
(2000), Belgium (1985), Bosnia & Herzegovina (1998-2001),71 Bulgaria (2002),
Croatia (1998), Cyprus (2002), Czech Republic (1990), Denmark (1976),72 Estonia
(2002), Finland (1999), France (1982),73 Georgia (2000), Germany (1994/89),74
Hungary (2002), Iceland (1992), Ireland (1993), Italy (1890), Kosovo (2004), Latvia
(1999), Liechtenstein (2001), Lithuania (2003), Luxembourg (1992), Macedonia
(1996), Malta (1973), Moldova (2003), Monaco (1793), Montenegro (1977),
Netherlands (1971),75 Norway (1972), Poland (1932), Portugal (2007), Romania
(2002), Russia (1997), San Marino (1865), Serbia (2006), Slovakia (1990), Slovenia
(1977), Spain (1979), Sweden (1978), Switzerland (1992), Turkey (1858), Ukraine
(1991), United Kingdom (2001-2008),76 Vatican City.
64 The 2004 Penal code does not impose different ages of consent for sexual acts. See Chapter 5 of Section II, available
at: www.mj.gov.cv/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=38&&Itemid=66. 65 Articles 167 and 172 of the Penal Code, as amended by law 06/018 of 20 July 2006, do not distinguish between
homosexual and heterosexual contacts, and both apply to indecent or immoral behaviour with respect to persons under 18
(text of the law is available at: www.leganet.cd/Legislation/JO/2006/JO.01.08.2006.C.P.P..pdf).
66 See Djibouti Penal Code of 1995, available at: http://www.djibouti.mid.ru/doc/UK.htm.
67 See Article 180 of the Code Pénal of 1961. Original text is available at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_
id=193676.
68 Articles 133-138 on sexual offences in the new Penal Code of 1993 do not seem to criminalise homosexual acts more
than heterosexual acts. Text of the law is available at: http://www.rjcplp.org/sections/informacao/anexos/legislacao-guinebissau4332/codigos-e-estatutos9979/codigo- penal-e/.
69 Article 362 of the Penal Code prohibits any act against nature or any indecent act with someone of the same sex under
the age of 18, while Article 358 contains a general prohibition of indecency with children of either sex under the age of 16.
Text of the law available at: http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/research/Penal%20Code%20%28English%29.pdf.
70 In mainland China the age was equalised with the decriminalisation of hooliganism in 1997; also in Hong Kong
(2005/2006) and in Macau (1996).
71 The three parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina decriminalised homosexuality in three different years, each by enacting a
new Criminal Code that introduced an equal age of consent: Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1998), Republika Srpska
(2000), Br ko District (2001); see http://www.ohr.int/ohr-dept/legal/crim-codes/.
72 The Faeroe Islands (1988), Greenland (1979).
73 The law applies to the following overseas departments and territories upon adoption: French Guiana, Martinique,
Guadeloupe, Reunion, St Barthélemy, St Martin, St Pierre & Miquelon, as well as to French Polynesia, New Caledonia and
Wallis & Futuna since 1984, and also to Mayotte.
74 East Germany (GDR) in 1989 and the rest of Germany in 1994, text of the 1994 law available at: http://lexetius.com/
StGB/175.
75 The age of consent is also equal in the three Netherlands associates: Aruba (2003), Curaçao (2000) and St Maarten (2000),
and also in the three Netherlands’ territories of Bonaire (2000), Saba (2000) and St Eustatius (2000).
76 Legislation equalising the age of consent (at 16 in England & Wales and Scotland; at 17 in Northern Ireland) entered
into force January 2001. The Sexual Offences Order 2008 (Northern Ireland) lowered the latter age limit to 16 See http://
www.legislation.gov.uk/nisi/2008/1769/contents, Akrotiri & Dhekelia (2003), Falkland Islands (2005), Isle of Man (2006), Jersey
(2007), Guernsey (2010), Pitcairn, South Georgia, St Helena as well as all more or less uninhabited islands. Gibraltar. The
Supreme Court made a declaration in 2011 to the effect that an unequal age of consent is unconstitutional under Gibraltar
law (previously 18 for gay men but 16 for heterosexuals and lesbians), and was therefore set at 16 for all at that date. The
Government is currently undertaking a consultation exercise to decide the final age of consent under law.
20
STATE-SPONSORED HOMOPHOBIA – MAY 2014
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www.ilga.org
Latin America
& Caribbean
Argentina (1887), Bolivia, Brazil (1831), Colombia (1981), Costa Rica (1999), Cuba,
Dominican Republic, Ecuador (1997), El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras,
Mexico (1872), Nicaragua (2008), Panama (2008), Peru (1836-37), Uruguay (1934)
and Venezuela.
North
America
Most parts of the United States.
Oceania
Most parts of Australia,77 Fiji (2010), Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Vanuatu (2007)
and New Zealand (1986).78
Unequal age of consent for homosexual and heterosexual acts
(16 countries)
Africa
Asia
Europe
Latin America
& Caribbean
Bahrain, Benin (1947),79 Chad, Congo (1947),80 Côte d’Ivoire,81 Gabon (1969),82
Madagascar,83 Niger,84 Rwanda.85
Indonesia
Greece,86 as well as some United Kingdom associates.87
Bahamas, Chile, Paraguay, Suriname, as well as some United Kingdom
associates.88
North
America
Canada, two states of the United States.89
Oceania
Some parts of Australia (1899).90
77 All states and territories but Queensland: New South Wales (2003), Norfolk Island (1993), Northern Territory (2004), South
Australia (1975), Tasmania (1997), Victoria (1981), Western Australia (2002).
78 New Zealand itself had equal age since 1986; New Zealand associates of Niue (2007) and Tokelau (2007).
79 Benin has a higher age limit for homosexual acts. Since a 1947 amendment of Article 331 of the Penal Code of 1877 the
first paragraph of Article 331 has fixed a general age limit of 13 for sex with a child of either gender, but the third paragraph
has penalised any act that is indecent or against nature if committed with a person of the same sex under 21. Text of the
amendment is available at: www.legifrance.gouv.fr/jopdf/common/jo_pdf.jsp?numJO=0&dateJO=19471123&pageDebut=1156
7&pageFin=&pageCourante=11569.
80 According to Art. 331 of the Penal Code (as amended in 1947), the age of consent is 13 for heterosexual sex, but “anyone
who has committed an indecent act or an act against nature with an individual of the same sex younger than 21 years, will be
punished with imprisonment of six months to three years and with a fine of 4 000 francs up to 1 000 000 francs.” The text of
the Penal Code (inherited from France) has been published by the Ministère de la Justice (République du Congo, Brazzaville) in
the book Codes d’Audience – Recueil de Codes et Textes Usuels (Paris: Éditions Giraf, 2001); Art. 331 can be found at 218.
81 See Article 356 and 358 of the Code Pénal. Original text is available at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/details.jsp?id=6480.
82 See Article 258 of the Code Pénal. Original text is available at http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=266824.
According to Scott Barclay, Mary Bernstein and Anna-Maria Marshall Queer mobilizations: LGBT activists confront the law (New
York: NYU Press, 2009) at 128, the age of consent for homosexual sex was raised from 15 to 21 in 1969.
83 See Article 331 of the Code Pénal. Original text is available at: http://www.vertic.org/media/National%20Legislation/
Madagascar/MG_Code_Penal.pdf.
84 See Articles 278 and 282 of the Code Pénal. Original text is available at: http://www.vertic.org/media/National%20
Legislation/Niger/NE_Code_Penal.pdf.
85 See Articles 358 and 362 of the Code Pénal. Original text is available at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_
id=221101.
86 See Article 347 of the Greek Penal Code, which criminalises ‘contact against nature between males’ in several
circumstances including when it is committed through ‘seduction’ of a person younger than seventeen, and in which sexual
acts are legal from the age of 15 for heterosexuals (Article 339). Original text is available at: www.yen.gr/php/download_
xitem.php?xitem=24745/pd_fek106_85.pdf.
87 Bailiwick of Guernsey.
88 Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks & Caicos Islands.
89 Nevada (only in seduction cases) and Virginia.
90 See State of Queensland, Criminal Code Act 1899 and Criminal Law Amendment Bill 1996, Section 208 and Section 213,
indicating the age of consent of homosexual acts is 18, while that of heterosexual acts is 16. Text of the 1996 law is available
at: http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/Bills/48PDF/1996/CriminalLawAmdB96.pdf.
21
STATE-SPONSORED HOMOPHOBIA – MAY 2014
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Prohibition of discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation
(61 countries)
Africa
Asia
Europe
Botswana (2010),91 Cape Verde (2008),92 Mauritius (2008),93 Mozambique (2007),94
Seychelles (2006),95 South Africa (1996).96 (Namibia repealed such a law in 2004.)97
Israel (1992), some parts of Philippines,98 Taiwan (2007).99
Albania (2010), Andorra (2005), Austria (2004), Belgium (2003), Bosnia and
Herzegovina (2003),100 Bulgaria (2004), Croatia (2003), Cyprus (2004), Czech
Republic (1999), Denmark (1996),101 Estonia (2004), Finland (1995), France
(2001), Georgia (2006), Germany (2006), Greece (2005),102 Hungary (2004), Iceland
(1996), Ireland (1999), Italy (2003), Kosovo (2004), Latvia (2006), Lithuania (2003),
Luxembourg (1997), Macedonia (FYROM) (2005),103 Malta (2004), Moldova (2012),104
Montenegro (2010),105 Netherlands (1992), Norway (1998), Poland (2004), Portugal
(2003), Romania (2000), Serbia (2005), Slovakia (2004), Slovenia (1995),106 Spain
(1996), Switzerland (2000),107 Sweden (1999), United Kingdom (2003).108
91 Botswana Employment Amendment Act: 10 of 2010 amended the Employment Act to add sexual orientation and health
status (including HIV/AIDS status) as prohibited grounds of discrimination, see http://www.icj.org/sogi-legislative-database/
botswana-sogi-legislation-country-report-2013/.
92 See Article 45(2) and Article 406 (3) of the Novo Código Laboral Cabo-Verdiano. Text of the law is available at: https://
portoncv.gov.cv/dhub/porton.por_global.open_file?p_doc_id=786.
93 See page 8 of the Equal Opportunities Act 2008, which prohibits discrimination in employment and other activities on
many grounds, including ‘sexual orientation’. Text of the law is available at: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/--ed_protect/---protrav/---ilo_aids/documents/legaldocument/wcms_126781.pdf.
94 See Articles 4, 5 and 108 of the Labour Law 23/2007. Text of the law is available at: http://www.tipmoz.com/library/
resources/tipmoz_media/labour_law_23-2007_1533E71.pdf.
95 See Articles 2, 46A (1) and 46B of the Employment Act 1995, amended by Act 4 of 2006. Text of the law is available at:
https://staging.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/ELECTRONIC/40108/90799/F1128259675/SYC40108.pdf.
96 Such a prohibition can be found in the Constitution (since 1994) and also in the Labour Relations Act of 1995, in force 11
November 1996 (http://www.acts.co.za/labour-relations-act-1995/); in the Employment Equity Act of 1998 (http://www.acts.
co.za/employment-equity-act-1998/); and in the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000
(http://www.acts.co.za/promotion-of-equality-and-prevention-of-unfair-discrimination-act-2000/person.php).
97 Section 139 of the Labour Act of 2004 repealed the Labour Act of 1992, that prohibited sexual orientation discrimination
in its Section 107. Text of the 2004 law is available at: http://www.commonlii.org/na/legis/num_act/la200484.pdf.
98 Some cities in Philippines, including: Quezon City (Ordinance No. SP-1309, 2003): http://quezoncitycouncil.ph/ordinance/
SP/sp-1309,%20s%202003-1.pdf; Dagupan City (Ordinance No. 1953, 2010); Naga City (Ordinance No. 2012-035): http://naga.
gov.ph/sp-matters/ordinances/ordinance-no-2012-035/; Angeles City (Executive Order No. 37, 2011): http://210.4.99.20/lis/
ExecDetails.aspx?execcode=E0000000031; Cebu City (2012): http://bayanmuna.net/casino-welcomes-anti-discriminationordinances/; Davao City (Anti-discrimination Ordinance, 2013): http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/local-news/2013/02/14/
anti-discrimination-ordinance-now-city-hall-268100.
99 See Articles 2 and 12-15 of Gender Equity Education Act. Text of the law is available at: http://law.moj.gov.tw/Eng/
LawClass/LawAll.aspx?PCode=H0080067.
100 Such laws are available also in Republika Srpska (2000, 2003).
101 The law is not applicable to the Faeroe Islands or Greenland. However, incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation
is prohibited in the Faeroe Islands since 2007, and in Greenland from 1 January 2010.
102 See Law no. 3304/2005 (Act Against Discrimination), available at: http://www.non-discrimination.net/content/mainprinciples-and-definitions-6.
103 Law on Labour Relations, Article 6. See Legal Report: “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” at: http://www.coe.
int/t/Commissioner/Source/LGBT/FYROMLegal_E.pdf
104 See Article 7 of the Law on Equal (nr. 121). Text of the law available at http://lawsmd.blogspot.nl/2012/10/law-on-equal.html.
105 See Articles 2, 18 and 19 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination. Text of the law is available at: http://www.
legislationline.org/topics/country/57/topic/84.
106 See Art. 141 of the Penal Code, original text is available at http://www.uradni-list.si/1/objava.
jsp?urlid=199463&stevilka=2167; English text of this Article at http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=180880.
107 Since 2000 Switzerland used the words ‘mode de vie’ to cover sexual orientation.
108 Bailiwick of Guernsey (2005), Gibraltar (2006), Isle of Man (2007). For Gibraltar, see www.gibraltarlaws.gov.gi/
articles/2006-37o.pdf.
22
STATE-SPONSORED HOMOPHOBIA – MAY 2014
ILGA - International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association
www.ilga.org
Latin America
& Caribbean
Bolivia (2011),109 The city of Rosario (1996) in Argentina, some parts of Brazil,110
Colombia (2007), Costa Rica (1998), Cuba (2014),111 Ecuador (2005),112 El Salvador
(2010),113 Mexico (2003),114 Nicaragua (2008), Venezuela (1999), Uruguay (2004).115
North
America
Canada (1996), some parts of the United States.116
Oceania
Australia (1996),117 Fiji (2007),118 New Zealand (1994).
Constitutional prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation
(6 countries)
Africa
Europe
South Africa (1994 and 1997).119
Kosovo (2008), Portugal (2004), Sweden (2003), Switzerland (2000), as well as some
parts of Germany.120
109 See Article 281 ter of the Penal Code (Título VIII del Libro Segundo del Código Penal), as amended by Article 23 of the Ley
Contra el Racism y Toda Forma de Discriminación of 2011. See also Articles 5 and 12 to 14 of the latter law. Original text is
available at: http://www.rree.gob.bo/webmre/Documentos//d385.pdf.
110 Bahia (1997), Federal District (2000), Minas Gerais (2002), Paraíba (2003), Piauí (2004), Rio de Janeiro (2000), Rio Grande
do Sul (2002), Santa Catarina (2003), São Paulo (2001), Mato Grosso (2005), Maranhão (2006), as well as a number of cities.
111 On 21 December, 2013, the Parliament approved a new Labour Code which prohibits sexual orientation discrimination
in employment. The final text is being drafted and is expected to be signed into law in the first half of 2014. See: http://
www.ipscuba.net/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=8636%3Acuba-tiene-un-nuevo-c%C3%B3digo-de-trabajom%C3%A1s-inclusivo&Itemid=5.
112 See Article 79 of the Código del Trabajo , Codificación 2005-17, available at: http://www.unemi.edu.ec/rrhh/images/
archivos/codtrab.pdf.
113 Decreto No. 56 [Decree 56], Diario Oficial (DO), No. 86, Tomo 387, entered into force 19 May 2010, original text is
available at: http://biblioteca.utec.edu.sv/siab/virtual/DiarioOficial_/20100512.pdf. See also, Sexual Diversity in El Salvador,
A Report on the Human Rights Situation of the LGBT Community, (USA: International Human Rights Law Clinic, University of
California, Berkeley, School of Law, July 2012) at: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/LGBT_Report_English_Final_120705.pdf.
114 See Article 9 of Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination, available at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/
bodies/cerd/docs/CERD.C.MEX.15-17_en.doc.
115 See Law No. 17,817, Combat Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination, original text available at: http://www0.
parlamento.gub.uy/leyes/AccesoTextoLey.asp?Ley=17817.
116 United States: California (1993), Colorado (2007), Connecticut (1991), Delaware (2009), Hawaii (1992), Illinois (2006), Iowa
(2007), Maine (2005), Maryland (2001), Massachusetts (1990), Minnesota (1993), Nevada (1999), New Hampshire (1998), New
Jersey (1992), New Mexico (2003), New York (2003), Oregon (2008), Rhode Island (1995), Vermont (1992), Washington (2006),
Wisconsin (1982) and District of Columbia (1973), as well as a number of cities and towns. On 24 May 2013, the Senate
approved a Bill that outlaws employment discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. Text of the law is available
at: http://noticiasmicrojuris.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/ps238-24mayo2013.pdf.
117 At the level of the Commonwealth of Australia, various sections of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 prohibits
discrimination based on ‘sexual preference’, available at: http://www.ajml.com.au/downloads/resource-centre/laws/
Workplace%20Relations%20Act%201996/WorkplaceRelations1996Vol3_WD02.pdf. Capital Territory (1992), New South Wales
(1983), Northern Territory (1993), Queensland (1992), South Australia (1986), Tasmania (1999), Victoria (1996), Western Australia
(2002).
118 Section 6(2) of the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 provides: “No person shall discriminate against any worker
or prospective worker on the grounds of (...) sexual orientation, (...) marital status, (...) state of health including real or
perceived HIV status, (...) in respect of recruitment, training, promotion, terms and conditions of employment, termination of
employment or other matters arising out of the employment relationship.” The Promulgation entered into force on 1 October
2007. Text of the law is available at: www.paclii.org/fj/promu/promu_dec/erp2007381
119 Prohibition of sexual orientation discrimination was included on the interim Constitution that came into force on
27 April 1994 (Article 8), text of the law available at: http://www.constitutionalcourt.org.za/site/constitution/englishweb/interim/. It is also included in Article 9 of the 1997 Constitution at http://www.constitutionalcourt.org.za/site/
theconstitution/thetext.htm.
120 Berlin (1995), Brandenburg (1992), Thuringia (1993).
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STATE-SPONSORED HOMOPHOBIA – MAY 2014
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Latin America
& Caribbean
Oceania
Bolivia (2009),121 Ecuador (1998),122 some parts of Argentina,123 some parts of
Brazil,124 the United Kingdom associate of British Virgin Islands (2007).125
None (Fiji’s previous Constitution, adopted in 1997, included such a provision,
but this Constitution was repealed in 2009).
Hate crimes based on sexual orientation considered an aggravating circumstance
(27 countries)
Asia
Europe
East Timor (2009).126
Albania (2013),127 Andorra (2005), Belgium (2003), Croatia (2006),
Denmark (2004), France (2003),128 Georgia (2012),129 Greece (2013),130 some parts
of Hungary (2014),131 Malta (2012),132 Netherlands (2003),133 Portugal (2007),
Romania (2006), San Marino (2008),134 Spain (1996), Sweden (2003),
United Kingdom (2004-2010).135
121 See Article 14 of the Constituición Política del Estado, of 7 February 2009. Text of the law is available at: http://bolivia.
infoleyes.com/shownorm.php?id=469.
122 See Article 23(3) of the 1998 Constitution, available at: http://pdba.georgetown.edu/constitutions/Ecuador/ecuador98.
html. A new Constitution was adopted by referendum in 2008., which also protects people from discrimination based on
gender identity, available at: http://www.asambleanacional.gov.ec/documentos/Constitucion-2008.pdf.
123 Art. 11 of the Constitution of the Province of Buenos Aires (1996).
124 Alagoas (2001), Federal District (1993), Mato Grosso (1989), Pará (2003), Santa Catarina (2002), Sergipe (1989).
125 Article 26 of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007. Text of the law is available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/
uksi/2007/1678/contents/made.
126 See Article 52.2(e) of the Penal Code, available at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=243617.
127 Albania’s parliament amended on 4 May 2013 Section 50/j of its Criminal Code to strictly punish a crime “when the
offense is committed due to reasons related to gender, race, colour, ethnicity, language, gender identity, sexual orientation,
political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, health status, genetic predisposition, or disability”. Text of the law is
available at: http://legislationline.org/documents/section/criminal-codes.
128 The law applies to the following overseas departments and territories upon adoption: French Guiana, French Polynesia,
Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Réunion, St Barthélemy, St Martin, St Pierre & Miquelon and Wallis &
Futuna.
129 See Article 1 of 27 March 2012, Legislative Amendment. Original text is available at: https://matsne.gov.ge/index.
php?option=com_ldmssearch&view=docView&id=1637963; see also http://lgbt.ge/?p=4679.
130 According to Article 66 of the Act of Addictive Substances and Other Provisions, the second paragraph of section D,
paragraph 3 of Article 79 of the Criminal Code should include “sexual orientation” as a ground of hatred. Original text is
available at: http://www.ilga-europe.org/media_library/ilga_europe/guide_to_europe/country_by_country/files_for_legal_
summary/greece/hatecrime_legislation_on_sogi_greece. The Act was passed on 12 March 2013, and entered into force upon
publication.
131 Hungarian Criminal Law does not explicitly make hate crime based on sexual orientation an aggravating circumstance,
but the Regional Court of Appeal of Debrecen found homophobic murder an aggravating circumstance in its decision. See
http://debreceniitelotabla.birosag.hu/sajtokozlemeny/20140210/aljas-indokbol-kulonos-kegyetlenseggel-olt-elefogytiglantkapott; see also, http://en.hatter.hu/news/homophobic-murderer-gets-life-imprisonment-in-hungary.
