In Which We Face The Law

I’m afraid today’s post won’t be so rosy, Gentle Reader. If you want something uplifting, you might want to go re-read In Praise of the Femme. We’re about to get a little bit serious.

In Yemen, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Sudan, homosexual acts are punishable by death.  In Iraq* and the United Arab Emirates, laws are more ambiguous, but LGBTQIA folks have still been recently been put to death by the courts. At the end of this post, I’ll have a list of countries where homosexuality is merely illegal, but in these countries you can still be put to death.

death penalty for fags

Be glad I decided to stay away from graphic imagery in this post. I threw up twice looking for suitable photos.

This isn’t to say that these are the most dangerous countries in which to be gay. Mob “justice”, mauling, and flat-out murder are carried out all over the world, regardless of what laws are on the books. We all know about Uganda for example, and Russia doesn’t actually have a law prohibiting homosexuality at all – just gay “propaganda”. Naturally, this doesn’t prevent roving gangs of thugs from robbing people of their lives, nor does it prevent people from being imprisoned indefinitely. It’s merely a polite fiction.


Seriously: Fuck you, Putin

If you google which countries are the most homophobic, or which are the most dangerous for LGBT travelers, or which have the highest rate of hate crimes, you’ll wind up with several different lists that in no way coincide. Information is supressed, distorted, erased. Your best bet, if you want to stay safe, is to hide who you are and conform as much as possible – particularly in regards to gender presentation. Even if you can’t possibly fool anyone, you have to try – your life may depend on it.

But that’s all just common sense; what can we actually do about these laws?

Precious little. Spread awareness, get people talking – hope, if you’re not too cynical. Pray, if you pray. Not much beyond that. But people need to know.

A List of Countries In Which Homosexuality Is Illegal:

I’ve taken the time to find links on the specific laws in each country, and in cases where the laws are in the process of being challenged, or changed, such as Malawi, I’ve done my best to find the most up-to-date information. I hope that this isn’t a resource that many need to use, but for what it’s worth, it’s here.

For more specifics, though not for all the countries listed, you can check out a BuzzFeed article that’s … actually useful. 


*Um, obviously the situation in Iraq is very tricky right now. The laws are ambiguous at the moment, in light of the recent situation. Apparently, there is no official law against homosexuality, but sharia judges have been condemning people to death. 

†India repealed its anti-gay laws in 2013, but if I’m not mistaken, things are tied up in court and the current situation is confusing.

‡ These countries had, have, or are considering laws that, while not outright banning homosexuality, will ban it in effect – à la Rousse, if you will.

About Ty DeLyte

Madame DeLyte has suffered a grave disappointment - YET AGAIN - and still believes that freedom, beauty, and truth are what's valuable, rather than vulgar cash. He'd add love to that list - but, well, what can he say about love?
This entry was posted in Drama, Musings, PRIDE and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to In Which We Face The Law

  1. Michael May says:

    That’s more than 43% of the world’s countries. By official count, just shy of 43% if Taiwan is included as a world country. By sheer numbers, it would seem inadequate to even call it too many. This is beyond too many, it goes beyond atrociously too many. I knew it was bad. As a straight male, I don’t know how bad, it’s nearly impossible for me to, but this helps paint a much better picture than I had before. Thank you, and I will do what I can to help.

    • Thank you, sir. A few of those are disputed zones, rather than recognized countries, so that may skew the math a little – but only one or two, out of around 80+. It’s atrocious.

      What gets me is that we’re so hung up on the marriage question in this country. Yes, that’s important, but open your eyes, folks! EVEN IF YOU KEEP YOUR GAZE ONLY WITHIN THIS COUNTRY, there are bigger fish to fry. And world wide – well.

    • Oh, hey, also: Fun Fact: Every other list of countries-where-homosexual-acts-are-illegal I found? Was arranged by continent. I’m pretty sure this is the only world-wide alphabetical list that’s somewhat current. I arranged it myself, because obviously persecution isn’t able to be neatly tied to geography.

  2. Wow, there were a few surprises in that list, I knew it was bad but I didn’t know how bad it was by half! Thank you for the eye opening post!

  3. This makes me so sad for our world. Why is it so difficult when it should be so simple? Sexual preference is no one else’s damn business but our own. There are many things which should be punishable by death, the abuse of children & animals being the first two which spring to mind. But a persons sexuality should never ever be one of them. I know I’m not saying anything earth shattering that you don’t already know but it makes me so angry.

    • Me too. I was casting around this morning – I had two more posts to do, and then Pride Month was over! You know, maybe I could do a serious post about all the places things are so worse off for … Oh. Oh shit.

      Russia? You don’t even get to talk. Uganda, take a seat, child. Here are the ten where they actually kill you.

      I hadn’t slept, and it was awful anyway, but –

      Yeah. Still gross.

    • I guess I’m mostly just numb/sad. Like – I live in America! I can’t even change things HERE, where a vote is supposed to fix EVERYTHING – and then, well, stuff is put back in perspective.

  4. Holy Shit!! I was shocked to see so many countries listed, and some of the countries surprised me. People just don’t think! Herd mentality (religion) can be very scary. I know this won’t make me popular to say this, but, to me, it all boils down to religion. Someone wrote something in an old book (several different books) that people have been scared into believing as truth, they read, interpret certain actions as bad, and they lose their minds, instead of using their minds! I think I’ll make a t-shirt with that “Use Your Mind, Don’t Lose Your Mind.”

    • It really is appalling, the number of countries. After I’d written the post, and was going through to find the links for the specific laws in each country – that’s when it hit me. It took hours, and I got to the point where “Hey! Only fourteen years of prison for a single kiss!” seemed *reasonable* – compared to some countries, that’s nothing.

      Also? I would buy that shirt in a heartbeat.

  5. linnetmoss says:

    Scary! I would not be surprised if there are still a few US states with sodomy laws on the books that are no longer enforced, but that could be, if the nuts took over…

    • Actually, there are 13 states where they are still on the books. Last year, a couple local cops tried to enforce them, and… yeah. It didn’t go well.

      • I’m glad to hear it has dropped to 13, I know only a few years ago it was more then that. At least there is progress in the right direction. As hard as it is to see how many still have the death penalty at least you can look around and see some progress dear one. And what you are doing right now is the best thing you can do, educating people and getting people talking. With out people talking and their anger and outrage over the situation nothing can happen. Keep spreading the word and keep up the good work!

      • linnetmoss says:

        Yes, I think I remember that. It must be what brought it to mind. As I recall, some of those laws prohibited oral sex regardless of the gender of the partners.

  6. Pingback: Post the Sixty Ninth: AN EXPLOSION OF PRIDE | Whimsical Adventures of the Reverend Doctor

  7. Uncle the Colonel says:

    “A Chicken in Every Office, and Two Cameras in Every Bedroom.”

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