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Where is Gay Sex Illegal?

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Question: Where is Gay Sex Illegal?
According to The International Lesbian and Gay Association, 85 countries criminalize consensual same sex acts among adults in 2007. Not all of the countries listed systematically enforce these laws, but the fact remains that they are on the books. More countries outlaw gay male sex than lesbian sex. The countries with an * do not consider female/female sex illegal.

This list was updated on 9/25/09. Eight countries were removed and one Burundi, was added. In 2009, for the first time in history, same-sex relations have been criminalized in Burundi.

Answer:

The following countries have laws that ban homosexual sex:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Antiqua and Barbuda
  • *Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bhutan
  • Botswana
  • *Brunei
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • *Cook Islands
  • Djibouti (unknown status)
  • Dominica
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • *Gambia
  • *Gaza
  • Ghana
  • *Grenada
  • Guinea
  • *Guyana
  • *India
  • Iran
  • *Iraq
  • *Jamaica
  • *Kenya
  • *Kiribati
  • *Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • *Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • *Malawi
  • *Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mauritania
  • *Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • *Myanmar
  • *Namibia
  • *Nauru
  • Nicaragua
  • *Nigeria
  • Oman
  • *Pakistan
  • *Palau
  • *Papua New Guinea
  • Qatar
  • *Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi-Arabia
  • Senegal
  • *Seychelles
  • *Sierra Leone
  • *Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland (female/female-unclear)
  • Syria (female/female-unclear)
  • *Tanzania
  • Togo
  • *Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (plans to repeal the law)
  • *Turkmesistan
  • *Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • *Uzbekistan
  • *Western Samoa
  • Yemen
  • *Zambia
  • *Zimbabwe

Countries Whose Laws do not Explicitly ban Same-Sex Behavior, but have some laws which have been used to punish gay and lesbian behavior:

  • Costa Rica
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Egypt
  • Indonesia

Source: International Lesbian and Gay Association, Daniel Ottosson, researcher
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