132 See Articles 83B, 222A, 215D and 325A of the Criminal Code of Malta. Text of the law available at: http://www.
justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8574&l=1. The Criminal Code was amended by ACT No.
VIII of 2012 at http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lp&itemid=23426&l=1.
133 This concerns an instruction on the basis of Article 130(4) of the Wet Rechterlijke Organisatie [Act on the Judicial
System]. For the text of the current (2007) version of the instruction, original text is available at: www.om.nl/organisatie/
beleidsregels/overzicht/discriminatie.
134 See Law no. 66 on Disposizioni in materia di discriminazione razziale, etnica, religiosa e sessuale of 28 April 2008, available at:
http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_protect/---protrav/---ilo_aids/documents/legaldocument/wcms_128030.pdf.
135 Such laws have been adopted in England and Wales (2005), Northern Ireland (2004) and Scotland (effective 2010).
24
STATE-SPONSORED HOMOPHOBIA – MAY 2014
ILGA - International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association
www.ilga.org
Latin America
& Caribbean
Bolivia (2011),136 Chile (2012),137 Colombia (2011),138 Ecuador (2009),139 Honduras
(2013),140 Nicaragua (2008), Uruguay (2003),141 some parts of Mexico.142
North
America
Canada (1996) and United States (2009).143
Oceania
New Zealand (2002)
Incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation prohibited (28 countries)
Africa
Europe
South Africa (2000).
Albania (2013),144 Belgium (2003), Croatia (2003), Denmark (1987),145 Estonia
(2006), Finland (2011),146 France (2005),147 Iceland (1996), Ireland (1989), Lithuania
(2003), Luxembourg (1997), Malta (2012),148 Monaco (2005),149 Netherlands (1992),
Norway (1981), Portugal (2007), Romania (2000), San Marino (2008), Serbia
(2009), Slovenia (2008),150 Spain (1996), Sweden (2003), some parts of the United
Kingdom (2004-10).151
136 See Articles 40 bis and 281 ter of the Penal Code (Título VIII del Libro Segundo del Código Penal), as amended by Articles 21
and 23 of the Ley Contra el Racism y Toda Forma de Discriminación of 2011. Original text is available at: http://www.rree.gob.bo/
webmre/Documentos//d385.pdf.
137 See Article 12 (21) of the Código Penal of Chile, as amended by Article 17 of Ley Nº 20.609, which establishes measures
against discrimination. Original text of the latter law: http://www.colegioabogados.cl/cgi-bin/procesa.pl?plantilla=/archivo.
html&bri=colegioabogados&tab=art_1&campo=c_archivo&id=1191.
138 See Law 1482 of 30 November 2011, which also covers incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation. Original text is
available at: http://www.vicepresidencia.gov.co/Programas/Documents/121431-LEY-ANTIDISCRIMINACION.pdf.
139 See Articles 6, 7, 8 and 21 of the section Reformas al Código Penal of the Ley Reformatoria Al Codigo de Procedimiento
Penal y al Codigo Penal. Original text is available at: http://www.carlosparma.com.ar/index.php?option=com_
content&view=article&id=347:ley-reformatoria-al-codigo-penal-codigo-de-procedimiento-penal-codigo-de-la-ninez-yadolescencia-y-codigo-de-ejecucion-de-penas-y-rehabilitacion-social&catid=41:parte-especial&Itemid=27.
140 On 21 February 2013, the Congress approved an amendment to the Penal Code that prohibits hate crimes based on sexual
orientation and gender identity. Text of the decision is available at: http://www.insurrectasypunto.org/index.php?option=com_
content&view=article&id=6799:lgbti-logra-reforma-al-codigo-penal-en-honduras&catid=3:notas&Itemid=3.
141 See Article 149 ter of Law 17.677 of 29 July 2003, Solicitation to Hate, Contempt or Violence or Commission of These
Acts Against Certain Persons. Original text is available at: http://www.gparlamentario.org/spip/IMG/pdf/Ley_17677_de_29-72003_Actos_Violentos_fundados_en_Identidad_Sexua_-_Uruguay.pdf.
142 Coahila (2005) and the Federal District (2009). See Article 350 of Coahila’s Penal Code, available at: http://docs.mexico.
justia.com.s3.amazonaws.com/estatales/coahuila/codigo-penal-de-coahuila.pdf, and Article 149 bis of the Federal District,
available at: http://info4.juridicas.unam.mx/ijure/tcfed/8.htm?s. 143 Also available on state level in Arizona (1995), California (1988), Colorado (2005), Connecticut (1990), Delaware (1997),
Florida (1991), Hawaii (2001), Illinois (1991), Iowa (1990), Kansas (2002), Kentucky (1998), Louisiana (1997), Maine (1995),
Maryland (2005), Massachusetts (1996), Minnesota (1989), Missouri (1999), Nebraska (1997), Nevada (1989), New Hampshire
(1991), New Jersey (1990), New Mexico (2003), New York (2000), Oregon (1990), Rhode Island (1998), Tennessee (2000), Texas
(2001), Vermont (1990), Washington (1993), Wisconsin (1988) and District of Columbia (1990), as well as Puerto Rico (2005).
144 Albania’s parliament amended its Criminal Code on 4 May 2013. Article 119/a: “Providing to the public or distribution
of deliberate materials containing racist, homophobic or xenophobic content, through the communication and information
technology, is punishable by a fine or imprisonment up to two years.” Text of the law is available at: http://legislationline.org/
documents/section/criminal-codes.
145 The law is applicable to Faeroe Islands (2007) and to Greenland (2010).
146 Chapter 11, Section 10 of the Penal Code makes “incitement against certain group” an offence. In June 2011, sexual
orientation was added to the list of protected characteristics. Text of the law is available at: http://www.finlex.fi/en/laki/
kaannokset/1889/en18890039.pdf.
147 The law applies to the following overseas departments and territories upon adoption: French Guiana, French Polynesia,
Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Réunion, St Barthélemy, St Martin, St Pierre & Miquelon and Wallis & Futuna.
148 See Articles 82A and 82C of the Criminal Code of Malta, text of the law is available at: http://www.justiceservices.gov.
mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8574&l=1. The Criminal Code was amended by ACT No. VIII of 2012 at
http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lp&itemid=23426&l=1.
149 See Articles 16, 24, 25, 44 of the Loi n° 1.299 du 15 juillet 2005 sur la liberté d’expression publique, available at: http://www.
legimonaco.mc/305/legismclois.nsf/db3b0488a44ebcf9c12574c7002a8e84/29ad7325e3a152a4c125773f003d2e4e!OpenDocument.
150 See Article 297(1) of the Penal Code at http://www.policija.si/eng/images/stories/Legislation/pdf/CriminalCode2009.pdf.
151 Such laws have only been adopted in Northern Ireland (2004) and England and Wales (2010).
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Latin America
& Caribbean
Bolivia (2011),152 Colombia (2011), Ecuador (2009), some parts of Mexico,153
Uruguay (2003).154
North
America
Canada (2004).
Oceania
Some parts of Australia.155
Marriage open for same-sex couples (14 countries)
Africa
Europe
Latin America
& Caribbean
South Africa (2006).
Belgium (2003), Denmark (2012), France (2013),156 Iceland (2010),157 Netherlands
(2001), Norway (2009), Portugal (2010),158 Spain (2005), Sweden (2009), some parts
of United Kingdom (2013/2014).159
Argentina (2010),160 some parts of Mexico (2010),161 Uruguay (2013).162
152
See Articles 281 quater, 281 septieser and 281 octies of the Penal Code (Título VIII del Libro Segundo del Código Penal), as
amended by Article 23 of the Ley Contra el Racism y Toda Forma de Discriminación of 2011. Original text is available at: http://
www.rree.gob.bo/webmre/Documentos//d385.pdf.
153
Coahuila (2005) and the Federal District (2009).
154
See Article 149 bis of Law 17.677 of 29 July 2003, Solicitation to Hate, Contempt or Violence or Commission of These
Acts Against Certain Persons. Original text is available at: http://www.gparlamentario.org/spip/IMG/pdf/Ley_17677_de_29-72003_Actos_Violentos_fundados_en_Identidad_Sexua_-_Uruguay.pdf
155
Australian Capital Territory (2004), New South Wales (1993), Queensland (2003), Tasmania (1999).
156
See Law Providing for Same-Sex Marriage, passed on 17 May 2013, effective 29 May 2013. Text of the law is available
at: http://www.conseil-constitutionnel.fr/conseil-constitutionnel/english/case-law/decision/decision-no-2013-669-dc-of17-may-2013.137411.html. After France approved the equal marriage law in 2013, it has been reported that Martinique and
Guadeloupe (both oversees department of France) have begun to perform same-sex marriage. See http://www.guadeloupe.
franceantilles.fr/regions/grande-terre-sud-et-est/le-premier-mariage-gay-celebre-a-sainte-anne-226029.php; see also http://
www.rewmi.com/martinique-premier-mariage-homosexuel-celebre-deux-femmes-se-sont-dit-oui_a79551.html.
157
On 11 June 2010 the Icelandic Parliament approved the law which repeals the registered partnership law and allow
couples to marry regardless of gender. Text of the law is available at: http://www.althingi.is/altext/138/s/0836.html.
158
Text of the law is available at http://dre.pt/pdf1sdip/2010/05/10500/0185301853.pdf.
159
For England and Wales, see Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/
ukpga/2013/30/contents/enacted. For Scotland, see Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014, available at: http://
www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2014/5/contents/enacted.
160
Text of the law is available at: http://www.sigla.org.ar/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=81:legisl
acion-y-jurisprudencia&id=438:ley-matrimonio-gay&Itemid=101.
161
The Federal District (2010), and Quintana Roo (2012).
162
The Marriage Equality Bill was signed by the President on 3 May 2013, and entered into force on 1 August 2013.
Original text of the law is available at: http://www0.parlamento.gub.uy/leyes/AccesoTextoLey.asp?Ley=19075.
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North
America
Canada (2005), as well some parts of the United States.163
Oceania
New Zealand (2013).164
Same-sex couples offered most or all rights of marriage
(Civil Partnerships, Registered Partnerships, Civil Unions, etc.) (11 countries)
Europe
Austria (2010), Finland (2002), Germany (2001), Hungary (2009), Ireland (2011),165
Liechtenstein (2011),166 Malta (2014),167 Switzerland (2007), United Kingdom
(2005).168
163 They are:
1) California (2013): http://freemarry.3cdn.net/f3c291f543be541150_4dm6b90ql.pdf,
2) Connecticut (2008): http://www.cga.ct.gov/2009/ACT/Pa/pdf/2009PA-00013-R00SB-00899-PA.pdf,
3) Delaware (2013): http://delcode.delaware.gov/sessionlaws/ga147/chp019.shtml,
4) District of Columbia (2010): http://dcclims1.dccouncil.us/mendelson//archive_pr/COMMITTEE%20PRINT%20-%20
Bill%2018-482,%20Religious%20Freedom%20and%20Civil%20Marriage%20Equality%20Amendment%20Act%20of%20
2009.pdf,
5) Illinois (2013): http://ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=10&GAID=12&GA=98&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=68375&Se
ssionID=85,
6) Iowa (2009): http://www.lambdalegal.org/sites/default/files/legal-docs/downloads/varnum_ia_20090403_decision-iasupreme-court.pdf,
7) Hawaii (2013): http://www.freedomtomarry.org/blog/entry/20-years-in-the-making-hawaii-stands-on-the-verge-of-thefreedom-to-marry.
8) Massachusetts (2004) http://www2.law.columbia.edu/faculty_franke/Gay_Marriage/Goodridge%20Decision%20
edited%20Fundamental%20Right.pdf,
9) Maine (2012): http://www.freedomtomarry.org/blog/entry/victory-in-maine-weve-made-history-by-winning-marriageat-the-ballot,
10) Maryland (2013): http://www.freedomtomarry.org/blog/entry/maryland-passes-marriage-at-the-ballot,
11) Minnesota (2013): http://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/issues/issues.aspx?issue=gay,
12) New Hampshire (2010): http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2009/HB0436.html,
13) New Jersey (2013): http://freemarry.3cdn.net/9007341ef66aa40d39_eum6vrd3p.pdf,
14) New Mexico (2013): http://www.freedomtomarry.org/page/-/files/pdfs/NMCourtRuling121913.pdf,
15) New York (2011): http://www.governor.ny.gov/assets/marriageequalitybill.pdf,
16) Rhode Island (2013): http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ri-lawmakers-vote-gay-marriage-19028313#.UYFohpXvcjM
(entry into force 1 August 2013t),
17) Vermont (2009): http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2010/bills/Passed/S-115.pdf, and
18) Washington (2012): http://www.freedomtomarry.org/blog/entry/going-4-for-4-voters-in-washington-affirm-thefreedom-to-marry.
164 See Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013, entry into force on 19 August 2013. Text of the law is
available at: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2013/0020/latest/DLM4505003.html?search=ts_act%40bill%40regulati
on%40deemedreg_Definition+of+marriage_resel_25_a&p=1.
165 See Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act of 2010. Text of the law is available at
http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/pdf/2010/en.act.2010.0024.PDF.
166 See Registered Partnership Bill (Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz), passed on 16 March 2011 and published on 21 March
2011. Original text of the law is available at: http://www.llv.li/pdf-llv-rk_vernehml._lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz.pdf.
167 See, http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lp&itemid=26024&l=1.
168 The United Kingdom associate Isle of Man (2011), see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recognition_of_same-sex_unions_
in_the_Isle_of_Man; Jersey (2012), see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-jersey-17583000; Gibraltar (2014), see http://
www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/03/21/gibraltar-approves-civil-partnerships-bill/.
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Latin America
& Caribbean
Brazil (2011/2013),169 Colombia (2009)170 and some parts of Mexico (2007).171
North
America
Some parts of the United States.172
Oceania
Some parts of Australia.173
Same-sex couples offered some rights of marriage (8 countries)
Asia
Europe
Latin America
& Caribbean
Israel (1994).
Andorra (2005), Croatia (2003), Czech Republic (2006), Luxemburg (2004), Slovenia
(2006).
Costa Rica (2013),174 Ecuador (2009).
North
America
Some parts of the United States .175
Oceania
Some states in Australia.176
169 On 5 May 2011, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of recognising same-sex couples living in ’stable unions’ as family
units and therefore entitled to the same rights of heterosexual couples living in the same kind of unions. The original
text of the decision is available at: http://direitohomoafetivo.com.br/anexos/juris/2011.05.05_-_stf_-_adi_4.277.pdf. In
another decision of 25 October 2011, the Court indicated that same-sex stable unions should be converted to marriage and
recommended the Congress to do so. The text of this decision is available at: http://www.gontijo-familia.adv.br/direito-defamilia-casamento-civil-entre-pessoas-do-mesmo-sexo/. On 14 May 2013, the National Council of Justice passed Resolution
No.175, which states that notaries from all over the country can no longer refuse to register same-sex marriage. The text of
the resolution is available at: http://www.cnj.jus.br/images/imprensa/resolução_n_175.pdf.
170 On 29 January 2009, the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of giving cohabitating same-sex couples the same rights
offered to unmarried heterosexual couples (which enjoy most rights of marriage). Text of the law is available at: http://www.
corteconstitucional.gov.co/relatoria/2009/c-029-09.htm. On another decision of 26 July 2011, the Court recognised same-sex
couples as family entities and ordered the Congress to legislate on the matter of same-sex marriage until 20 June 2013. In
case they fail to do it, same-sex couples will be granted all marriage rights automatically. The original text of this decision is
available at: http://www.corteconstitucional.gov.co/comunicados/No.%2030%20comunicado%2026%20de%20julio%20de%20
2011.php
171 The state of Coahuila (2007), text of the law is available at: http://sgob.sfpcoahuila.gob.mx/admin/uploads/
Documentos/modulo3/PactoCivilSolidaridad.pdf; the state of Colima (2013), text of the law is available at: http://stj.col.gob.
mx/Centro_de_Estudios_Judiciales/assets/docs/reformas/2013/03-agosto-2013-Constituci%C3%B3n%20Pol%C3%ADtica%20
del%20Estado%20Libre%20y%20Soberano%20de%20Colima.pdf.
172 They are:
1) Colorado (2013): http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2013a/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/35CE5FDC5F040FF487257A8C0050715D?
open&file=011_enr.pdf.
2) Nevada (2009): http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-122A.html.
3) Oregon (2008): http://www.leg.state.or.us/07reg/measures/hb2000.dir/hb2007.en.html.
173 Australian Capital Territory (2008), New South Wales (2010), Tasmania (2004) and Victoria (2008). See also the Family
Law Amendment Act 2008, available at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2008A00115.
174 On 4 July 2013, the President signed into law the ‘Ley de la Persona Jovenen’, which recognises the rights of unions without
“any kind of discrimination against the human dignity”, as stated in Article 2, thus allowing same-sex de facto unions to
claim for their rights in court. Text of the law is available at: http://www.gaceta.go.cr/pub/2013/07/08/COMP_08_07_2013.
pdf.
175 Wisconsin (2009): http://wilawlibrary.gov/topics/familylaw/domesticpartner.php.
176 Norfolk Island (2006), Northern Territory (2004), Queensland (several acts from 1999 and onwards), South Australia
(2003, 2007), Western Australia (2002).
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Joint adoption by same-sex couples legal (15 countries)
Africa
Asia
Europe
Latin America
& Caribbean
South Africa (2002).177
Israel (2008).
Belgium (2006), Denmark (2010), France (2013), Iceland (2006), Netherlands
(2001), Norway (2009), Spain (2005), Sweden (2003), some parts of the United
Kingdom (2005).178
Argentina (2010), Brazil (2010),179 some parts of Mexico (2010),180 Uruguay
(2009).181
North
America
Canada,182 and some parts of the United States.183
Oceania
Some parts of Australia,184 New Zealand (2013).185
Moreover, second-parent adoption, but not full adoption, by same-sex couples is also
legal in Austria (2013),186 Finland (2009), Germany (2004), Israel (2005), and Slovenia
(2010),187 Greenland (2009), Tasmania (in Australia) (2004), Alberta (in Canada) (1999), as
well as some parts of United States.188
177 Du Toit and Another v Minister of Welfare and Population Development and Others (CCT40/01) [2002] ZACC 20; 2002 (10) BCLR
1006; 2003 (2) SA 198 (CC) (10 September 2002). Text of the law is available at: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2002/20.pdf.
178 Such a law entered into force in England and Wales in 2005, in Scotland on 28 September 2009, and in Northern Ireland
in 2013. Among British Associates, Gibraltar (2013), Isle of Man (2011) and Jersey (2012) also allows joint adoption.
179 The Superior Court of Justice of Brazil ruled in April 2010 that same-sex couples may adopt children. This judgment
was upheld in the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil in August 2010. See http://www.athosgls.com.br/noticias_visualiza.
php?contcod=29208.
180 The Federal District (2010), and Coahuila (2014).
181 Text of the law is available at: http://www.parlamento.gub.uy/leyes/AccesoTextoLey.asp?Ley=18590&Anchor=.
182 Alberta, British Columbia (1996), Manitoba (2002), New Brunswick (2008), Newfoundland & Labrador (2003), Northwest
Territories (2002), Nova Scotia (2001), Nunavut, Ontario (2000), Prince Edward Island (2009), Quebec (2002), Saskatchewan (2001).
183 Up to May 2014, there are 22 states plus District of Colombia that fully allow joint adoption:
Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and
District of Columbia. For the latest information, see Movement Advancement Project, ‘Joint Adoption Laws’ at http://www.
lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/foster_and_adoption_laws.
184 Joint adoption by same-sex couples is legal in:
4) Capital Territory (2004): http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/act/consol_act/aa1993107/s14.html,
5) New South Wales (2010): http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/fullhtml/inforce/act+19+2010+cd+0+N.The,
6) Tasmania (2013): http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/bills/Bills2013/reprint/6_of_2013.pdf, and
7) Western Australia (2002): http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/wa/consol_act/aa1994107/.
185 See Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013, which consequentially amended the Adoption Act (1995 No.
93). Text of the law is available at: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2013/0020/latest/DLM4505003.html?search=ts_
act%40bill%40regulation%40deemedreg_Definition+of+marriage_resel_25_a&p=1.
186 See the amendment to the Civil Code and the Registered Partnership Act (Bundesgesetz, mit dem das Allgemeine
bürgerliche Gesetzbuch und das Eingetragene Partnerschaft-Gesetz geändert warden), passed on 18 July 2013, entered into
force on 1 August 2013. The original text is available at: http://www.ris.bka.gv.at/Dokumente/BgblAuth/BGBLA_2013_I_179/
BGBLA_2013_I_179.pdf.
187 The 1976 Marriage and Family Relations Act, as interpreted by the Slovenian Supreme Court in a decision of 28 January
2010 (Conclusion of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia no II Ips 462/2009–9, point 15), implicitly allows for
second-parent adoption by a same-sex partner. See Neža Kogovšek Šalamon, “Traits of Homophobia in Slovenian Law:
From Ignorance Towards Recognition?” in Luca Trappolin, Alessandro Gasparini and Robert Wintemute (eds.), Confronting
Homophobia in Europe – Social and Legal Perspectives (Oxford: Hart, 2011) at 198-199.
188 They are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont,
Washington. See Movement Advancement Project, Second-Parent Adoption Laws at http://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/
foster_and_adoption_laws.
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AFRICA
Penal Code (Ordinance 66-156 of 8 June 1966).189
ALGERIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Art. 338 - “Any person guilty of a homosexual act shall be
punished with a term of imprisonment of between two
months and two years and a fine of between 500 and 2,000
Algerian dinars.”190
Penal Code of 16 September 1886, as amended in 1954
(inherited from the Portuguese colonial era).191
ANGOLA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Articles 70 and 71(4) provide for the imposition of
security measures on people who habitually practice
acts against nature. For more information, including the
text of these articles, see the section on Mozambique.
189 Text of the law is available at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/details.jsp?id=7998.
190 Original text: ”Tout coupable d‘un acte d‘homo- sexualité est puni d‘un emprisonnement de deux (2) mois à deux (2) ans et d‘une
amende de cinq cents (500) à deux mille (2.000) DA.”
191 Text of the law is not available online, but there is a proposal for a new Penal Code that would no longer have these
provisions (see the proposal at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=244267.
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AFRICA
Penal Code [Chapter 08:01],192 amended by the Penal
Code Amendment Act 5, 1998.193
BOTSWANA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Section 164. Unnatural offences
“Any person who;
(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of
nature;
(b) has carnal knowledge of any animal; or
(c) permits any other person to have carnal knowledge of him
or her against the order of nature,
is guilty of an offences and is liable to imprisonment for a
term not exceeding seven years.”
Section 165. Attempts to commit unnatural offences
“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences
specified in section 164 is guilty of an offence and is liable to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.”
Section 167. Indecent practices between persons
“Any person who, whether in public or private, commits
any act of gross indecency with another person, or procures
another person to commit any act of gross indecency with him
or her, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act
by any person with himself or herself or with another person,
whether in public or private, is guilty of an offence.”
Law No. 1/05 of 22 April 2009 concerning the revision of
the Penal Code.194
BURUNDI
MALE/MALE
ILLEGAL
FEMALE/FEMALE
Article 567:
“Whoever has sexual relations with someone of the same sex
shall be punished with imprisonment for three months to two
years and a fine of fifty thousand to one hundred thousand
francs or one of those penalties.”195
ILLEGAL
(Unofficial translation)
192 Text of the law is available at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/details.jsp?id=10486.
193 See Scott Long, “Before the law: Criminalizing sexual conduct in colonial and post-colonial southern African societies”,
in More than a name: State-Sponsored Homophobia and Its Consequences in Southern Africa (New York: Human Rights Watch &
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, 2003), available at www.hrw.org/en/reports/2003/05/13/morename-0 at 272-274.
194 Text of the law is available at: http://www.oag.bi/IMG/rtf/code_penal_burundais-2.rtf.
195 Original text: ”Quiconque fait des relations sexuelles avec la personne de même sexe est puni d’une servitude pénale de trois mois à
deux ans et d’une amende de cinquante mille francs à cent mille francs ou d’une de ces peines seulement.”
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Penal Code of 1965 and 1967, as amended in 1972.196
CAMEROON
MALE/MALE
ILLEGAL
FEMALE/FEMALE
The French text of article 347bis is:
‘Est puni d’un emprisonnement de six mois à cinq ans et d’une
amende de 20.000 à 200.000 francs toute personne qui a des
rapports sexuels avec une personne de son sexe.’197
ILLEGAL
An English version of this article given by Human Rights
Watch is:
‘Whoever has sexual relations with a person of the same sex
shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to five
years and fine of from 20,000 to 200,000 francs.’198 According
to Waaldijk,199 it is unclear whether this is the official English
version, or only an unofficial translation of the French version.
CENTRAL AFRICAN
REPUBLIC
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Penal Code of 2007.200
The French text of Article 115: “Tout acte contre nature
commis dans un lieu ouvert au public avec un individu du
même sexe sera considéré comme outrage public à la pudeur
et puni d’un emprisonnement de six mois à deux ans et d’une
amende de 150.000 à 600.000 francs.”
Unofficial translation: “Any act against nature committed
in a public place with a person of the same sex will be
considered public outrage against decency and punished by
imprisonment of six months to two years and a fine of 150,000
to 600,000 francs.”
Penal Code of the Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros.201
COMOROS
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Article 318:
“(3) Without prejudice to the more serious penalties provided
for in the preceding paragraphs or by articles 320 and 321
of this Code, whoever will have committed an improper or
unnatural act with a person of the same sex will be punished
by imprisonment of between one and five years and by a fine
of 50 000 to 1 000 000 francs. If the act was committed with a
minor, the maximum penalty will always be applied.”202
196 German Bundestag, Criminal law provisions on homosexuality and their application around the world, Printed Paper
16/3597, 28 November 2006 at 8. http://www.gaylawnet.com/ezine/crime/16_3597_minor_interpellation.pdf.
197
Available at: www.glapn.org/sodomylaws/world/cameroon/cameroon.htm.
198 See Criminalizing Identities – Rights Abuses in Cameroon based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, ((New York: Human
Rights Watch, 2010) at 10, note 9, available at: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/11/04/criminalizing-identities-0
199
Waaldijk, Kees. Legal recognition of homosexual orientation in the countries of Africa, March 2011 “(whit authors)”.
200 http://www.track.unodc.org/LegalLibrary/pages/LegalResources.aspx?country=Central%20African%20Republic (see
Anti-Corruption Law Criminal/Penal Law or Criminal/Penal Procedure Law, 2007 on this page).
201
Text of the law is available at: http://comoresdroit.comores-droit.com/wp-content/dossier/code/penal.pdf.
202 Original text: ”Sans préjudice des peines plus graves prévues par les alinéas qui précédent ou par les Articles 320 et 321 du présent code,
sera puni d’un emprisonnement d’un à cinq ans et d’une amende de 50 000 à 1 000 000 francs, quiconque aura commis un acte impudique ou
contre 65 nature avec un individu de son sexe. Si l’acte a été commis avec un mineur, le maximum de la peine sera toujours prononcé.”
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EGYPT
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
UNCLEAR
Sexual relations between consenting adult persons
of the same sex in private are not prohibited as such.
However, the Law on the Combating of Prostitution, and
several articles of the Penal Code, have been used to
imprison gay men in recent years.203
Law 58/1937 promulgating The Penal Code
Article 98(f): “Detention for a period of not less than six
months and not exceeding five years, or paying a fine of
not less than five hundred pounds and not exceeding one
thousand pounds shall be the penalty inflicted on whoever
exploits and uses the religion in advocating and propagating
by talk or in writing, or by any other method, extremist
thoughts with the aim of instigating sedition and division or
disdaining and contempting any of the heavenly religions or
the sects belonging thereto, or prejudicing national unity or
social peace.” 204
Article 269 bis: “Whoever is found on a public road or a
traveled and frequented place inciting the passersby with
signals or words to commit indecency shall be punished with
imprisonment for a period not exceeding one month. If the
felon recurs to committing this crime within one year of the
first crime, the penalty shall become imprisonment for a
period not exceeding six months and a fine not exceeding fifty
pounds. A ruling of conviction shall necessitate placing the
convict under police supervision for a period equal to that of
the penalty.” 205
Article 278: “Whoever commits in public a scandalous act
against shame shall be punished with detention for a period
not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding three hundred
pounds.” 206
Law 10/1961 on the Combating of Prostitution
Article 9: “Punishment by imprisonment for a period not less
than three months and not exceeding three years and a fine
not less than 25 LE and not exceeding 300 LE [...] or one of
these two punishments applies in the following cases:
(a) Whoever lets or offers in whatever fashion a residence or
place run for the purpose of debauchery or prostitution, or for
the purpose of housing one or more persons, if they are to his
knowledge practicing debauchery or prostitution.
203 The text of the Penal Code is available (in Arabic) at: http://pt.scribd.com/doc/30928964/%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%86%D9
%88%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D9%82%D9%88%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B5%D8
%B1%D9%8A-1-EGYPTIAN-PENAL-CODE-1.
204 An unofficial translation of the Penal Code is available at: http://track.unodc.org/LegalLibrary/LegalResources/
Egypt/Laws/Egypt%20The%20Penal%20Code%20Law%201937.pdf. (it is unclear if this is up-to-date). Some sources on
imprisonment of gay men refer to other Articles of the Penal Code than the three quoted here, including an “Article 98(w)”
that does not seem to be part of this unofficial translation.
205 Text of the law is available at: http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/natlex_browse.details?p_lang=en&p_isn=57560. See
the unofficial English translation – and the explanations – in the report: In a Time of Torture: The Assault on Justice In Egypt’s
Crackdown on Homosexual Conduct, Appendix: Laws Affecting Male Homosexual Conduct in Egypt (New York: Human Rights
Watch, 2004): http://www.hrw.org/reports/2004/egypt0304/egypt0304.pdf.
206 See the Appendix at: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2004/egypt0304/egypt0304.pdf.
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EGYPT
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
UNCLEAR
(b) Whoever owns or manages a furnished residence or
furnished rooms or premises open to the public and who
facilitates the practice of debauchery or prostitution, either by
admitting persons so engaged or by allowing on his premises
incitement to debauchery or prostitution.
(c) Whoever habitually engages in debauchery or prostitution.
Upon the apprehension of a person in the last category, it
is permitted to send him for a medical examination. If it is
discovered that he is carrying an infectious venereal disease, it
is permitted to detain him in a therapeutic institute until his
cure is completed.
It is permitted to determine that the convicted person
be placed, upon completion of his sentence, in a special
reformatory until the administrative agency orders his release.
This judgment is obligatory in cases of recidivism, and the
period spent in the reformatory is not allowed to be more than
three years. […]”.207
Penal Code of 1957 (inherited from Ethiopian rule).208
ERITREA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Art. 600. Unnatural Carnal Offences
“(1) Whosoever performs with another person of the same sex
an act corresponding to the sexual act, or any other indecent
act, is punishable with simple imprisonment.
(2) The provisions of Art. 597 are applicable where an infant or
young person is involved.”
Art.105. Simple Imprisonment
“(1) simple imprisonment is a sentence applicable to offences
of a not very serious nature committed by persons who are
not a serious danger to society.
It is intended as a measure of safety to the general public and
as a punishment to the offender.
Subject to any special provision of law and without prejudice
to conditional release, simple imprisonment may extend for
a period of from ten days to three years; such period shall be
fixed by the court.
(2) The sentence of simple imprisonment shall be served in
such prison or in such section thereof as is appointed for the
purpose.”
207 See the Appendix at: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2004/egypt0304/egypt0304.pdf.
208 Text of the law is available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/49216a0a2.html.
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The Criminal Code of the Federal Democratic Republic
of Ethiopia, Proclamation No. 414/2004.209
ETHIOPIA
MALE/MALE
ILLEGAL
FEMALE/FEMALE
Article 629. Homosexual and other Indecent Acts
“Whoever performs with another person of the same sex a
homosexual act, or any other indecent act, is punishable with
simple imprisonment.”
ILLEGAL
Article 630. General Aggravation to the Crime
“(1) The punishment shall be simple imprisonment for not less
than one year, or, in grave cases, rigorous imprisonment not
exceeding ten years, where the criminal:
a) takes unfair advantage of the material or mental distress of
another or of the authority he exercises over another by virtue
of his position, office or capacity as guardian, tutor, protector,
teacher, master or employer, or by virtue of any other like
relationship, to cause such other person to perform or to
submit to such an act; or
b) makes a profession of such activities within the meaning of
the law (Art. 92).
(2) The punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment from three
years to fifteen years, where:
a) the criminal uses violence, intimidation or coercion, trickery
or fraud, or takes unfair advantage of the victim’s inability
to offer resistance or to defend himself or of his feeblemindedness or unconsciousness; or
b) the criminal subjects his victim to acts of cruelty or sadism,
or transmits to him a venereal disease with which he knows
himself to be infected; or
c) the victim is driven to suicide by distress, shame or despair.”
Article 106. Simple Imprisonment
“(1) Simple imprisonment is a sentence applicable to crimes of
a not very serious nature committed by persons who are not a
serious danger to society.
Without prejudice to conditional release, simple imprisonment
may extend for a period of from ten days to three years.
However, simple imprisonment may extend up to five years
where, owing to the gravity of the crime, it is prescribed in the
Special Part of this Code, or where there are concurrent crimes
punishable with simple imprisonment, or where the criminal
has been punished repeatedly.
The Court shall fix the period of simple imprisonment in its
judgment.
(2) The sentence of simple imprisonment shall be served in
such prison or in such section thereof as is appointed for the
purpose.”
209 Text of the law is available at: http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/ELECTRONIC/70993/75092/F1429731028/ETH70993.pdf.
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Criminal Code 1965, as amended in 2005.210
GAMBIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Article 144: Unnatural offences
“(1) Any person who—
(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of
nature; or
(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or
(c) permits any person to have carnal knowledge of him or her
against the order of nature;
is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for a term of
14 years.
(2) In this section- “carnal knowledge of any person against the
order of nature” includes(a) carnal knowledge of the person through the anus or the
mouth of the person;
(b) inserting any object or thing into the vulva or the anus of
the person for the purpose of simulating sex; and
(c) committing any other homosexual act with the person.”
Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29), as amended to 2003.211
GHANA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Section 104. Unnatural Carnal Knowledge
“(1) Whoever has unnatural carnal knowledge—
(a) of any person of the age of sixteen years or over without
his consent shall be guilty of a first degree felony and shall
be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less
than five years and not more than twenty-five years; or
(b) of any person of sixteen years or over with his consent is
guilty of a misdemeanour; or
(c) of any animal is guilty of a misdemeanour.
(2) Unnatural carnal knowledge is sexual intercourse with a
person in an unnatural manner or with an animal.”
According to Article 296 (4) of the Criminal Procedural Code, a
misdemeanor shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding three years.212
Penal Code of 1998.213
GUINEA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Article 325: “Any indecent act or act against nature committed
with an individual of the same sex will be punished by six
months to three years of imprisonment and a fine of 100,000
to 1,000,000 Guinean francs.
If the act was committed with a minor under 21 years of age,
the maximum penalty must be pronounced.”214
210 Text of the code is available at: http://www.ilo.ch/dyn/natlex/docs/SERIAL/75299/78264/F1686462058/GMB75299.pdf.
211
Text of the law is available at: http://www.refworld.org/pdfid/44bf823a4.pdf.
212 Available at: http://www.vertic.org/media/National%20Legislation/Ghana/GH_Criminal_Procedure_Code.pdf.
213 Text of the law available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/44a3eb9a4.html.
214 Original text: ”Article 325: - Tout acte impudique ou contre nature commis avec un individu de son sexe sera puni d’un
emprisonnement de 6 mois à 3 ans et d’une amende de 100.000 à 1.000.000 de Francs guinéens. Si l’acte a été commis avec un mineur de
moins de 21 ans, le maximum de la peine sera toujours prononcée.”
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The Penal Code (as amended by Act No. 5 of 2003).215
KENYA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
“Section 162. Any person who
(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of
nature; or
(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or
is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen
years:
Provided that, in the case of an offence under paragraph (a),
the offender shall be liable to imprisonment for twenty-one
years if—
(i) the offence was committed without the consent of the
person who was carnally known; or
(ii) the offence was committed with that person’s consent but
the consent was obtained by force or by means of threats or
intimidation of some kind, or by fear of bodily harm, or by
means of false representations as to the nature of the act.“
“Section 163. Any person who attempts to commit any of the
offences specified in section 162 is guilty of a felony and is
liable to imprisonment for seven years.”
“Section 165. Any male person who, whether in public or
private, commits any act of gross indecency with another
male person, or procures another male person to commit any
act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the
commission of any such act by any male person with himself
or with another male person, whether in public or private, is
guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for five years.”
LESOTHO
MALE/MALE
LEGAL
FEMALE/FEMALE
Sodomy is prohibited as a common-law offence. It is
defined as “unlawful and intentional sexual relationship
through the anus between two human males”.216
The Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, Date of
commencement: 1 January 1939, has implied the
existence of sodomy law. Section 185 (5) provides:
LEGAL
“Any person charged with sodomy or assault with intent to
commit sodomy may be found guilty of indecent assault or
common assault, if such be the facts proved.”
Under Schedule 1 Part II of the same Act, the common
law offence of sodomy has been listed as one of the
offences in respect of which arrests may be made
without a warrant.217
215 Text of the law is available at: http://www.kenyalaw.org/Downloads/GreyBook/8.%20The%20Penal%20Code.pdf.
216 Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee: Lesotho. 1999-04-08.
CCPR/C/79/Add.106, available at: http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/CCPR.C.79.Add.106.En?Opendocument.
217 Text of the law is available at: http://www.acc.gov.sz/legislation/Criminal%20procedure%20and%20evidence%20act.pdf.
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LIBERIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
New Penal Law, Volume IV, Title 26, Liberian Code
of Laws Revised, Approved in 1976 and Published in
1978.218
Articles 14.74, 14.79 and 50.7 consider “voluntary sodomy” as
a first degree misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to one year
imprisonment, with sodomy being defined as “deviate sexual
intercourse” between human beings who are not (living as)
husband and wife, that consists of contact between penis and
anus, mouth and penis, or mouth and vulva.
ILLEGAL
Penal Code of 1953 as amended by Law 70 of 2 October
1973:
LIBYA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
‘Regarding the Establishment of the Hadd Penalty for Zina
and Modifying Some of the Provisions of the Penal Law’. The
law of 1973 added a fourth paragraph to Articles 407 and 408
respectively. The focus of the law is on determining whether
the absolute legal ban on extramarital sexual relations has
been violated.219
Article 407
(4) Whoever has intercourse with a person with his consent
will be punished with his partner by imprisonment of not
more than five years.220
Article 408
(4) Whoever commits an indecent act with a person
with his consent will be punished with his partner with
imprisonment.221
218 See Jayweh, F. “Gays and the Laws of Liberia: Do Liberians have Laws to Prohibit Lesbian and Gay’s Practices in Liberia?”,
available at: http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/16308019/1339627977/name/GAYS+AND+THE+LAWS+OF+LIBERIA.docx.
219 Mayer, A. E. Libyan legislation in defense of Arabo-Islamic sexual mores. The American Journal of Comparative Law, (1980)
28(2) at 295 and 304.
220 Ibid, 302.
221 Ibid, 304.
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Penal Code Cap. 7:01 Laws of Malawi.222
MALAWI
MALE/MALE
ILLEGAL
FEMALE/FEMALE
“Section 153. Unnatural offences
Anyone who –
(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of
nature; or
(b) has carnal knowledge of any animal; or
(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or
her against the order of nature,shall be guilty of a felony and
shall be liable to imprisonment for fourteen years, with or
without corporal punishment.”
ILLEGAL
“Section 154. Attempt to commit unnatural offences
Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences
specified in the last preceding section shall be guilty of a felony
and shall be liable to imprisonment for seven years, with or
without corporal punishment.”
“Section 156 Indecent practices between males
Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any
act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures
another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with
him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act
by any male person with himself or with another male person,
whether in public or private, shall be guilty of a felony and shall
be liable to imprisonment for five years, with or without corporal
punishment.”
In December 2010, the Parliament passed a bill amending the
Penal Code of Malawi. In late January 2011, President Bingu Wa
Mutharika assented to the bill, thus completing its enactment
into law. The new Section 137A, captioned “Indecent practices
between females” provides that any female person who, whether
in public or private, commits “any act of gross indecency with
another female” shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a
prison term of five years.223
Penal Code of 1984.224
MAURITANIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
“Article 308. - Any adult Muslim man who commits an
indecent act or an act against nature with an individual of his
sex will face the penalty of death by public stoning. If it is a
question of two women, they will be punished as prescribed in
article 306, first paragraph”.225
(Unofficial translation)
222 Text of the law (not yet including the amendment of 2011) is available at : http://www.malawilii.org/files/mw/
legislation/consolidated-act/7:01/penal_code_pdf_14611.pdf.
223 See International Commission of Jurists, “Sex Between Women Now a Crime in Malawi: New Law Violates Human
Rights Obligations of Malawi”, available at: http://www.iglhrc.org/sites/default/files/488-1.pdf.
224 Text of the law is available at: http://www.droit-afrique.com/images/textes/Mauritanie/Mauritanie%20-%20Code%20
penal.pdf.
225 Original text Article 308: ”Tout musulman majeur qui aura commis un acte impudique ou contre nature avec un individu de son
sexe sera puni de peine de mort par lapidation publique. S’il s’agit de deux femmes, elles seront punies de la peine prévue à l’article 306,
paragraphe premier.” Article 306 (1): “Toute personne qui aura commis un outrage public à la pudeur et aux mœurs islamiques
ou a violé les lieux sacrés ou aidé à les violer, si cette action ne figure pas dans les crimes emportant la Ghissass ou la Diya,
sera punie d’une peine correctionnelle de trois mois à deux ans d’emprisonnement et d’une amende de 5.000 à 60.000 UM.”
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Criminal Code of 1838.226
MAURITIUS
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Section 250. Sodomy and bestiality
“(1) Any person who is guilty of the crime of sodomy or
bestiality shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not
exceeding 5 years.”
According to Waaldijk (2011),227 in 2007, the Sexual
Offences Bill228 was proposed, which would delete the
crime of sodomy (see Section 24) and set an equal age
limit of 16 years for sexual acts (Sections 11 to 14).
Nevertheless, it is unclear if this Bill has become law yet.
Penal Code of 26 November 1962.229
MOROCCO
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Article 489. “Any person who commits lewd or unnatural acts
with an individual of the same sex shall be punished with a
term of imprisonment of between six months and three years
and a fine of 120 to 1,000 dirhams, unless the facts of the case
constitute aggravating circumstances.”230
226 Text of the law is available at: http://www.gov.mu/portal/sites/legaldb/files/criminal.pdf.
227 Waaldijk, Kees. Legal recognition of homosexual orientation in the countries of Africa, March 2011.
228 Text of the bill is available at: http://mauritiusassembly.gov.mu/English/Documents/bill0607.pdf.
229 The text of the law is available in French and Arabic here: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=190447.
230 Original text: ”Est puni de l’emprisonnement de six mois à trois ans et d’une amende de 200 à1.000 dirhams, à moins que le fait
ne constitue une infraction plus grave, quiconque commet un acte impudique ou contre nature avec un individu de son sexe”.
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Penal Code of 16 September 1886, as amended in 1954
(inherited from the Portuguese colonial era).231
MOZAMBIQUE
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Articles 70 and 71(4°) provide for the imposition of
security measures on people who habitually practice
acts against nature. The security measures may include:
a bond of good behavior, being put on probation for a
certain period, or even internment in a workhouse or
agricultural colony (from 6 months to 3 years).
Original Text in Portuguese:
“Artigo 70° (Medidas de segurancça)
São medidas de segurancça:
1°. – O internamento em manicómio criminal;
2º. – O internamento em casa de trabalho ou colónia agrícola;
3°. – A liberdade vigiada;
4°. – A caução de boa conduta;
5°. – A interdição do exercício de profissão;
[…]”
“Artigo 71°
(Aplicacção de medidas de segurancças)
São aplicáveis medidas de segurança:
[…]
4°. – Aos que se entreguem habitualmente à pratica de vícios
contra a natureza;
[…]
§ 1°. – O internamento, nos termos do n°. 2o e § 2° do artigo
70°, só poderá ter lugar pela primeira vez quando aos
indivíduos indicados nos nos. 1o, 2°, 7o e 9o.
Aos indivíduos indicados nos n°s. 3°, 4°, 5°, 6°, e 8° será
imposta, pela primeira vez, a caucção de boa conduta ou a
liberdade vigiada e, pela segunda, a liberdade vigiada com
caução elevada ao dobro, ou o internamento.
[…]”
NAMIBIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Sodomy remains a crime in Namibia according to the
Roman-Dutch common-law, which was imposed by the
South Africans. Common-law is a legal tradition based
mainly on precedent court verdicts, while there is no
codified sodomy provision in Namibia.232
231 Text of the law is available at: http://www.portaldogoverno.gov.mz/Legisla/legisSectores/judiciaria/codigo_penal.pdf.
232 See Submission in the UPR review of Namibia at: http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session10/NA/JS1_
JointSubmission-eng.pdf.
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Criminal Code Act, Chapter 77, Laws of the Federation of
Nigeria 1990.233
NIGERIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Section 214.
“Any person who(1) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of
nature; or
(2) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or
(3) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or
her against the order of nature;
is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen
years.”
Section 215. “Any person who attempts to commit any of
the offences defined in the last preceding section is guilty of
a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years. The
offender cannot be arrested without warrant.”
Section 217. “Any male person who, whether in public or
private, commits any act of gross indecency with another
male person, or procures another male person to commit any
act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the
commission of any such act by any male person with himself
or with another male person, whether in public or private, is
guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.
The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.”
Note that several Northern Nigerian states have adopted Islamic Sharia laws,
criminalising sexual activities between persons of the same sex. The maximum
penalty for such acts between men is death penalty, while the maximum penalty for
such acts between women is a whipping and/or imprisonment. These laws differ from
the federal law, as most of these prohibit also sexual relations between women.234
The states which have adopted such laws are:235
Bauchi (the year 2001), Borno (2000), Gombe (2001), Jigawa (2000), Kaduna (2001),
Kano (2000), Katsina (2000), Kebbi (2000), Niger (2000), Sokoto (2000), Yobe (2001) and
Zamfara (2000).
In addition, on 17 December 2013, the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act was passed
by the Senate and the House of Representatives and signed by the President on 7
January 2014. According to the law:236
Ҥ1. (1) A marriage contract or civil union entered into between
persons of same sex:
(a) is prohibited in Nigeria; and
(b) shall not be recognised as entitled to the benefits of a valid
marriage.
(2) A marriage contract or civil union entered into between
persons of same sex by virtue of a certificate issued by a
foreign country is void in Nigeria, and any benefit accruing
there-from by virtue of the certificate shall not be enforced by
any court of law.
233 Text of the law is available at: http://www.nigeria-law.org/Criminal%20Code%20Act-Tables.htm.
234 See Alok Gupta, This Alien Legacy – The Origins of “Sodomy” Laws in British Colonialism (New York: Human Rights Watch,
2008) at: www.hrw.org/en/reports/2008/12/17/alien-legacy-0 at 60-61; and ‘Sharia Implementation in Northern Nigeria 19992006: A Sourcebook’ at: www.sharia-in-africa.net/pages/publications/sharia-implementation-in-northern-nigeria.php).
235 See ‘The Unfizzled Sharia Vector in the Nigerian State’ at: http://www.dawodu.com/aluko5.htm.
236 Text of the law available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/52f4d9cc4.html.
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NIGERIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
§2. (1) A marriage contract or civil union entered into between
persons of same sex shall not be sole nixed in a church,
mosque or any other place of worship of Nigeria.
(2) No certificate issued to persons of same sex in a marriage
or civil union shall be valid in Nigeria.
§3. Only a marriage contracted between a man and a woman
shall be recognised as valid in Nigeria.
§4. (1) The registration of gay clubs, societies and
organisations, their sustenance, processions and meetings is
prohibited.
(2)The public show of same sex amorous relationship directly
or indirectly is prohibited.
§5. (1) A person who enter into a same-sex marriage contract
or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on
conviction to a term of 14 years in prison.
(2) A person who registers, operates or participates in gay
clubs, societies and organisations or directly or indirectly
makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in
Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on
conviction to a term of 10 years in prison.
(3) A person or group of persons who administers, witnesses,
abets or aides the solemnisation of same sex marriage or civil
union, or supports the registration, operation and sustenance
of gay clubs, societies, organisations, processions or meetings
in Nigeria commits and offence and is liable on conviction to a
term of 10 years of imprisonment.”
On the issue of how Nigeria has responded to its international human rights law
obligations in United Nations fora regarding SOGI, the country offered ‘no response’ to
its first cycle Universal Periodic Review recommendations in 2009 to decriminalise and
to withdraw its prohibition of same sex marriage.237 Further, in 2011238 and 2012,239 the
Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association
highlighted human rights violations, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment,240 human rights defenders,241 and Joint Statement on the
[then] proposed prohibition on a Bill outlawing same sex marriage.242
237 http://arc-international.net/global-advocacy/universal-periodic-review/n/nigeria.
238 Nigeria: Alleged restrictions on the rights to freedom of association and of peaceful assembly of groups defending
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, 228. JAL 20/12/2011. Case no. NGA 5/2011.
239 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression,
A/67/357, 7 September 2012.
240 Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Addendum: Mission to Nigeria, A/HRC/7/3/Add.4, 22 November 2007.
241 Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders. Addendum:
Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received, A/HRC/4/37/Add.1, 27 March 2007.
242 Joint Statement from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders, the Special
Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, the Special
Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, and the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to
the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, 23 February 2007.
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Penal Code of 1965.243
SENEGAL
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Article 319 (third paragraph). “Without prejudice to the more
serious penalties provided for in the preceding paragraphs
or by articles 320 and 321 of this Code, whoever will have
committed an improper or unnatural act with a person of the
same sex will be punished by imprisonment of between one
and five years and by a fine of 100,000 to 1,500,000 francs. If
the act was committed with a person below the age of 21, the
maximum penalty will always be applied.”244
Criminal Code of 1955.245
SEYCHELLES
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Section 151: “Any person who –
a. has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of
nature; or
b. has carnal knowledge of an animal; or
c. permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or
her against the order of nature,
is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen
years.”
243 Text of the Penal Code, which entered into force on 1 February 1966, is available at: http://www.justice.gouv.sn/droitp/
CODE%20PENAL.PDF.
244 Original text: “Sans préjudice des peines plus graves prévues par lês alinéas qui précédent ou par les articles 320 et 321 du présent
Code, sera puni d’un emprisonnement d’un à cinq ans et d’une amende de 100.000 à 1.500.000 francs, quiconque aura commis um acte
impudique ou contre nature avec un individu de son sexe. Si l’acte a été commis avec un mineur de 21 ans, le maximum de la peine sera
toujours prononcé.”
245 The text of the law is available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4d67afc82.html.
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Offences against the Person Act 1861.246
SIERRA LEONE
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Section 61 of the above named act, criminalises buggery and
bestiality, with a penalty of life imprisonment.
Penal Code, Legislative Decree No. 5/1962.247
SOMALIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Article 409. Homosexuality
“Whoever has carnal intercourse with a person of the same
sex shall be punished, where the act does not constitute a
more serious crime, with imprisonment from three months
to three years. Where the act committed is an act of lust
different from carnal intercourse, the punishment imposed
shall be reduced by one-third.”
Article 410. Security Measures
“A security measure may be added to a sentence for crimes
referred to in Articles 407, 408, and 409.”
(Unofficial Translation)
The political situation in Somalia has been complicated
since the fall of the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in
1991, and the enforcement of the national Penal Code
can be questioned.248 However, Somaliland in the north
has declared itself independent, and it still applies the
Penal Code.249
246 See Submission in the UPR review of Sierra Leone, available at: http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/
session11/SL/JS2_JointSubmission2-eng.pdf.
247 Original text of the law is not available online, but the table of content is available at: http://www.somalilandlaw.com/
criminal_law.html. An unofficial English translation is available at: http://www.somalilandlaw.com/Penal_Code_English.pdf.
248 There have been reports from different parts of Somalia that Islamic Sharia law has been used to punish homosexual
acts, see for example, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/21/gay-teen-stoned-somalia-sodomy_n_2916655.html and
http://www.asylumlaw.org/docs/sexualminorities/Somaila023201.pdf.
249 See Somaliland Penal Code, available at: http://www.somalilandlaw.com/Criminal_Law/body_criminal_law.html.
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Penal Code Act 2008.250
SOUTH SUDAN
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Section 248. Unnatural Offences
”(1)Whoever, has carnal intercourse against the order of nature
with any person and whoever allows any person to have such
intercourse with him or her commits an offence, and upon
conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding ten years and may also be liable to a fine.
[…]
Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the
carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in
this section.”
The Penal Code 1991 (Act No. 8 1991).251
SUDAN
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Section 148. Sodomy
“(1) Any man who inserts his penis or its equivalent into
a woman’s or a man’s anus or permitted another man to
insert his penis or its equivalent in his anus is said to have
committed Sodomy.
(2) (a) Whoever commits Sodomy shall be punished with
flogging one hundred lashes and he shall also be liable to five
years imprisonment.
(b) If the offender is convicted for the second time he shall be
punished with flogging one hundred lashes and imprisonment
for a term which may not exceed five years.
(c) If the offender is convicted for the third time he shall be
punished with death or life imprisonment.”
Section 151. Indecent Acts
“Whoever commits an act of gross indecency upon the person
of another person or any sexual act which does not amount
to Zina or Sodomy shall be punished with not more than forty
lashes and shall also be liable for imprisonment for a term
which may not exceed one year or fine.”
250 Available at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=250684.
251 Available at: http://www.ecoi.net/file_upload/1329_1202725629_sb106-sud-criminalact1991.pdf.
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SWAZILAND
MALE/MALE
ILLEGAL
FEMALE/FEMALE
Sodomy - sexual intercourse per anus between
two human males - is prohibited as a common law
offence.252
In 2005, the Government planned to include
prohibitions of all male homosexual acts and lesbian
acts in its revision of the Sexual Offences laws. The
proposed penalties were imprisonment for a minimum
period of two years, or a minimum fine of E5 000.
The proposal has, however, not been adopted as of
publication of this report.253
LEGAL
Penal Code of 1945 (as amended by the Sexual Offences
Special Provisions Act, 1998).254
TANZANIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Section 154. Unnatural of offences
“(1) Any person who–
(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of
nature; or
(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or
(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or
her against the order of nature,
commits an offence, and is liable to imprisonment for life and in
any case to imprisonment for a term of not less than thirty years.
(2) Where the offence under subsection (1) of this section is
committed to a child under the age of ten years the offender
shall be sentenced to life imprisonment.”
Section 155. Attempt to commit unnatural offences
“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified under section 154 commits an
offence and shall on conviction be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than twenty
years.”
Section 138A. Gross indecency
“Any person who, in public or private commits, or is party to the commission of, or procures or
attempts to procure the commission by any person of, any act of gross indecency with another
person, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than
one year and not exceeding five years or to a fine not less than one hundred thousand shillings
and not exceeding three hundred thousand shillings; save that where the offence is committed
by a person of eighteen years of age or more in respect of any person under eighteen years of
age, a pupil of a primary school or a student of a secondary school the offender shall be liable on
conviction to imprisonment for a term not less than ten years, with corporal punishment, and
shall also be ordered to pay compensation of an amount determined by the court to the person in
respect of whom the offence was committed for any injuries caused to that person.”
252 See the information provided at: https://secure.interpol.int/Public/Children/SexualAbuse/NationalLaws/csaSwaziland.
pdf.
253 ‘See Swaziland Government’ warns homosexuals are liable to imprisonment, available at: http://www.africanveil.org/
Swaziland.htm.
254 Text of the law is available at: www.lrct.go.tz/?wpfb_dl=170.
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Penal Code of 13 August 1980.255
TOGO
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Article 88 – “Impudent acts or crimes against the nature with
an individual of the same sex are punished with imprisonment
from one to three years and 100,000-500,000 franc in fine.”256
(Unofficial translation)
Penal Code of 1913 (as modified).257
TUNISIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Article 230. “The sodomy, that is not covered by any of the
other previous articles, is punished with imprisonment for
three years.”258
(Unofficial translation)
The Penal Code Act of 1950 (Chapter 120) (as
amended).259
UGANDA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Section 145. Unnatural offences
“Any person who—
(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of
nature;
(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or
(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him
or her against the order of nature, commits an offence and is
liable to imprisonment for life.”
Section 146. Attempt to commit unnatural offences
“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences
specified in section145 commits a felony and is liable to
imprisonment for seven years.”
Section 148. Indecent practices
“Any person who, whether in public or in private, commits any act of gross indecency with another
person or procures another person to commit any act of gross indecency with him or her or
attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any person with himself or herself or with
another person, whether in public or in private, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment
for seven years.”
255 Text of the law is available at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/details.jsp?id=8148
.
256 Original text: ”Sera puni d’un emprisonnement d’un à trois ans et d’une amende de 100 000 à 500 000 francs quiconque aura
commis un acte impudique ou contre nature avec un individu de son sexe.”
257 Text of the law is available at: http://www.jurisitetunisie.com/tunisie/codes/cp/menu.html
.
258 Original text: ”La sodomie, si elle ne rentre dans aucun des cas prévus aux articles précédents, est punie de l’emprisonnement
pendant trois ans.”
259 Text of the law is available at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/details.jsp?id=5241.
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UGANDA
MALE/MALE
ILLEGAL
FEMALE/FEMALE
On 20 December 2013, the Parliament adopted the AntiHomosexuality Act, signed by the President on 24 February
2014. According to the law:260
PART II—HOMOSEXUALITY AND RELATED PRACTICES.
2. The offence of homosexuality.
(1) A person commits the offence of homosexuality if
(a) he penetrates the anus or mouth of another person of the
same sex with his penis or any other sexual contraption;
(b) he or she uses any object or sexual contraption to penetrate
or stimulate sexual organ of a person of the same sex;
(c) he or she touches another person with the intention of
committing the act of homosexuality.
(2) A person who commits an offence under this section shall
be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for life.
ILLEGAL
3. Aggravated homosexuality.
(1) A person commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality where the—
(a) person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of eighteen years;
(b) offender is a person living with HIV;
(c) offender is a parent or guardian of the person against whom the offence is committed;
(d) offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed;
(e) victim of the offence is a person with disability;
(f) offender is a serial offender; or
(g) offender applies, administers or causes to be used by any man or woman any drug, matter or thing
with intent to stupefy or overpower him or her so as to enable any person
to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex.
(2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable, on conviction, to
imprisonment for life.
(3) Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical
examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.
PART III—RELATED OFFENCES AND PENALTIES.
12. Same sex marriage.
(1) A person who purports to contract a marriage with another person of the same sex commits the
offence of homosexuality and shall be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for life.
(2) A person or institution commits an offence if that person or institution conducts a marriage
ceremony between persons of the same sex and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a
maximum of seven years for individuals or cancellation of licence for an institution.
13. Promotion of homosexuality.
(1) A person who—
(a) participates in production, procuring, marketing, broadcasting, disseminating, publishing of
pornographic materials for purposes of promoting homosexuality;
(b) funds or sponsors homosexuality or other related activities;
(c) offers premises and other related fixed or movable assets for purposes of homosexuality or
promoting homosexuality;
(d) uses electronic devices which include internet, films, mobile phones for purposes of homosexuality
or promoting homosexuality; or
(e) who acts as an accomplice or attempts to promote or in any way abets homosexuality and
related practices; commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine of five thousand currency
points or imprisonment of a minimum of five years and a maximum of seven years or both fine and
imprisonment.
260 The text of the Law is available at: http://cryptome.org/2014/02/uganda-anti-gay.pdf.
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UGANDA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
(2) Where the offender is a corporate body or a business or an
association or a non-governmental organisation, on conviction
its certificate of registration shall be cancelled and the director,
proprietor or promoter shall be liable, on conviction, to
imprisonment for seven years.
The law also provides penalties for anyone who attempts to
commit the offence of homosexuality (section 4), who aids, abets,
counsels, conspires, procures or detent another to engage in acts
of homosexuality (sections 7, 8, 9 and 10). Moreover, it provides
measures of protection, assistance, payment of compensation to
and confidentially of victims of homosexuality (section 5).
As regards Uganda’s compliance with its international law
obligations at the UN, in March 2012, Uganda rejected 16
of the 19 recommendations it had received in its first cycle Universal Periodic Review. The three
recommendations accepted concerned two Action Level 5 (specific actions) responses in regard to
violence against LGBT people, and one Action Level 4 (general action) on the same issue.261 The 16
rejections mostly concern decriminalisation and scrapping the proposed legislation.262
Uganda has been directly addressed by various UN mandate-holders, amongst which the following are
of relevance to the current legislation: criminal laws, human rights defenders, HIV/AIDS in relation
to SOGI in 2010,263 criminal laws, hate crime in 2010,264 hate crimes, death, human rights defenders in
2011,265 death and criminal laws in 2012,266 and human rights defenders in 2013.267
In light of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, it may be surprising to note that the universal principle
of non-discrimination was evident in the ruling given in the High Court of Uganda in Mukasa and
Oyo,268 where although acts of “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” were penalised,269
the sexual orientation of the plaintiffs was not at issue, but what was being adjudicated on was the
police ill-treatment (search and seizure of property and physical abuse) of them based on that sexual
orientation. Likewise, two years later in Kasha Jacqueline, David Kato, and Onziema Patience v. Rolling
Stone,270 the question was about whether, in the heightened atmosphere around the proposed AntiHomosexuality Bill (AHB) in Uganda,271 the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs had been breached,
and not about “homosexuality per se”.272 Despite widespread institutionalised and public discrimination
in the country, the guarantees of universal human rights were asserted in this case regardless of SOGI.
261 See UPR-info database (search under Uganda: Sexual orientation and gender identity) http://www.upr-info.org/database/.
262 See http://arc-international.net/global-advocacy/universal-periodic-review/u/uganda.
263 Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. Addendum: Communications to and
from Governments, A/HRC/14/24/Add.1, 18 June 2010.
264 Uganda, CEDAW/C/UGA/CO/7, 5 November 2010.
265 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
Addendum: Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received, A/HRC/17/27/Add.1, 27 May 2011.
266 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. Addendum: Observations on
communications transmitted to Governments and replies received, A/HRC/19/55/Add.2, 23 February 2012.
267 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, A/HRC/22/47, 16 January 2013.
268 Mukasa and Oyo v. Attorney General, High Court of Uganda at Kampala (22 December 2008).
269 The actual act of same sex sexual relations indicated by the word ‘carnal’ as set out in Section 145 of the Penal Code
of Uganda is criminalised with a maximum term of life imprisonment. The analysis of the legislation presented here relies
on Sexual orientation and gender identity in international human rights law: The ICJ UN compilation 2013 Fifth updated edition
((International Commission of Jurists, Geneva, 2013) http://icj.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/SOGIUN-Compil_electronic-version.pdf and Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Justice: A Comparative Law Casebook (International
Commission of Jurists, Geneva, 2011) http://icj.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Sexual-orientationgender-identity-and-Justice-report-2011.pdf.
270 Kasha Jacqueline, David Kato Kisule and Onziema Patience v. Rolling Stone Ltd and Giles Muhame, High Court of Uganda at
Kampala (30 December 2010).
271 The Anti Homosexuality Bill, Bill No.18, Uganda, 25 September 2009.
272 The respondents were the publishers of a newspaper called “Rolling Stone”. On 2 October 2010, an article with the title
“100 Pictures of Uganda’s top homos leak” was published in the newspaper. The article accused the gay community of trying to
recruit “very young kids” and “brainwash them towards bisexual orientation”. It called on the government to take a bold step
against this threat by hanging dozens of homosexuals. The article published the names and pictures of several members of the
Ugandan LGBT community and provided information about them and, in some cases, their home addresses. David Kato, one of
those named taking the action and advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), was found murdered in his home on
27 January 2011: results of the official investigation into his death remain ‘inconclusive’.
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The Penal Code Act (as amended by Act No. 15 of
2005).273
ZAMBIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
“Section 155. Unnatural offences
Any person who(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of
nature; or
(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or
(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or
her against the order of nature;
commits a felony and liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment
for a term not less than fifteen years and may be liable to
imprisonment for life:
Provided that where a person(i) has carnal knowledge of a child against the order of nature;
(ii) causes a child to have carnal knowledge of an animal; or
(iii) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of a male
or female child against the order of nature;
that person commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction,
to imprisonment for not less than twenty-five years and may
be liable to imprisonment for life.”
“Section 156. Attempt to commit unnatural offences
Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences
specified in section one hundred and fifty-five commits a felony
and is liable, upon conviction of not less than seven years but
not exceeding fourteen years.”
“Section 158. Indecent practices between persons of the same
sex
(1) Any male who, whether in public or private, commits any
act of gross indecency with a male child or person, or procures
a male child or person to commit any act of gross indecency
with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such
act by any male person with himself or with another male
child or person, whether in public or private, commits a felony
and is liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for a term of
not less than seven years and not exceeding fourteen years.
(2) Any female who, whether in public or private, commits
any act of gross indecency with a female child or person, or
procures a female child or person to commit any act of gross
indecency with her, or attempts to procure the commission
of any such act by any female person with himself or
with another female child or person, whether in public or
private, commits a felony and is liable, upon conviction, to
imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and not
exceeding fourteen years.
(3) A child who, whether in public or private, commits any
act of gross indecency with another child of the same sex or
attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any
person with the child’s self or with another child or person
of the same sex, whether in public or private, commits an
offence and is liable, to such community service or counseling
as the court may determine in the best interests of the child.”
273 Text of the law is available at: http://www.parliament.gov.zm/downloads/VOLUME%207.pdf. The Penal Code
(Amendment) Act (No. 15, of 28 September 2005) which increased the maximum sentences in sections 155 and 156,
and introduced a prohibition of sex between women in section 158, can be found at: http://www.parliament.gov.zm/
dmdocuments/Act_No_15,_2005.pdf.
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Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Effective 8
July 2006).274
ZIMBABWE
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Section 73. Sodomy
“(1) Any male person who, with the consent of another male
person, knowingly performs with that other person anal
sexual intercourse, or any act involving physical contact
other than anal sexual intercourse that would be regarded by
a reasonable person to be an indecent act, shall be guilty of
sodomy and liable to a fine up to or exceeding level fourteen
or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both.
(2) Subject to subsection (3), both parties to the performance
of an act referred to in subsection (1) may be charged with and
convicted of sodomy.
(3) For the avoidance of doubt it is declared that the
competent charge against a male person who performs anal
sexual intercourse with or commits an indecent act upon a
young male person—
(a) who is below the age of twelve years, shall be aggravated
indecent assault or indecent assault, as the case may be; or
(b) who is of or above the age of twelve years but below the
age of sixteen years and without the consent of such young
male person, shall be aggravated indecent assault or indecent
assault, as the case may be; or
(c) who is of or above the age of twelve years but below the
age of sixteen years and with the consent of such young male
person, shall be performing an indecent act with a young
person.”
274 Text of the law is available at: http://www.kubatana.net/docs/legisl/criminal_law_code_050603.pdf.
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Penal Code, 1976.275
AFGHANISTAN
MALE/MALE
ILLEGAL
FEMALE/FEMALE
CHAPTER EIGHT: Adultery, Pederasty, and Violations of Honour
Article 427:
“(1) A person who commits adultery or pederasty shall be
sentenced to long imprisonment.
(2) In one of the following cases commitment of the acts,
specified above, is considered to be aggravating conditions:
a. In the case where the person against whom the crime has
been committed is not yet eighteen years old.”
ILLEGAL
In Afghan legal terminology “pederasty” appears to refer
to intercourse between males regardless of age. The
fact that paedophilia - or sexual relations with persons
under the age of consent - falls under subsection 2(a) of
article 427 indicates that this is the case. Terming sexual
acts between adult men “pederasty” has previously
not been uncommon; this occurred for example in the
translations of the Criminal Codes of Albania (1977)
and Latvia (1933), and in the old Russian legal tradition
a “pederast” usually referred to a male who had anal
intercourse with another male, regardless of age.276
Islamic Sharia law, criminalising homosexual acts with
a maximum of death penalty, is applied together with
the codified Penal law. However, no known cases of
death sentences have been handed out for homosexual
acts after the end of Taliban rule.
Penal Code, 1860 (Act XLV of 1860).277
BANGLADESH
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Section 377. “Unnatural Offences”
“Whoever voluntary has carnal intercourse against the order
of nature with man, woman, or animal, shall be punished with
imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description
for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be
liable to fine.
Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the
carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in
this section.”
275 Text of the law is available at: http://aceproject.org/ero-en/regions/asia/AF/Penal%20Code%20Eng.pdf/view.
276 Healey, Dan Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2001) at 272.
277 Text of the law is available at: http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/sections_detail.php?id=11&sections_id=3233.
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Penal Code 2004.278
BHUTAN
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Chapter 14: Sexual Offences
Unnatural sex –
Section 213. “A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of
unnatural sex, if the defendant engages in sodomy or any
other sexual conduct that is against the order of nature.”
Grading of unnatural sex
Section 214. “The offence of unnatural sex shall be a petty
misdemeanor.”
Chapter 2: Classes of crime
Section 3. “For the purpose of this Penal Code, the classes of
crimes shall be as follows:
(c) A crime shall be petty misdemeanor, if it is so designated
in this Penal Code or other laws and provides for a maximum
term of imprisonment of less than one year and a minimum
term of one month for the convicted defendant.”
Penal Code, Chapter 22, revised edition 2001.279
BRUNEI
DARUSSALAM
Unnatural offences
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Section 377. “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse
against the order of nature with any man, woman, or animal,
shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may
extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine. [S 12/97]
Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the
carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in
this section.”
Moreover, Brunei Darussalam has passed Syariah Penal
Code Order on 2 October 2013, which took effect on 1
April 2014 that appears to allow stoning to death for
same sex sexual relations:280
Liwat
82. (1) Any person who commits liwat is guilty of an offence
and shall be liable on conviction to the same punishment as
provided for the offence of zina.281
(2) For the purposes of this Order, “liwat” means sexual
intercourse between a man and another man or between a
man and a woman other than his wife, done against the order
of nature that is through the anus.
278 Text of the law is available at: http://www.judiciary.gov.bt/html/act/PENAL%20CODE.pdf.
279 Text of the law is available at: https://www.unodc.org/tldb/pdf/Brunei_Penal_Code_1951_Full_text.pdf.
280 Text of the law is available at: http://www.agc.gov.bn/agc1/images/LAWS/Gazette_PDF/2013/EN/syariah%20penal%20
code%20order2013.pdf; See also, the open letter from International Commission of Jurists to the Prime Minister of Brunei
Darussalam at: http://icj.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Brunei-Open-letter-on-2013-Penal-Code.
pdf.
281 The same way as Zina means that he/she may be liable to death by stoning (section 69(1)(a).
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Attempt to commit Liwat
BRUNEI
DARUSSALAM
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
84. Any person who attempts to commit liwat or attempts to
cause the commission of liwat is guilty of an offence and shall
be liable on conviction to the same punishment as provided
under the section 71 or 71, as the case may be.
Regarding international law obligations at the UN, in
its first round Universal Periodic Review (6th Session
of the UPR) in November 2009,282 Brunei rejected all
five SOGI recommendations – four of which concerned
decriminalisation and one of which related to nondiscrimination.283 There is no mention of SOGI in the
national report,284 stakeholder submissions285 or the
OHCHR Compilation for Brunei’s second round (19th
Session of the UPR) in May 2014, although the UN
office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights has expressed concern at the
revised Penal Code (Cap 22) due to come into force 22 April 2014.286 ARC international
reports on the recommendations that were given to Brunei Darussalam, but it will
not be known until September 2014 how this country will respond to them: France,
Canada, Spain and Czech Republic called for the decriminalisation of same sex sexual
relations, with Spain and Czech Republic noting the recent revisions to the Penal
Code. Bangladesh, however, used the UPR process to encourage Brunei Darussalam to
uphold its social policies in line with traditional family values.287 Brunei is a member
of the UN grouping the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC).
GAZA - OCCUPIED
PALESTINIAN
TERRITORY
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
The British Mandate Criminal Code Ordinance, No. 74 of
1936 is in force in Gaza.288
Section 152(2) of the Code criminalises sexual acts
between men with a penalty of up to 10 years.289
This Code was in force also in Jordan until 1951 and
in Israel until 1977, before they adopted their own
Penal Codes. Note that in the West Bank (including
East Jerusalem), however, the Jordanian Penal Code of
1951, largely modified in 1960, is in force, having no
prohibition on sexual acts between persons of the same
sex.
282 Full SOGI profile at http://arc-international.net/global-advocacy/universal-periodic-review/b/brunei-darussalam
283 http://www.upr-info.org/database/index.php?limit=0&f_SUR=25&f_SMR=All&order=&
orderDir=ASC&orderP=true&f_Issue=All&searchReco=&resultMax=25&response=&action_
type=&session=&SuRRgrp=&SuROrg=&SMRRgrp=&SMROrg=&pledges=RecoOnly
284 A/HRC/WG.6/19/BRN/1
285 A/HRC/WG.6/19/BRN/3
286 http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=14501&LangID=E. The date of implementation of
this law was actually 1 May 2014..
287 See http://arc-international.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/UPR19-SOGI-report.pdf at 10.
288 Text of the law is available at: http://www.nevo.co.il/law_html/law21/PG-e-0633.pdf.
289 Human Rights and Legal Position of Palestinian “Collaborators”.
Supreme Court of Israel. Schmitt, Arno and Sofer, Jehoeda, Sexuality and Eroticism Among Males in Moslem Societies (Binghamton:
Harrington Park Press, 1992) at 137-138.
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Indian Penal Code
INDIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Section 377. Unnatural offences
Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order
of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished
with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either
description or a term which may extend to ten years and shall
also be to fine.
Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to candidate the carnal
intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.290
In 2009, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was given a more
limited interpretation by the Delhi High Court, lifting the ban
on same-sex sexual activity among consenting adult men in
private.291
However, on 11 December 2013, in Koushal v. Naz Foundation, a
two-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India upheld Section
377 as constitutional. 292 Therefore, private consensual sexual
activity between two men is still a crime in India.
In terms of India’s recent performance regarding international human rights law at the UN, its second
cycle responses to the Universal Periodic Review (Session 13, 24 May 2012) suggest the country’s current
regard to its obligations:
r
r
r
India did accept a level 3 (i.e. ‘to consider’) recommendation to “[s]tudy the possibility of eliminating
any criminalisation of same sex relations”,293 despite the concerns expressed by Action Canada for
Population and Development to the UPR that the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2012 that was
approved by the Cabinet retained Section 377 of the India Penal Code.294 In the same UPR session,
India rejected a general recommendation on non-discrimination, particularly in employment, based
on sexual orientation.
In Naz Foundation,295 the Ministry of Home Affairs justified retention of Section 377 on the grounds of
protection of health and morals, but the High Court of New Delhi found that public morality is not
a legitimate State interest and held that, although protection of public health was a legitimate State
interest, the law at issue was not rationally connected to this legislative end.296 In this case, the High
Court relied on Dudgeon297 and Toonen to derive this important principle.298
The UN Rapporteur on Rights Defenders has twice noted problems in relation to SOGI in India, in
2009299 and 2012.300
290 Text of the law is available at: http://punjabrevenue.nic.in/crime13.htm.
291 Judgment of the Delhi High Court available at http://lobis.nic.in/dhc/APS/judgement/02-07-2009/
APS02072009CW74552001.pdf. For more information on the judgment, see Alternative Law Forum, “The Right that Dares
Speak its Name” at: http://www.tarshi.net/downloads/The_right%20that_Dares_to_Speak_its_Name.pdf.
292 In the Supreme Court of India Civil Appellate Jurisdiction Review Petition (C) Nos. 41-55 of 2014, in Civil Appeal
No.10972, 10974, 10986, 10981, 10983, 10984, 10975, 10973, 10985, 10976, 10980, 10982, 10977, 10978 and 10979 of 2013, text of
the order is available at: http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/outtoday/rc4114.pdf.
293 http://www.upr-info.org/database/, (search UPR database for India and sexual orientation).
294 http://arc-international.net/global-advocacy/universal-periodic-review/i/india-2nd-cycle
295 Naz Foundation v. Government of NCT of Delhi and Others, High Court of Delhi at New Delhi, India, 2009.
296 See Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Justice: A Comparative Law Casebook (Geneva: International Commission of
Jurists, 2011) at 11: http://icj.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Sexual-orientation-gender-identityand-Justice-report-2011.pdf.
297 Dudgeon v. United Kingdom, Application No. 7525/76, Judgment of 22 October 1981 (finding that the sodomy laws of
Northern Ireland violated the right to privacy under the European Convention).
298 Toonen v. Australia, Communication No. 488/1992, Views of 4 April 1994 (finding that the sodomy laws of Tasmania
violated the rights to privacy and non-discrimination under the ICCPR).
299 Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders. Addendum:
Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received, A/HRC/10/12/Add.1, 4 March 2009.
300 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders. Addendum: Mission to India, A/
HRC/19/55/Add.1, 6 February 2012.
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INDONESIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
LEGAL
LEGAL
Islamic Penal Code of Iran of 199.303
IRAN
MALE/MALE
Same-sex relations are not prohibited according to the
national Penal Code. The only provision to deal with
such relations is Article 292, which prohibits sexual acts
between persons of the same sex if committed with a
minor.301 However, in 2002 the national parliament gave
the Aceh province the right to adopt Islamic Sharia
laws. Such laws do apply to Muslims only. Moreover,
for example the city of Palembang in South Sumatra
has introduced jail time and hefty fines for same-sex
relations.302
FEMALE/FEMALE
“Part 2: Punishment for Sodomy
Chapter 1: Definition of Sodomy
ILLEGAL
Article 108: Sodomy is sexual intercourse with a male.
Article 109: In case of sodomy both the active and the passive
persons will be condemned to its punishment.
Article 110: Punishment for sodomy is killing; the Sharia judge
decides on how to carry out the killing.
Article 111: Sodomy involves killing if both the active and
passive persons are mature, of sound mind and have free will.
Article 112: If a mature man of sound mind commits sexual
intercourse with an immature person, the doer will be killed
and the passive one will be subject to Ta’azir of 74 lashes if not
under duress.
Article 113: If an immature person commits sexual intercourse
with another immature person, both of them will be subject to
Ta’azir of 74 lashes unless one of them was under duress.
ILLEGAL
Chapter 2: Ways of proving sodomy in court
Article 114: By confessing after four lashes to having
committed sodomy, punishment is established against the one
making the confession.
Article 115: A confession made before receiving four lashes
(to having committed sodomy) does not involve punishment
of “Had” but the confessor will be subject to Ta’azir (lesser
punishments).
Article 116: A confession is valid only if the confessor is
mature, of sound mind, has will and intention.
Article 117: Sodomy is proved by the testimony of four
righteous men who might have observed it.
Article 118: If less than four righteous men testify, sodomy
is not proved and the witnesses shall be condemned to
punishment for Qazf (malicious accusation).
301 Text of the law is available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,,LEGISLATION,TMP,4562d8cf2,3ffbcee24,0.html.
302 See ‘Special Report: Indonesia - Exchanging Pluralism For An Islamist State’, available at: http://pancasilaislam.
blogspot.sg/2012/10/special-report-indonesia-exchanging.html.
303 Text of the law in English is available at: http://mehr.org/Islamic_Penal_Code_of_Iran.pdf.
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IRAN
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Article 119: Testimony of women alone or together with a man
does not prove sodomy.
Article 120: The Shariajudge may act according to his own
knowledge which is derived through customary methods.
Article 121: Punishment for Tafhiz (the rubbing of the thighs or
buttocks) and the like committed by two men without entry, shall
be hundred lashes for each of them.
Article 122: If Tafhizand the like are repeated three lashes without
entry and punishment is enforced after each time, the punishment
for the fourth time would be death.
Article 123: If two men not related by blood stand naked under one
cover without any necessity, both of them will be subject to Ta’azir
of up to 99 lashes.
Article 124: If someone kisses another with lust, he will be subject
to Ta’azir of 60 lashes.
Article 125: If the one committing Tafhiz and the like or a
homosexual man, repents before the giving of testimony by the
witnesses, his punishment will be quashed; if he repents after the
giving of testimony, the punishment will not be quashed.
Article 126: If sodomy or Tafhizis proved by confession and
thereafter he repents the Sharia judge may request the leader
(Valie Amr) to pardon him.
Part 3: Lesbianism
Article 127: Mosaheqeh (lesbianism) is homosexuality of women
by genitals.
Article 128: The ways of proving lesbianism in court are the same
by which the homosexuality (of men) is proved.
Article 129: Punishment for lesbianism is hundred (100) lashes for
each party.
Article 130: Punishment for lesbianism will be established visà-vis someone who is mature, of sound mind, has free will and
intention.
Note: In the punishment for lesbianism there will be no distinction
between the doer and the subject as well as a Muslim or nonMuslim.
Article 131: If the act of lesbianism is repeated three lashes and
punishment is enforced each time, death sentence will be issued
the fourth time.
Article 132: If a lesbian repents before the giving of testimony by
the witnesses, the punishment will be quashed; if she does so after
the giving of testimony, the punishment will not be quashed.
Article 133: If the act of lesbianism is proved by the confession
of the doer and she repents accordingly, the Sharia judge may
request the leader (ValieAmr) to pardon her.
Article 134: If two women not related by consanguinity stand
naked under one cover without necessity, they will be punished to
less than hundred (100) lashes (Ta’azir). In case of its repetition as
well as the repetition of punishment, hundred (100) lashes will be
hit the third time.”
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IRAQ
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
UNCLEAR
UNCLEAR
After the American invasion in 2003 the Penal Code
of 1969 was reinstated in Iraq. This Code does not
prohibit same-sex relations.304 However, various reports
have shown that self-proclaimed Sharia judges have
sentenced people to death for committing homosexual
acts and that militias frequently have kidnapped,
threatened and killed LGBT people. For example, in
August 2009 Human Rights Watch published a report
documenting a wide-reaching campaign of extrajudicial
executions, kidnappings, and torture of gay men that
began in Iraq in the beginning of 2009.305
Penal Code, Law No. 16 of 2 June 1960, as amended in
1976.306
KUWAIT
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
UNCLEAR
Article 193. “Consensual intercourse between men of full
age (from the age of 21) shall be punishable with a term of
imprisonment of up to seven years.”
Such relations with a man under 21 years of age are
criminalised by article 192.
Penal Code of 1943.307
LEBANON
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Article 534. “Any sexual intercourse against nature is punished
with up to one year of imprisonment”.
304 Text of the law is available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/452514424.html.
305 See ‘They want us exterminated - Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq’, available at: http://www.
hrw.org/node/85050. See also ‘Death squads targeting gays in Iraq’, available at: http://www.advocate.com/news/2006/03/25/
death-squads-targeting-gays-iraq.
306 German Bundestag, Criminal law provisions on homosexuality and their application around the world, Printed Paper 16/3597,
28 November 2006 at 15. http://www.gaylawnet.com/ezine/crime/16_3597_minor_interpellation.pdf.
307 Original text is available at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=243255; see also, http://www.bekhsoos.
com/web/2010/04/new-publication-provides-analysis-on-article-534/.
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Penal Code (Consolidated version 1998).308
MALAYSIA
MALE/MALE
ILLEGAL
FEMALE/FEMALE
Unnatural Offences
Section 377A. Carnal intercourse against the order of nature.
“Any person who has sexual connection with another person
by the introduction of the penis into the anus or mouth of the
other person is said to commit carnal intercourse against the
order of nature.
ILLEGAL
Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the
sexual connection necessary to the offence described in
this section.”
Section 377B. Punishment for committing carnal intercourse
against the order of nature
“Whoever voluntarily commits carnal intercourse against
the order of nature shall be punished with imprisonment for
a term which may extend to twenty years, and shall also be
liable to whipping.”
Section 377C. Committing carnal intercourse against the order
of nature without consent, etc
“Whoever voluntarily commits carnal intercourse against the
order of nature on another person without the consent, or
against the will, of the other person, or by putting other person
in fear of death or hurt to the person or any other person,
shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less
than five years and not more than twenty years, and shall also
be liable to whipping.”
Section 377D. Outrages on decency
“Any person who, in public or private, commits, or abets
the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the
commission by any person of, any act of gross indecency with
another person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a
term which may extend to two years.”
Moreover, several states in Malaysia have instated
Islamic Sharia laws, applying to male and female
muslims, criminalising homosexual and lesbian acts
with up to three years imprisonment and whipping.309
The Sharia Penal law in the Malaysian state of Pulau
Pinang prescribes penalties for sodomy (Liwat) and
lesbian relations (Musahaqat) with fines of RM5,000.00,
three years imprisonment and 6 lashes of the whip. All
these penalties can be combined.310
308 Text of the law is available at: http://www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%2012/Act%20574.pdf.
309 Convictions for sodomy follow unfair trials, available at: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA28/028/1998/
en/9e941894-d9b0-11dd-af2b-b1f6023af0c5/asa280281998en.pdf.
310 See Article 25 of Enakmen Kesalahan Jenayah Syariah. Original text is available at: http://jaipp.penang.gov.my/images/pdf/
enakmen_kesalahan_jenayah_syariah_neg_p_pg_1996.pdf.
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MALDIVES
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
The Penal Code of Maldives does not regulate sexual
conduct.311 It is instead regulated by uncodified Muslim
Sharia law, which criminalises homosexual acts
between both men and between women. For men, the
punishment is banishment for nine months to one year
or a whipping of 10 to 30 strokes, while the punishment
for women is house arrest for nine months to one
year.312
Penal Code, Act 45/1860, Revised Edition.313
MYANMAR
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Section 377.
“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of
nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with
transportation for life, or with imprisonment of either description for
a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
Omani Penal Code of 1974.314
OMAN
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Article 33.
“The following are deemed as disgracing crimes:
I. All felonies punishable by a coercive sentence.
II. All misdemeanours stated hereafter:
1.Bribery; 2.Embezzlement; 3.False testimony; 4.Perjury;
5.Forgery and use, with knowledge, of forged items;
6.Incitement to prostitution; 7.Homosexual and lesbian
intercourses; 8.Drug trafficking; 9.Theft; 10.Rape and assault;
11.Fraud; 12.Flash Cheque; 13.Breach of trust; 14.Counterfeit;
15.Trespass.”
Homosexual and Lesbian Intercourses
Article 223.
“Anyone who commits erotic acts with a person of the same
sex shall be sentenced to imprisonment from six months to
three years. The suspects of homosexual or lesbian intercourse
shall be prosecuted without a prior complaint, if the act
results in a public scandal. The suspects of lesbian intercourse
among ascendants, descendants or sisters shall only be
prosecuted upon a complaint from a relative or a relative by
marriage forth-degree removed.”
311 Text of the law is available at: http://www.lexadin.nl/wlg/legis/nofr/oeur/lxwemdv.htm.
312 Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity References, US Department of State, Human Rights Reports for 2011 (Released 24 May
2012) at 80, available at: http://www.weebly.com/uploads/1/2/3/0/12302675/2011-hr-report-sogi-references.pdf.
313 Text of the law is available at: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=181185.
314 Text of the law is available at: https://www.unodc.org/tldb/showDocument.do?documentUid=6409&country=OMA&langu
age=ENG.
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Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860).315
PAKISTAN
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Section 377. ‘Unnatural offences’
“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order
of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished
with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either
description for a term which shall not be less than two years
nor more than ten years, and shall also be liable to a fine.
Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the
carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in
this section.”
The Penal Code (Law No. (II) of 2004).316
QATAR
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Sexual acts with a female over the age of 16 are
prohibited by Article 281, while sexual acts with a male
are prohibited by article 281 and 285. The penalty is up to
seven years imprisonment for both female and male acts.
Along with the civil Penal Code also Islamic Sharia law
is in force in Qatar, although only applicable to Muslims.
The offence of “Zina” makes any sexual act by a married
person outside of marriage punishable by death, while
sexual acts by non-married persons are punishable
by flogging – both offences no matter if they were
heterosexual or homosexual.317
SAUDI-ARABIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
There is no codified Penal Law in Saudi-Arabia. Instead,
the country applies strict Islamic Sharia law. According
to the interpretation sodomy is criminalised. For a
married man the penalty is death by stoning, while the
penalty for an unmarried man is 100 blows of the whip
as well as banishment for a year. For a non-Muslim, who
commits sodomy with a Muslim, the penalty is death
by stoning. Moreover, all sexual relations outside of
marriage illegal in Saudi-Arabia according to the Sharia
law, including sexual relations between women.318
315 Text of the law is available at: http://www.pakistani.org/pakistan/legislation/1860/actXLVof1860.html.
316 Original text of the law is available at: http://www.almeezan.qa/LawArticles.aspx?LawTreeSectionID=254&lawId=26&la
nguage=ar, and English text at: http://www.qfiu.gov.qa/files/Law%2011%20for%20the%20year2004-E.pdf.
317 See Amnesty International, “Love, hate and the law: decriminalizing homosexuality” at 51, available at: http://www.
amnesty.org/en/library/asset/POL30/003/2008/en/d77d0d58-4cd3-11dd-bca2-bb9d43f3e059/pol300032008eng.html.
318 Schmitt, Arno and Sofer, Jehoeda, Sexuality and Eroticism Among Males in Moslem Societies (Binghamton: Harrington Park
Press, 1992) at 141.
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Penal Code (Chapter 22), Revised Edition 2008.319
SINGAPORE
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Outrages on decency
Section 377A. “Any male person who, in public or private,
commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts
to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of
gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished
with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years.”
Section 377 criminalising “carnal knowledge against the order
of nature” has been repealed by the Penal Code (Amendment)
Act 2007, No. 51, which came into force on 1 February 2008.
Penal Code (as amended by the Penal Code
(Amendment) Act, No. 22 of 1995).320
SRI LANKA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Article 365. Unnatural offences
Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order
of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished
with imprisonment of either description for a term which may
extend to ten years, and shall also be punished with fine and
where the offence is committed by a person over eighteen
years of age in respect of any person under sixteen years of
age shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term
not less than ten years and not exceeding twenty years and
with fine and shall also be ordered to pay compensation of an
amount determined by court to the person in respect of whom
the offence was committed for injuries caused to such person.
Explanation – penetration is sufficient to constitute the
carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in
this section.”
Article 365A. “Acts of gross indecency between persons
Any person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party
to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the
commission by any person of any act of gross indecency with
another person, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be
punished with imprisonment of either description for a term
which may extend to two years or with a fine, or with both and
where the offence is committed by a person over eighteen (18)
years of age in respect of any person under sixteen (16) years of
age shall be punished worth rigorous imprisonment for a term
not less than 10 years and not exceeding 20 years and with a
fine and shall also be ordered to pay compensation of amount
determined by court to the person in respect of whom the
offence was committed for the injuries caused to such a person.”
319 Text of the law is available at: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3Ae4
0d5913-c2dc-4284-bf68-eb315c55c8fa;rec=0.
320 Text of the law is available at: http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/research/srilanka/statutes/Penal_Code.pdf.
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ASIA
Penal Code of 1949.321
SYRIA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Criminal Code of 1997 (Effective 1 January 1998).322
TURKMENISTAN
MALE/MALE
ILLEGAL
Article 520. “Any unnatural sexual intercourse shall be
punished with a term of imprisonment of up to three years.”
FEMALE/FEMALE
Article 135. Sodomy
“(1) Sodomy, that is the sexual relations of the man with the
man, is punished by imprisonment for the term of up to two
years.”
LEGAL
(Unofficial translation)
321 German Bundestag, Criminal law provisions on homosexuality and their application around the world, Printed Paper 16/3597,
28 November 2006 at 27. http://www.gaylawnet.com/ezine/crime/16_3597_minor_interpellation.pdf.
322 Original text available is at http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=249493.
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ASIA
UNITED ARAB
EMIRATES
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
All sexual acts outside of heterosexual marriage are
banned in the United Arab Emirates.323 However,
whether sodomy is punished with death penalty
remains in dispute. The text of articles 354 and 356
appears to be ambiguously phrased and can be
translated in different ways. Some sources indicate that
article 354 punishes rape of a woman or forced sodomy
with a man, while others indicate that it punishes rape
of women and sodomy between men.
The semi-official translation used by attorneys in
the Emirates states that “any individual who forcibly
compels a woman to carnal copulation or a man
to sodomy” is punished by death.324 In a German
parliamentary report the article has been translated
as follows: “Irrespective of the provisions of the Act
on Delinquent and Vagrant Juveniles, any person who
forcibly engages in sexual intercourse with a woman, or
a homosexual act with a homosexual, shall be punished
with the death penalty. Coercion shall be recognised if
the condemned person was fourteen years of age at the
time of the commission of the offence.”325 Sofer, on the
other hand, suggests that article 354 can be translated
differently; “Whoever commits rape on a female or
sodomy with a male”.326 Amnesty International, finally,
considers article 354 to apply to rape only, and not to
consensual same-sex acts. However, the organisation
states that the “Zina” provision according to Sharia
law, punishing sexual acts by married persons outside
of marriage by death, could possibly apply in the UAE,
although it is not aware of any such death sentences for
consensual same-sex conduct.327
Apart from federal law, consensual sodomy is
criminalised in the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Article 80 of the Dubai Penal Code punishes sodomy
with a penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment, while
article 177 of the Abu Dhabi Penal Code punishes such
acts with a penalty of up to ten years imprisonment.328
323 See Federal Law No (3) of 1987 on Issuance of the Penal Code, available at: http://www.icrc.org/ihl-nat/6fa4d35e5e3025
394125673e00508143/e656047207c93f99c12576b2003ab8c1/$FILE/Penal%20Code.pdf.
324
Id.
325 German Bundestag, Criminal law provisions on homosexuality and their application around the world, Printed Paper 16/3597,
28 November 2006 at 29. http://www.gaylawnet.com/ezine/crime/16_3597_minor_interpellation.pdf.
326 Schmitt, Arno and Sofer, Jehoeda, Sexuality and Eroticism Among Males in Moslem Societies (Binghamton: Harrington Park
Press, 1992) at 144.
327 See Amnesty International, “Love, hate and the law: decriminalizing homosexuality” at 51, available at: http://www.
amnesty.org/en/library/asset/POL30/003/2008/en/d77d0d58-4cd3-11dd-bca2-bb9d43f3e059/pol300032008eng.html.
328 Schmitt, Arno and Sofer, Jehoeda, Sexuality and Eroticism Among Males in Moslem Societies (Binghamton: Harrington Park
Press, 1992) at 145.
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ASIA
Criminal Code of 1994.329
UZBEKISTAN
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
Article 120. Besoqolbozlik* (Homosexual Intercourse)
“Besoqolbozlik, that is, voluntary sexual intercourse of two
male individuals – shall be punished with imprisonment up to
three years.”
LEGAL
Penal Code 1994.330
YEMEN
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Article 264. “Homosexuality between men is defined as
penetration into the anus. Unmarried men shall be punished
with 100 lashes of the whip or a maximum of one year of
imprisonment, married men with death by stoning.”
Article 268. “Homosexuality between women is defined as
sexual stimulation by rubbing. The penalty for premeditated
commission shall be up to three years of imprisonment; where
the offence has been committed under duress, the perpetrator
shall be punishable with up to seven years detention.”
329 Text of the law is available at: http://www.legislationline.org/documents/id/8931.
330 Text of the law is available at: http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/ELECTRONIC/83557/92354/F1549605860/YEM83557.pdf.
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LATIN AMERICA
AND THE CARIBBEAN
Sexual Offences Act of 1995 (Act No. 9).331
ANTIGUA
AND BARBUDA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Buggery
Article 12.
“(1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and
is liable on conviction to imprisonment (a) for life, if committed by an adult on a minor;
(b) for fifteen years, if committed by an adult on another adult;
(c) for five years, if committed by a minor.
(2) In this section “buggery” means sexual intercourse per
anum by a male person with a male person or by a male
person with a female person.”
Serious indecency
Article 15. “(1) A person who commits an act of serious
indecency on or towards another is guilty of an offence and is
liable on conviction to imprisonment (a) for ten years, if committed on or towards a minor under
sixteen years of age;
(b) for five years, if committed on or towards a person sixteen
years of age or more,
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of serious indecency
committed in private between (a) a husband and his wife; or
(b) a male person and a female person each of whom is
sixteen years of age or more;
(3) An act of “serious indecency” is an act, other than sexual
intercourse (whether natural or unnatural), by a person
involving the use of genital organ for the purpose of arousing
or gratifying sexual desire.”
Sexual Offences Act 1992, Chapter 154.332
BARBADOS
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Buggery
Section 9. “Any person who commits buggery is guilty of
an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to
imprisonment for life.”
Serious indecency
Section 12. “(1) A person who commits an act of serious
indecency on or towards another or incites another to commit
that act with the person or with another person is guilty of
an offence and, if committed on or towards a person 16 years
of age or more or if the person incited is of 16 years of age or
more, is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 10
years.
(2) A person who commits an act of serious indecency with or
towards a child under the age of 16 or incites the child under
that age to such an act with him or another, is guilty of an
offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term
of 15 years.
(3) An act of “serious indecency” is an act, whether natural or
unnatural by a person involving the use of the genital organs
for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”
331 Text of the law is available at: http://www.laws.gov.ag/acts/1995/a1995-9.pdf.
332 Text of the law is available at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/lgbti2.pdf.
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LATIN AMERICA
AND THE CARIBBEAN
Criminal Code (Revised edition 2000).333
BELIZE
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Unnatural Crime
Section 53.
“Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order
of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to
imprisonment for ten years.”
Sexual Offences Act 1998.334
DOMINICA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Section 14. Gross Indecency
“(1) Any person who commits an act of gross indecency with
another person is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction
to imprisonment for five years.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of gross indecency
committed in private between an adult male person and an
adult female person, both of whom consent.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) –
an act shall be deemed not to have been committed in private
if it is committed in a public place; and
a person shall be deemed not to consent to the commission of
such an act if –
the consent is extorted by force, threats or fear of bodily harm
or is obtained by false and fraudulent representations as to
the nature of the act;
the consent is induced by the application or administration of any drug, matter or thing with intent
to intoxicate or stupefy the person; or
that person is, and the other party to the act knows or has good reason to believe that the person is
suffering from a mental disorder.
(4) In this section “gross indecency” is an act other than sexual intercourse (whether natural or
unnatural) by a person involving the use of genital organs for the purpose of arousing or gratifying
sexual desire.”
Section 16. Buggery
“(1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment
for –
twenty-five years, if committed by an adult on a minor;
ten years, if committed by an adult on another adult; or
five years, if committed by a minor;
and, if the Court thinks it fit, the Court may order that the convicted person be admitted to a
psychiatric hospital for treatment.
(2) Any person who attempts to commit the offence of buggery, or is guilty of an assault with the
intent to commit the same is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for four years and, if
the Court thinks it fit, the Court may order that the convicted person be admitted to the psychiatric
hospital for treatment.
(3) In this section “buggery” means sexual intercourse per anum by a male person with a male
person or by a male person with a female person.”
333 Text of the law is available at: http://www.oas.org/juridico/mla/en/blz/en_blz-int-text-cc.pdf.
334 Text of the law is available at: http://www.dominica.gov.dm/laws/1998/act1-1998.pdf.
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LATIN AMERICA
AND THE CARIBBEAN
Criminal Code of 1987 as amended in 1993.335
GRENADA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Article 431. “If any two persons are guilty of unnatural
connexion [sic], or if any person is guilty of an unnatural
connexion with any animal, every such person shall be liable
to imprisonment for ten years”.
Criminal Law (Offences) Act.336
GUYANA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Section 352. Committing acts of gross indecency with male
person
“Any male person, who in public or private, commits, or
is a party to the commission, or procures or attempts to
procure the commission, by any male person, of an act of
gross indecency with any other male person shall be guilty of
misdemeanour and liable to imprisonment for two years.”
Section 353. Attempt to commit unnatural offences
“Everyone who (a) attempts to commit buggery; or
(b) assaults any person with the intention to commit buggery;
or
(c) being a male, indecently assaults any other male person,
shall be guilty of felony and liable to imprisonment for ten
years.”
Section 354. Buggery
“Everyone who commits buggery, either with a human being
or with any other living creature, shall be guilty of felony and
liable to imprisonment for life.”
335 Text of the law is available at: http://www.oas.org/juridico/spanish/mesicic2_grd_criminal_code.PDF.
336 Text of the law is available at: http://www.oas.org/juridico/MLA/en/guy/en_guy-int-text-cl_act.pdf.
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LATIN AMERICA
AND THE CARIBBEAN
The Offences Against the Person Act.337
JAMAICA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Article 76. Unnatural Crime
“Whosoever shall be convicted of the abominable crime of
buggery [anal intercourse] committed either with mankind or
with any animal, shall be liable to be imprisoned and kept to
hard labour for a term not exceeding ten years.”
Article 77. Attempt
“Whosoever shall attempt to commit the said abominable
crime, or shall be guilty of any assault with intent to commit
the same, or of any indecent assault upon any male person,
shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof
shall be liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding seven
years, with or without hard labour.”
Article 78. Proof of Carnal Knowledge
“Whenever upon the trial of any offence punishable under this Act, it may be necessary to prove
carnal knowledge, it shall not be necessary to prove the actual emission of seed in order to constitute
a carnal knowledge, but the carnal knowledge shall be deemed complete upon proof of penetration
only.”
Article 79. Outrages on Decency
“Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures or
attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another
male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the
discretion of the court to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 2 years, with or without hard labour.”
Offences against the Person Act.338
SAINT KITTS
AND NEVIS
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
The Revised Laws prescribe terms of imprisonment
of up to ten years, with or without hard labor, upon
conviction for engaging in anal sex, described as “the
abominable crime of buggery.” Attempted “buggery” is
sanctioned by up to four years imprisonment, with or
without hard labor, as is “any indecent assault upon any
male person.” The latter, which is in no way defined, is
subject to arbitrary interpretation. It could potentially
encompass any behavior perceived as a homosexual
advance.339
337 Text of the law is available at: http://www.vertic.org/media/National%20Legislation/Jamaica/JM_Offences_against_the_
Person_Act.pdf.
338 Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Saint Kitts and Nevis: The situation of homosexuals; state protection and
availability of support groups, 26 June 2008, KNA102823.E, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/49b92b2614.html.
339 See Saint Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla. & Lewis, P. C The Revised Laws of St. Christopher, Nevis and Anguilla: Prepared under the
authority of the Revised edition of the laws ordinance, 1959 (London: 1964). See also, Reding, A. Sexual orientation and human rights
in the Americas (New York: World Policy Institute, 2003), available at: http://www.worldpolicy.org/sites/default/files/uploaded/
image/WPR-2003-Sexual%20Orientation%20and%20Human%20Rights%20in%20the%20Americas.pdf.
70
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LATIN AMERICA
AND THE CARIBBEAN
Criminal Code, No. 9 of 2004 (Effective 1 January 2005).340
SAINT LUCIA
MALE/MALE
ILLEGAL
FEMALE/FEMALE
Gross Indecency
Section 132. “(1) Any person who commits an act of gross
indecency with another person commits an offence and is
liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for ten
years or on summary conviction to five years.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of gross indecency
committed in private between an adult male person and an
adult female person, both of whom consent.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) —
(a) an act shall be deemed not to have been committed in
private if it is committed in a public place; and
(b) a person shall be deemed not to consent to the commission
of such an act if —
(i) the consent is extorted by force, threats or fear of bodily
harm or is obtained by false and fraudulent representations as
to the nature of the act;
(ii) the consent is induced by the application or administration
of any drug, matter or thing with intent to intoxicate or
stupefy the person; or
(iii) that person is, and the other party to the act knows or
has good reason to believe that the person is suffering from a
mental disorder.
(4) In this section “gross indecency” is an act other than
sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural) by a person
involving the use of the genital organs for the purpose of
arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”
ILLEGAL
Buggery
Section 133. “(1) A person who commits buggery commits
an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to
imprisonment for —
(a) life, if committed with force and without the consent of the
other person;
(b) ten years, in any other case.
(2) Any person who attempts to commit buggery, or commits
an assault with intent to commit buggery, commits an offence
and is liable to imprisonment for five years.
(3) In this section “buggery” means sexual intercourse per anus
by a male person with another male person.”
340 Text of the law is available at: http://www.rslpf.com/site/criminal%20code%202004.pdf.
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LATIN AMERICA
AND THE CARIBBEAN
SAINT VINCENT &
THE GRENADINES
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Criminal Code, 1990 Edition.341
Section 146.
“Any person who —
(a) commits buggery with any other person;
(b) commits buggery with an animal; or
(c) permits any person to commit buggery with him or her;
is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for ten
years.”
Section 148.
“Any person, who in public or private, commits an act of gross
indecency with another person of the same sex, or procures
or attempts to procure another person of the same sex to
commit an act of gross indecency with him or her, is guilty of
an offence and liable to imprisonment for five years.”
Sexual Offences Act 1986, Consolidated Version 2000.342
TRINIDAD
AND TOBAGO
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Section 13. “(1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an
offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment—
(a) if committed by an adult on a minor, for life;
(b) if committed by an adult on another adult, for twenty-five
years;
(c) if committed by a minor, for five years.
(2) In this section “buggery” means sexual intercourse per
anum by a male person with a male person or by a male
person with a female person.”
Section 16. “(1) A person who commits an act of serious
indecency on or towards another is guilty of an offence and is
liable on conviction to imprisonment—
(a) if committed on or towards a minor under sixteen years
of age for ten years for a first offence and to imprisonment for
fifteen years for a subsequent offence;
(b) if committed on or towards a person sixteen years of age
or more for five years.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of serious
indecency committed in private between—
(a) a husband and his wife; or
(b) a male person and a female person each of whom is
sixteen years of age or more, both of whom consent to the
commission of the act.
(3) An act of “serious indecency” is an act, other than sexual
intercourse (whether natural or unnatural), by a person
involving the use of the genital organ for the purpose of
arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”
341 See Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Sections of the criminal code that outline
provisions for bodily harm and assault causing bodily harm, 11 September 2007, VCT102596.E, available at: http://www.refworld.
org/docid/47d654822.html.
342 The text of the law is available at: http://rgd.legalaffairs.gov.tt/laws2/alphabetical_list/lawspdfs/11.28.pdf. See also
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Trinidad and Tobago: Situation of homosexuals; state protection; whether Sections
13 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act and Paragraph 8(1)(e) of the Immigration Act are enforced (January 2003 - July 2009), 30 July
2009, TTO103215.E, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4b20f03423.html.
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OCEANIA
Crimes Act 1969.343
COOK ISLANDS
(NEW ZEALAND ASSOCIATE)
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Section 154. Indecency between males
“(1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding five years who, bring a male,(a) Indecently assaults any other male; or
(b) Does any indecent act with or upon any other male; or
(c) Induces or permits any other male to do any indecent act
with or upon him.
(2) No boy under the age of fifteen years shall be charged with
committing or being a party to an offence against paragraph
(b) or paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section, unless the
other male was under the age of twenty-one years.
(3) It is not defence to a charge under this section that the
other party consented.”
Section 155. Sodomy
“(1) Every one who commits sodomy is liable(a) Where the act of sodomy is committed on a female, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding
fourteen years;
(b) Where the act of sodomy is committed on a male, and at the time of the act that male is under
the age of fifteen years and the offender is of over the age of twenty-one years, to imprisonment for
a term not exceeding fourteen years;
(c) In any other case, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.
(2) This offence is complete upon penetration.
(3) Where sodomy is committed on any person under the age of fifteen years he shall not be
charged with being a party to that offence, but he may be charged with being a party to an offence
against section 154 of this Act in say case to which that section is applicable.
(4) It is no defence to a charge under this section that the other party consented.”
Note that Cook Islands is a New Zealand associate, and that the laws in Cook Islands
are only applicable to the islands, and not to New Zealand.
Penal Code [Cap 67] Revised Edition 1977.344
KIRIBATI
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Unnatural Offences
Section 153. “Any person who(a) commits buggery with another person or with an animal; or
(b) permits a male person to commit buggery with him or her,
shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment
for 14 years.”
Attempts to commit unnatural offences and indecent assaults
Section 154. “Any person who attempts to commit any of the
offences it specified in the last preceding section, or who is
guilty of any assault with intent to commit the same, or any
indecent assault upon any male person shall be guilty of a
felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 7 years.”
Indecent practices between males
Section 155. “Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross
indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross
indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person
with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, shall be guilty of a felony,
and shall be liable to imprisonment for 5 years.”
343 Text of the law is available at: http://www.paclii.org/ck/legis/num_act/ca196982/.
344 Text of the law is available at: http://www.paclii.org/ki/legis/consol_act/pc66/.
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OCEANIA
Criminal Code 1899.345
NAURU
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Section 208. Unnatural Offences
“Any person who:
(1) Has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of
nature; or
(2) Has carnal knowledge of an animal; or
(3) Permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him
or her against the order of nature;
is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment with hard
labour for fourteen years”
Section 209. Attempt to commit Unnatural Offences
“Any person who attempts to commit any of the crimes
defined in the last preceding section is guilty of a crime, and is
liable to imprisonment with hard labour for seven years. The
offender cannot be arrested without warrant.”
Section 211. Indecent Practices between Males
“Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits
any act of gross indecency with another male person, or
procures another male person to commit any act of gross
indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission
of any such act by any male person with himself or with
another male person, whether in public or private, is guilty
of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment with hard
labour for three years.”
Palau National Code; Penal Code.346
PALAU
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
§ 2803. Sodomy
“Every person who shall unlawfully and voluntarily have any
sexual relations of an unnatural manner with a member of the
same or the other sex, or shall have any carnal connection in
any manner with a beast, shall be guilty of sodomy, and upon
conviction thereof be imprisoned for a period of not more
than 10 years; provided, that the term “sodomy” shall embrace
any and all parts of the sometimes written “abominable and
detestable crime against nature””.
345 Text of the law available at: http://ozcase.library.qut.edu.au/qhlc/documents/CrimCode1899_63Vic_9.pdf.
346 Text of the law is available at: http://www.oecd.org/site/adboecdanti-corruptioninitiative/46816862.pdf.
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OCEANIA
Criminal Code 1974, as amended in 2002.347
PAPUA
NEW GUINEA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Section 210. Unnatural Offences
“(1) A person who–
(a) sexually penetrates any person against the order of nature; or
(b) sexually penetrates an animal; or
(c) permits a male person to sexually penetrate him or her
against the order of nature, is guilty of a crime.
Penalty: Imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.
(2) A person who attempts to commit an offence against
Subsection (1) is guilty of a crime.
Penalty: imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.”
Section 212. Indecent Practices between Males
“(1) A male person who, whether in public or private–
(a) commits an act of gross indecency with another male person; or
(b) procures another male person to commit an act of gross
indecency with him; or
(c) attempts to procure the commission of any such act by a male person with himself or with
another male person, is guilty of a misdemeanour.
Penalty: Imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.”
Crimes Ordinance 1961, Consolidated Acts of Samoa
2007-2008.348
SAMOA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Section 58D. Indecency between males
“(1) Everyone is liable to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding 5 years who, being a male:
(a) Indecently assaults any other male; or
(b) Does any indecent act with or upon any other male; or
(c) Induces or permits any other male to do any indecent act
with or upon him.
(2) No boy under the age of 16 years shall be charged with
committing or being a party to an offence against paragraph
(b) or paragraph (c) of subsection (1), unless the other male
was under the age of 21 years.
(3) It is no defence to a charge under this section that the
other party consented.”
Section 58E. Sodomy
“(1) Everyone who commits sodomy is liable:
(a) Where the act of sodomy is committed on a female, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7
years.
(b) Where the act of sodomy is committed on a male, and at the time of the act that male is under
the age of 16 years and the offender is of or over the age of 21 years, to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding 7 years.
(c) In any other case, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years.
(2) This offence is complete upon penetration.
(3) Where sodomy is committed on any person under the age of 16 years he shall not be charged
with being a party to that offence, but he may be charged with being a party to an offence against
section 58D of this Act in any case to which that section is applicable.
(4) It is no defence to a charge under this section that the other party consented.”
347 Text of the law is available at: http://www.paclii.org/pg/legis/consol_act/cca1974115//.
348 Text of the ordinance is available at: http://www.paclii.org/ws/legis/consol_act/co1961135/.
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SOLOMON ISLANDS
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
ILLEGAL
Penal Code (Revised Edition 1996).349
Section 160. Unnatural offences
“Any person who(a) commits buggery with another person or with an animal; or
(b) permits a male person to commit buggery with him or her,
shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment
for fourteen years.”
Section 161. Attempts to commit unnatural offences
“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences
specified in the last preceding section, or who is guilty of
any assault with intent to commit the same, or any indecent
assault indecent assaults upon any male person shall be guilty
of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for seven years.”
Section 162. Indecent practices between persons of the same sex (Inserted by Act 9 of 1990, s. 2)
“Any person who, whether in public or private (a) commits any act of gross indecency with another of the same sex;
(b) procures another of the same sex to commit any act of gross indecency; or
(c) attempts to procure the commission of any act of gross indecency by persons of the same sex,
shall be guilty of a felony and be liable to imprisonment for five years.”
Laws of Tonga, Criminal Offences [Cap 18] 1988
Edition.350
TONGA
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Sodomy and bestiality
Section 136. “Whoever shall be convicted of the crime of
sodomy with another person or bestiality with any animal
shall be liable at the discretion of the Court to be imprisoned
for any period not exceeding ten years and such animal shall
be killed by a public officer.” (Substituted by Act 9 of 1987.)
Attempted sodomy, indecent assault upon a male.
Section 139. “Whoever shall attempt to commit the said
abominable crime of sodomy or shall be guilty of an assault
with intent to commit the same or of any indecent assault
upon any male person shall be liable at the direction of the
Court to imprisonment for any term not exceeding 10 years.”
Evidence.
Section 140. “On the trial of any person upon a charge of
sodomy or carnal knowledge it shall not be necessary to prove
the actual emission of seed but the offence shall be deemed
complete on proof of penetration only.”
Whipping for certain offences.
Section 142. “Whenever any male person shall be convicted of
any offence against sections 106, 107, 115, 118, 121, 122, 125,
132, 136 and 139 of this Act the Court may, in its discretion
in lieu of or in addition to any sentence of imprisonment
authorised under this Act order the person so convicted to be
whipped in accordance with the provisions of section 31 of
this Act.” (Substituted by Act 9 of 1987.)
349 Text of the law is available at: http://www.paclii.org/sb/legis/consol_act/pc66/.
350 Text of the law is available at: http://www.paclii.org/to/legis/consol_act/co136/.
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Laws of Tuvalu, Penal Code [Cap 8] Revised Edition
1978.351
TUVALU
MALE/MALE
FEMALE/FEMALE
ILLEGAL
LEGAL
Unnatural offences
Section 153. “Any person who(a) commits buggery with another person or with an animal;
or
(b) permits a male person to commit buggery with him or her,
shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment
for 14 years.”
Attempts to commit unnatural offences and indecent assault
Section 154. “Any person who attempts to commit any of the
offences specified in the last proceeding section, or who is
guilty of any assault with intent to commit the same, or any
indecent assault upon any male person shall be guilty of a
felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 7 years.”
Indecent practices between males
Section 155. “Any male person who, whether in public or
private, commits any act of gross indecency with another
male person, or procures another male person to commit any
act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the
commission of any such act by any male person with himself
or with another male person, whether in public or private,
shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment
for 5 years.”
351 Text of the law is available at: http://www.tuvalu-legislation.tv/tuvalu/DATA/PRIN/1990-008/PenalCode.pdf.
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We are all African
On 13 January 2014, a Bill that was passed by the Senate of Nigeria in
November 2011 and the House of Representatives of Nigeria in May 2013
was enacted into law by the President, H.E Goodluck Jonathan. The Same Sex
Marriage (Prohibition) Act, among other things, prohibits the “public show of
same sex amorous relationships directly or indirectly”. On 24 February 2014,the
President of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Museveni signed into law the Uganda AntiHomosexuality Act which was passed by parliament in December 2013 and
introduced as a private members Bill in 2009 by Member of Parliament,
David Bahati. This law, among other things, prescribes a life sentence for
repeat homosexuality.
Africa has over time been perceived as the continent that is almost entirely
against rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. The
reasons for this have often been cited as religion, culture and the general
‘unAfricanness’ of homosexuality. A large section of the African society
considers homosexuality as a western import.
This really isn’t the case.
Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe in their book “Boy-Wives and Female
Husbands: Studies in African Homosexualities” list a broad array of instances
of homosexuality in Africa before colonisation;
Tutsi boys of Rwanda and Burundi during their training away from the
village to become warriors often have sexual relationships together, some of
which last into adulthood. Among the Iteso of Kenya, people of hermaphroditic
instincts are very numerous. The men are impotent and have the instincts
of women and become ‘women’ for all intents and purposes; their voices are
feminine and their manners of walking and of speech are feminine.352
These are just two examples from a large number of anthropological studies
done on homosexuality in Africa. The passing of the two laws, in Nigeria
and Uganda, have created what could be seen as a possible domino effect in
Africa. Suddenly homosexuality became the main topic of discussion in the
352 Murray, S & Roscoe, W “Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies of African Homosexualities” (London: St. Martin’s Pres,s 1998
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media and in Parliamentary circles across Africa. In Nairobi, Kenya, an antihomosexuality protest was held on 23 February 2014. The head of the group
that organised this protest was quoted as saying that homosexuality “is an
affront to nature, religious and biological norms. It is a disgrace to the men and women
victims who are supposed to be role models with upright morals in society”. A group of
Kenyan Members of Parliament on 18 February 2014 launched a parliamentary
caucus against homosexuality. They vowed to ensure the enforcement of
existing laws against gay sex and strengthening of the laws, if need be. To that
end, they sought explanation from the Attorney-General, the Director of Public
Prosecutions, and the Registrar-General as to why openly gay people are not
being charged with criminal offences and why they are being allowed to form
lobby groups.
In Tanzania, a Member of Parliament from the main opposition party has
submitted a proposal for enactment of a law called “The Bill to Prohibit and
Control any Form of Sexual Relations between Persons of the Same Sex, 2014”. He
claims that the existing laws are not strong enough and wants the country to
mirror Uganda’s Anti-homosexuality Law. The Member of Parliament, much
like the cases in Uganda and Nigeria, wants the law to punish people who
“induce others” to become gay or “promote” homosexuality.
In Ethiopia, where same sex conduct is illegal and punishable with up to 15
years in prison, a Bill has been endorsed by Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers
making homosexual acts “unpardonable”. A presidential pardon is granted to
thousands of prisoners every year on the Ethiopian New Year. However, if the
new law is approved, the president will no longer have the power to carry
out these pardons. The head of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, Mr.
Tiruneh Zena, said that a pardon is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, he said,
passing the Bill would not be harmful to gays and lesbians, and he stated that
it should not affect the LGBT community in any significant way.
A Member of Parliament in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where
homosexuality is not directly banned but where there is a lot of discrimination
against lesbian and gay people, introduced a draft Bill to the Congolese
National Assembly that would explicitly criminalise homosexuality. The
proposed penalty for engaging in homosexual acts is 3 to 5 years in prison and
a fine of 1 million Congolese francs (about $1,000), while a transgender person
would face the same fine and a jail sentence of 3 to 12 years.
These enacted laws and those being considered come into a space where there
already exist laws criminalising same sex conduct and in some cases, like the
Democratic Republic of Congo, there are no laws explicitly criminalising the
same. In most cases, the existing laws only criminalise the same sex conduct.
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r Section 162 of Kenya’s Penal Code Act talks of carnal knowledge against
the order of nature;
r So does section 145 of Uganda’s Penal Code Act;.
r Chapter 14 of the Penal Law of Liberia criminalises voluntary sodomy.
These are laws that have existed before the introduction of new laws further
criminalising homosexuality. The difference between these two sets of laws is
that sexual act was always criminalised, while the Anti-Homosexuality Act in
Uganda and the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act in Nigeria go further and
criminalise the individual.
The effect of the abovementioned further criminalisation is an increase in the
following;
r Instances of human rights abuses for gay and lesbian people;
r Access to health becomes incredibly difficult as a result of these laws
because individuals are not able to openly speak about their sexual
partners;
r People get evicted from their dwelling places due to the fact that they
are gay or lesbian;
r Gay and lesbian individuals become targets of attacks in the streets and
in social spaces;
r The society effectively considers the individuals criminal due to their
sexual orientation or gender identity.
Activists in Nigeria have reported instances of mobs attacking people they
believed to be homosexual and beating some of the victims to near death. These
victims, on being taken to the police station are then further roughed up by
resident officers.
In order to reduce the negative effects of the laws and to stop further
discriminatory laws from being enacted, several measures have been taken,
both locally and internationally. The Nigerian activists who informed this
short overview said that the key responses to the laws should be continued
and increased support for the organisations and the community on the
ground in Nigeria. This is mainly to quell the rhetoric that homosexuality is a
western import. There is a need to build the community’s capacity to speak out
against the Act. They insisted on quiet diplomacy - use the contacts that the
international community has in their respective countries to speak to high-level
persons in Nigeria and abroad about the negative effects of the Act.
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Incremental strategic litigation has been seen as a way in which such laws
can be quelled. Indeed in Kenya, there is an ongoing case against the NGO
Co-ordination Board and the Attorney General on the refusal to register an
organisation with the words “gay and lesbian” in its name. When more such
cases are strategically brought to court, a collection of favourable judgements
will go a long way in challenging the laws as they come up. Supporting
strategic litigation by building the capacity of the activists on the ground in
Africa on the same and assisting in establishing the grounds in which this
can be done is one other response to the increased intolerance by the States
towards gay and lesbian people.
International multi-national corporations form a big part of Africa’s business
sector. These corporations usually have non-discrimination clauses in their
policies and in most cases these clauses include non-discrimination on
grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Activists at the
local level and the international community can push these multi-national
corporations and foreign embassies to speak out publicly about the negative
effects of these laws and the level of discrimination these laws bring about.
They should liaise with the local organisations to find out the effects of these
laws and how human rights are curtailed due to the existence of the same.
The Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights and Constitutional Law in
Uganda called for a number of responses before and after the law was signed
by the president. Among the responses they called for was a recall of United
States, European and other ambassadors from the country. This is meant
to highlight the deteriorating human rights condition in the country. They
called for travel bans for politicians, religious leaders and other public figures
who support the law. They asked the International community to engage the
African Union and the leadership of other African nations such as Rwanda and
South Africa to speak out against the law and the discrimination of sexual and
gender minorities.
But perhaps what could be seen as the most controversial of the
responses sought would be aid conditionality. In October 2011, during the
Commonwealth Meeting of Heads of State, David Cameron, the UK Prime
Minister, threatened to reduce development aid to countries that criminalise
homosexuality. Shortly after the statement was made, the United States also
announced that they would use all available mechanisms, including measures
related to development cooperation, to promote the rights of lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender persons. In February this year, the World Bank
postponed a US$90 million loan due to the signing of the Anti-Homosexuality
Act. Norway said it would be withholding $8m in development aid to Uganda,
and Denmark will divert $9m away from the Ugandan government saying that
they couldn’t distance themselves too strongly from the law and the signal
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that the Ugandan government now sends to not only persecuted minority
groups, but to the whole world. Austria said it was reviewing its assistance to
Uganda.
Most African countries rely heavily on international aid for development, for
improvement of infrastructure, for health care for their people and even for
day to day running of sectors of government. It follows, therefore, that placing
a condition for aid on the protection of human rights, even explicitly on gay
and lesbian rights, would be a great incentive for the States to promote these
rights. However, this is not always the case. Two things will happen once
conditions are placed on aid to protect or promote rights of LGBT persons.
Firstly, homosexuality is widely viewed by states and the society in Africa as a
phenomenon that comes from the West: one that did not exist in the continent
until the infiltration of the West. This means that when Western nation’s
condition aid on promotion of LGBT rights, the false rhetoric of homosexuality
being a western import is further crystalised. As much as this is often done in
good faith, it will appear as the West pushing a Western agenda onto Africa.
Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo termed the postponement
of the World Bank’s loan to his country as “blackmail”. This greatly undermines
the efforts of the activists on the ground and has them having to work even
harder to convince the society that there are those among them who are of
diverse sexual orientation and gender identity who are not influenced by the
West but belong to the same society.
The second thing that happens is a backlash on the LGBT community.
Following the statement by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011, there
was a spike in violence against LGBT people in Tanzania and Kenya. The
reason for this was that the LGBT community was blamed for the potential
deterioration of living standards caused by the reduction in aid.
States will not relent on rights for LGBT people once aid is cut or even
threatened to be cut. They will react to popular opinion of the people and
the popular opinion will always be that Africans’ actions should not be
dictated to by the needs of the West. This will always bring back the ugly
head of colonisation. Aid conditionality has severally been compared to neocolonialism, which is something that is incredibly unpopular in Africa. And
that is putting it lightly.
What ought to be done is that for all the recommendations given on responses
to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity,
focus should not only be placed on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
people but also to all the other atrocities that are happening in Africa.
Withdraw ambassadors from Zambia because of violence and discrimination
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against women, child abuse, trafficking in persons, and discrimination
against persons with disabilities and based on sexual orientation and gender
identity. Issue travel bans to Uganda because of corruption, abuse by security
forces and discrimination against sexual and gender minorities. The LGBT
community should not be perceived by the society as a special group seeking
special rights. After all, we are all human beings, we are all citizens of our
respective countries in Africa. We all suffer from the same injustices our States
put us through. We are all African.
Anthony Oluoch
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Asia these days
Asia is becoming more LGBTI friendly. Most of the time change is not dramatic.
Bit by bit. Incremental. A burst here and there. Status quo elsewhere.
Contradictions are common. Tolerant, open, LGBTI friendly Thailand has no laws
against discrimination or supporting gender identity. Two judges in the Indian
Supreme Court in December, 2013, reinstated an 1860 criminal prohibition on
gay sex, then in April, 2014, a different set of two judges, on the same court,
issued a dramatic opening on transgender rights. Now the Indian Congress Party
has LGBTI rights in their platform, a first in Indian history. But in April they were
predicted to lose the 2014 national election to the BJP, which does not support
reform. Two steps forward. One step back.
CRIMINAL LAWS
Criminal prohibitions in Asia in general do not reflect local decisions, but
colonial era impositions. There are no prohibitions in Japan, China, Indonesia,
or the Philippines. Discriminatory criminal laws are gone in Hong Kong, but
survive in other former British colonies – Bangladesh, Brunei, India, Malaysia,
Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka. Prohibitions survive in at least parts
of Central Asia from the period of the Soviet Union. Mongolia ended a criminal
prohibition in 2002. A ban survives for members of the military in South Korea.
There is a mix of patterns in the Middle East, with prohibitions, for example, in
Iran and Lebanon.
In April, 2014, the tiny, rich, Malay Muslim Sultanate of Brunei, on the north coast
of Borneo, announced they would introduce a new penal code with death by
stoning as a possible punishment for Muslims guilty of rape, adultery, sodomy or
extramarital sexual relations. Yet the Sultanate has had a moratorium on the use
of the death penalty since 1957. UN officials, and others, have protested.
In 2009 the Delhi High Court ‘read down’ section 377, the colonial era antihomosexual criminal law. As a result, the section could no longer apply to
private sexual activity between consenting adults. The government was content
to do nothing. It decided to let the trial judgment stand with no appeal and no
official embrace of LGBTI ‘human rights’. Religious zealots made sure there
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was an appeal to the Supreme Court. In December 2013, a two judge panel
of the Supreme Court reversed the lower court decision, saying the law only
applied to a “miniscule minority” and change should be left to parliament. The
governing Congress Party immediately condemned the decision. Disorder in
the parliament made immediate legislative repeal impossible. A request for a
rehearing was made to the Supreme Court on 22 April, 2014. In the April 2014,
election the platforms of the Congress Party and the new Common Man party
both supported LGBTI rights, while the BJP, expected to win power, remained
silent or opposed.
NON-DISCRIMINATION LAWS AND PRACTICES
Taiwan and Timor Leste are the only national jurisdictions in Asia that prohibit
employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Now at least
three local governments in the Philippines also have such laws. Hong Kong
has mechanisms for addressing discrimination on grounds of sex and gender
diversity, but they appear mostly ineffective. Work on raising awareness
amongst corporate employers is ongoing there and in other parts of Asia. In
Cambodia, to the surprise of outside observers, Prime Minister Hun Sen has
called on Cambodians to end any discrimination against gays and lesbians.
The administrative court in Thailand, in two rulings, has held that the
Constitution prohibits discrimination against transgender individuals, known in
the country as Kathoey. They had been barred from participation in particular
parades and festivals organised by the provincial government in the northern
province of Chiang Mai.
NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONS
National human rights commissions are supposed to have some independence
and expertise, but are advisory only. There are now 13 national commissions
which are recognised as full members of the Asia Pacific Forum of National
Human Rights Institutions. At times, at least, the commissions in Nepal,
South Korea, and Thailand have done excellent work on SOGI issues. Studies
authorised by the APF on LGBT issues in the region are on the APF website (see
www. asiapacificforum.net, and call up “sexual-orientation”).
VISIBILITY
LGBTI visibility remains low. The most visible ‘out’ politician in Asia has been
Sunil Pant, a former member of the national parliament in Nepal. There
are now two out gay men elected in Tokyo, Taiga Ishikawa (Toshima, Tokyo
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ward), and Wataru Ishizaka (Nakano, Tokyo ward), and another in Hong Kong
(Raymond Chan). Unelected opposition political candidate Vincent Wijeysingha
in Singapore came out as gay, and attended the 2013 “Pink Dot” event. Earlier
pioneers were an elected lesbian, Kanako Otsuji, in Osaka and a trans-woman,
Aya Kamikawa, in greater Tokyo. Both attended the ILGA Asia conference in
Chiang Mai. Transgender Hijra run in local elections in India. Some have been
local mayors in the past, and one a member of a state assembly.
The official government website of North Korea acknowledges the existence of
homosexuals in the country (after an earlier denial). A breakthrough of sorts.
But then the official news agency in April 2014, said the practice “can never be
found” in North Korea, and labeled former Australian High Court judge Michael
Kirby (a critic) a “disgusting lecher” for being homosexual.
There are now LGBTI organisations in most parts of Asia. The most effective
at the moment seem to be those in Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam. The first
organisation in Mongolia was legally registered in 2009, after many government
refusals. New organisations are active in Myanmar, with returned exiles actively
involved. 25 young delegates from Myanmar were at the ILGA Asia conference
in Bangkok in March 2013. ILGA Asia will meet in Taiwan in 2015.
An ongoing “ASEAN SOGIE Caucus” of organisations and activists has formed for
the ten country grouping of ASEAN (the Association of South East Asia Nations).
“We are ASEAN too!” they proclaim. ASEAN is the most developed regional intergovernmental organisation in Asia. It has a human rights declaration and a
tame ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. Follow the blog:
http: // aseansogie. wordpress.com.
The University of Hong Kong press has been publishing a series of LGBTI books,
in a “Queer Asia” series. As of 2014 there are eleven titles, dealing with China,
Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.
Pride parades occur annually in Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea,
Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. Azerbaijan had its first pride parade in 2013,
while Kyrgyzstan in 2013 had an “arts festival” with workshops on coming out
and other issues. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have seen ‘flash mobs,’ with
demonstrators riding bicycles or motorcycles with flags and posters. Hanoi
Pride, now in its third year, stages three days of panels, films and events,
including a bicycle rally.
The “Pink Dot” in Singapore has become world famous, as a clever way around
the laws prohibiting public demonstrations. In 2013 a photograph, taken from
a helicopter, showed 21,000 pink people gathered together in a park, holding
candles or flashlights, just after sunset, the lights of downtown in the distance.
In July, 2013, Okinawa had its own “Pink Dot” with 500 demonstrators.
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The annual “SeksualitiMerdeka” festival in Malaysia was banned in 2011. The
courts refused to review the decision of the police. It has not been held since
that time. But there are a couple of bars, and a long-standing gay run health
(and rights) organisation. There is no history of prosecutions for gay sex (other
than those directed at opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim). Prime Minister Najib
Razak has said that “LGBTs, pluralism, liberalism” are all against Islam and “it is
compulsory for us to fight these.”
In China a pride parade in Changsha, Hunan province, in 17 May, 2013, resulted
in four arrests. 80 people from seven different areas of China participated,
strolling along in a riverfront park. The main organiser was detained for twelve
days. No charges were pursued. Queer Comrades made a documentary on the
event.
The sixth Beijing LGBTI film festival in June 2013, was organised ‘guerilla style’,
with showings at scattered locations and announcements of venues made at
the last moment. More organised screenings were held at the French and Dutch
embassies and the American center. There were 28 films from five countries.
For the first time in the history of the festival there was no interference from
authorities. In 2013 some ‘Shanghai Pride’ events were able to go ahead,
including an opening party for 1,500 people (double the number organisers had
expected).
In August 2013, Beijing groups hosted the second annual national conference of
LGBTI activists with funding of US $30,000 from a joint US AID-UN Development
Program project “Being LGBT in Asia”. The national conference had the approval
of Chinese government departments and the China Family Planning Association.
There were more than 140 delegates from 28 regions, including Tibet, Xinjiang,
Hong Kong and Taiwan. Local and foreign media were barred from the event.
TRANSGENDER
In some parts of Asia, transgender individuals living as women or as men, have
access to document change and marriage in a post-transition sex. This is the
pattern in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan, all
Confucian influenced societies. Usually there are quite restrictive conditions
for recognition, though in South Korea, in recent practice, genital surgery has
not been required in all cases. Indonesia follows this pattern of recognition,
as well as at least parts of Central Asia. Iran sees sex reassignment surgery
as appropriate for all homosexuals (and retains a possible death penalty for
homosexual acts). Genital surgery is only available for intersexuals in Vietnam
and Malaysia. Many trans people travel to Thailand for treatment.
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In South Asia there are large communities with ‘third sex’ identities. They are
seen, and see themselves, very much like ethnic minorities. The best known
of these are the Hijra in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (who have alternate
regional names, such as Aravani in South India and Kinnar in Delhi). Hijra
regularly assert that they are neither men nor women. Increasingly, they are
recognised as economically and socially marginalised collectivities (in contrast
to the very individual rights focus for trans people in other places).
In 2007 the Supreme Court of Nepal spoke of third gender individuals,
whose identities should be recognised and respected by government. Some
implementation of that decision has occurred. In 2008 the Supreme Court of
Pakistan made a decision calling on the government to recognise third gender
individuals, and extend government services to them. Reforms began in
India in piecemeal fashion, first in the important south Indian state of Tamil
Nadu. Aravani there were brought within government programs of subsidised
foodstuffs and preferential admission to colleges and government employment
(extending existing programs for the economically marginalised ‘backward
classes’ to them). The Tamil Nadu reforms were copied in other states, and
some reforms began at the national level, including the designation of sex in
passports, voting cards, and in the new national identity cards.
In April 2014, the Indian Supreme Court, in a dramatic decision, ruled that
members of the “Transgender Community” had to be recognised as equal
citizens, and the government was required to work to end discrimination and
marginalisation. The decision notes accounts of transgender individuals in
historical Hindu and Jain religious mythology, and in the life of the Muslim
Mughal court. While the Yogyakarta Principles are quoted at length, along
with various Western reforms, the judgment sees Hijra, and other transgender
groupings, as a distinctive part of historic Indian society, who have fallen on
hard times. Discrimination and marginalisation were entrenched in the British
colonial period, the court says, when Hijra were deemed a ‘criminal tribe.’
The experience in South Asia and Southeast Asia shows greater understanding
or acceptance of gender identity variation, than of differences in sexual
orientation. Transgender identities, such as kathoey, waria and bakla are known
to everyone in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Litigation and negotiation in Thailand convinced the military to end the practice
of labeling MTF transsexuals as suffering from a ‘permanent mental disorder’
when they were exempted from compulsory military service. Employers
always want to see military discharge papers, so the designation could be very
damaging for those seeking jobs. The older terminology was replaced by “gender
identity disorder”, the then official designation in DSM IV. DSM V now speaks of
“gender dysphoria”, but the military has not updated its terminology.
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ASIA
Cross dressing in entertainment is common in parts of Asia. Queer Comrades
in Beijing, has produced a video documentary on drag performers in Nanning,
in SW China. Religious laws in some Malaysian States ban cross-dressing for
Muslims. In the past media have covered stories of police raids on local trans
beauty contests in the country.
RECOGNITION OF RELATIONSHIPS
Some legal recognition of same-sex relationships has occurred, informally, by
immigration systems, in places like Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. Foreign
same-sex partners of expatriate business people, academics and embassy
staff are given residency rights based on the relationship. As well, same-sex
relationships are recognised in laws focused on domestic violence in Hong Kong
and Taiwan. So far there has been no other official legal recognition of same-sex
relationships in Asia, although the issue is ongoing in Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand
and Vietnam.
In 2012 Vietnam began a long process of reform of its family law, on a number
of issues, including surrogacy, heterosexual cohabitation and same-sex
relationships. The focus was on practical questions. There needed to be some
legal rules to deal with issues of property and children. The Minister of Justice
in Vietnam referred to same-sex marriage as ‘inevitable’ if one considered the
question from the viewpoint of human rights, a statement that startled most
observers. In July 2013, the government settled on a more modest reform. The
rules on property and children that applied to married heterosexual couples,
would apply to cohabiting heterosexual couples and to same-sex couples. The
package of reforms had not been enacted as of April 2014.
In 2013 a draft ‘civil unions’ law for same-sex couples was prepared by a
Parliamentary committee in Thailand after five public hearings. The national
election in February, 2014, ended that process. It would have to be started
again under a new government. Reform in Nepal, which for a few years looked
like it would pioneer relationship recognition in Asia, has been stalled because
of a much broader political deadlock in the country. A bill to open marriage
in Taiwan is under consideration, with committee hearings and opposition
demonstrations. Opinion polls suggest majority support for opening marriage,
but opponents are very vocal and well organised.
Welcome to Asia. Do not expect that LGBTI issues are easy to understand in this
region, which comes close to being half of the world.
Professor Douglas Sanders
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State-sponsored homophobia –
the European Region
RUSSIA
June 2013 saw the adoption of a Federal law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’
in Russia. The adoption of this law not only marked a new low point in the wider
trend of cracking down on civil society organising, it also fuelled an intense
and unprecedented international solidarity campaign in support of the Russian
LGBT movement.
The law, just like its regional predecessors, is extremely vague in language,
which makes its application arbitrary. In 2013, only a few charges were brought
to court under the laws, including the case of the promoters that brought Lady
Gaga’s concert to St Petersburg and that were found guilty of ‘homosexual
propaganda’. The far-eastern newspaper ‘Molodoi Dalnevostochnik’ received
a warning from the Federal Monitoring Service that identified an article in
violation of the federal ‘propaganda’ law about a teacher who was fired because
of his sexual orientation. Three activists were found guilty of ‘propaganda’ and
fined; all of them publicly manifested themselves in support of LGBT equality.
The anti-propaganda law paved the way for the introduction of further
homophobic laws. In July, a law prohibiting adoption of children from Russia by
foreign same-sex couples was approved. In August, a deputy of the State Duma
announced that he would introduce a draft law prohibiting blood donation by
LGBTI persons. Another draft law proposing to withdraw parental rights from
individuals who ‘allow for non-traditional sexual relations’ was submitted for
consideration.
The adoption of a federal ‘anti-propaganda’ law contributed to further polarise a
country already hostile to its civil society (e.g. most human rights organisations
or political opponents to the regime in place), and led to an increase in violence
-including inhumane and degrading treatment and hate-speech - against
LGBTI individuals and the supporters of their rights. LGBTI individuals and
organisations applied numerous times to organise public manifestations. In
most cases organisers receive approval, but no protection by law enforcement
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personnel. Several examples of violent counter-protests where human rights
defenders were attacked demonstrate how the inaction of state authorities fuels
further LGBTI-phobia in society. Combined, these developments have led to a
climate of impunity, in which human rights violations against LGBTI individuals
go unpunished.
REGIONAL BACKLASH
The introduction of the anti-propaganda law in Russia inspired other countries
to consider similar steps. In June 2013, the Moldovan parliament passed
a Bill banning the promotion of “Relationships other than those linked to
marriage and family”. The clause was removed a few months later after
extensive external pressure. Two Bills aiming to ban homosexual propaganda
were introduced in the Ukrainian parliament in June. The Bills are currently
not under further consideration. The Belarusian parliament started talking
about the introduction of an anti-propaganda law in July 2013. In August, the
Armenian government introduced a similar law, but quickly removed it after
international pressure. The Latvian Central Election Commission, in November
2013, permitted anti-LGBT organisations to collect signatures in support of
a referendum calling for the introduction of measures banning homosexual
propaganda.
Similar Bills are also reported to be discussed in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
LITHUANIA
Numerous violations of LGBTI people’s human rights occurred in 2013, mostly
consisting of legal restrictions or proposals by State actors. Five parliamentary
proposals were put forward to legally protect bias-motivated speech against
LGBTI persons; limit freedom of speech and assembly for supporters of equality
and non-discrimination; restrict the constitutional definition of ‘family life’
to married heterosexual couples and parents; prevent same-sex couples from
adopting or fostering children (they currently cannot); and outlaw sexual
reassignment surgery for trans people. Having raised every available legal
obstacle to prevent the Baltic Pride from taking place in central Vilnius, the
mayor was forced by a high court to allow the march. Two advertisements for
the pride event were also partially censored on public television in application
of the controversial Law on the Protection of Minors (similar to other ‘antipropaganda’ laws), adopted in 2010.
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CYPRUS
In the northern part of Cyprus, the local parliament after years of external
pressure reformed the local Penal Code in January 2014 to abolish articles 171
and 173, which punished consensual acts between two adults of the same sex or attempts to ‘commit’ them - with prison.
EUROPEAN UNION
In June 2013, the Council of the European Union adopted new Guidelines to
promote and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by LGBTI persons. The
binding guidelines replace the previously non-binding toolkit, and instruct EU
diplomats to work towards eliminating discriminatory laws; promote equality
and non-discrimination; combat state and non-state violence against LGBTI
people; and support and protect human rights defenders. The guidelines are
the first international instrument to explicitly incorporate ‘intersex’ as category
of people that should be targeted to improve their human rights. Moreover, it
includes the removal of discriminatory laws as a key priority for the foreign
policy work of the European Union.
Bjorn van Rozendaal, ILGA Europe’s Programmes Director,
on the basis of reports by ILGA-Europe”
RUSSIA AND THE UNITED NATIONS353
The number of recommendations by States at Russia’s second cycle Universal
Periodic Review interactive dialogue, as reported in the Working Group’s Final
Report,354 that directly reference SOGI is 13 (compared with two in 2009). What
is especially interesting in the second cycle of the UPR is the number of State
recommendations that do not directly mention the words ‘homosexuality’,
‘LGBT’, or ‘SOGI’, but the issue being brought up applies exactly to SOGI: these
range in subject from increasing human rights training, protection of human
rights defenders, removing restrictions on NGOs, repeal of the ‘foreign agents’
law, freedom of expression and assembly, and many that recommend bringing
national laws into conformity with international human rights law and
353 These examples are given to signify the weight of UN global standards and binding law obligations on Russia only, and
does not reference the range of European mechanisms and institutions for human rights that have addressed the situation
of the human rights of LGBTI people in Russia to date.
354 United Nations Human Rights Council Final Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Russian Federation
A/HRC/24/14, 8 July 2013, paras. 140.84, 140.86-140.97.
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standards. In total, there are 47 further recommendations that fit this category,
and a further 11 comments made at the Interactive Dialogue (10 of which come
from the European Region, and one from Japan).
A Russian LGBT Network summary to the OHCHR on the concept of ‘traditional
values’ illustrates the rising progression of the Russian Orthodox Church’s ideas
entering public policy since the end of the Soviet era,355 logically resulting in a
number of repressive federal laws as discussed above.
Importantly in the context of this rising State-sponsored homophobia, in
Fedotova v. Russian Federation,356 in 2012 the Human Rights Committee that
oversees the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) held that the
ban on homosexual propaganda in the Ryazan Region violated Irina Fedotova’s
rights to freedom of expression357 and non-discrimination. In doing so, the
Human Rights Committee reversed its 1982 decision in the case of Hertzberg
v. Finland.358 A key line of defence in this case involved the concept that a law
must be neutral, and not specify a particular sexual orientation359 (without a
countering reason of greater import), otherwise it is discriminatory,360 as was
also asserted in Romer v Evans,361 although denied in Botswana and Zimbabwe
national courts.362
355 Russian LGBT Network “’Best Practice’ of Using the Concept of “Traditional Values” in Russia” 28 February 2012 (on
OHCHR website) http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/HRValues/RussianLGBTNetwork.pdf (date accessed: 2 September
2013) [presents very informative milestones of Church successes of insinuating values into regional and federal legislations,
including the current legislation].
356 United Nations Human Rights Committee Fedotova v. Russian Federation, Communication No. 1932/2010, 30 November 2012,
at para. 10.5: “In this respect, the Committee recalls, as stated in its General Comment No. 34, that “‘the concept of morals derives from
many social, philosophical and religious traditions; consequently, limitations … for the purpose of protecting morals must be based on
principles not deriving exclusively from a single tradition’. Any such limitations must be understood in the light of universality of human
rights and the principle of non-discrimination”, United Nations Human Rights Committee, General Comment 34, CCPR/C/GC/34, 12
September 2011, at para. 32.
357 Under Article 19.2 of the ICCPR, as found in United Nations Human Rights Committee Laptsevich v. Belarus,
Communication No.780/1997, 20 March 2000, at para. 8.1.
358 United Nations Human Rights Committee Hertzberg et al. v. Finland, Communication No. 61/1979, 2 April 1982: this case,
the first sexual orientation ever before the UN Human Rights Committee, was found in favour of the Finnish government
that whoever “publicly encourages indecent behaviour between persons of the same sex” was subject to a six-month prison
sentence or a fine, under Article 19, paragraph 3, of the Covenant. Fedotova eventually overturned this because jurisprudence
“has developed” (para. 5.9(a)), the by 2012 well-recognised principle of non-discrimination in IHRL (para. 5.9(b)), and
conceptions of public morality are open to change, here reflecting supra Toonen; and Dudgeon, para. 5.9(c).
359 This analysis is modified from that in the International Commission of Jurists’ Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in
International Human Rights Law: the ICJ Compilation, 5th ed., (Geneva: ICJ, 2013).
360 United Nations, Economic and Social Council Siracusa Principles on the Limitation and Derogation of Provisions in the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, annex, E/CN.4/1985/4 (1985), principle 2; United Nations Human Rights
Committee’s General Comment No. 22 on the Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion, Supplement No. 40 (A/48/40),
annex VI (1993), at para. 8.
361 Romer, Governor of Colorado, et al. v. Evans et al. (94-1039), 517 U.S. 620 (1996)
362 In Banana v. State, Supreme Court of Zimbabwe (29 May 2000), the Chief Justice said, “I do not believe that this court,
lacking the democratic credentials of a properly elected parliament, should strain to place a sexually liberal interpretation
on the Constitution of a country whose social norms and values in such matters tend to be conservative”; Kanane v. State,
Court of Appeal, Botswana (30 July 2003).
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The situation of Human Rights Defenders in Russia has been raised by the UN
Rapporteur who looks after that brief in 2007,363 2010,364 and 2012365 racism and
xenophobia in the same year,366 hate speech, police, violence, stigma in 2009,367
and lesbians and transgender women under CEDAW.368 The UN Committee
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) requested information on
discrimination of LGBT people in 2011,369 and the Committee Against Torture
(CAT) advised Russia of its obligations under the Covenant in 2012.370
(Additional text: Aengus Carroll)
363 Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders. Addendum:
Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received, A/HRC/4/37/Add.1, 27 March 2007: Russia (freedom of
assembly/association).
364 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, A/HRC/16/44, 20 December 2010
365 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. Addendum: Observations on
communications transmitted to Governments and replies received, A/HRC/19/55/Add.2, 23 February 2012.
366 Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related
intolerance. Addendum: Mission to Russian Federation, A/HRC/4/19/Add.3, 30 May 2007.
367 Russian Federation, CCPR/C/RUS/CO/6, 29 October 2009.
368 Russian Federation, CEDAW/C/USR/CO/7, 16 August 2010.
369 Russian Federation, E/C.12/RUS/CO/5, 1 June 2011.
370 Russian Federation, CAT/C/RUS/CO/5, 11 December 2012.
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This report compiled by Lucas Paoli Itaborahy and
Jingshu Zhu and published by ILGA is copyright
free provided you mention both ILGA and the two
authors, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
Trans and Intersex Association.
Suggested citation: International Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association: Itaborahy,
L.P. & Zhu, J, State Sponsored Homophobia 2014: A
world survey of laws: criminalisation, protection and
recognition of same-sex love (Geneva; ILGA, May
2014).
Free digital versions of the report in Word format
and maps on LGB legislation in the world, in Africa,
Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean are
available for groups to print.
Most of this material is available in Arabic, Chinese,
English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Maps are also available in Arabic, Chinese, Dutch,
Estonian, German, Hindi, Italian, Montenegrin,
Russian and Turkish.
Download the maps and reports at www.ilga.org
or contact [email protected]
Coordination: Alessia Valenza, Aengus Carroll
Design and typesetting: Renné Ramos
Maps: Eduardo Enoki
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ILGA is a world-wide network of national and local groups dedicated
to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex
(LGBTI) people everywhere.
Founded in 1978, it now has more than 1000 member organizations.
Every continent and approximately 110 countries are represented.
ILGA is to this day the only international non-governmental communitybased association focused on fighting discrimination on grounds of
sexual orientation and gender identity as a global issue.
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Pan Africa ILGA, ILGA-Asia, ILGA-Europe, ILGA-LAC,
ILGA-North America and ILGA-ANZAPI are regional chapters of ILGA.
www.ilga.org
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