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5 countries where homosexuality is illegal

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  • 68 countries still punish homosexuality.
  • Stigma can also mean harassment by society and authorities.
  • Learn about 5 countries where same-sex sexual relationships are still illegal.

What are the countries where homosexuality is still illegal? In some nations, mainly in the East, any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality is still taboo. In some cases it can be punished by imprisonment, fines and, in some cases, even death.

There are at least 68 countries that still penalize homosexuality. In eleven of them, the death penalty is the maximum punishment. Find out which nations have these types of law and the consequences for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Countries where homosexuality is illegal: Algeria

countries that criminalize homosexuality

In Algeria same-sex relationships are illegal. Homosexuality is punishable by up to three years in prison and fines, based on Article 338 of the Algerian Penal Code, which criminalizes sexual relations between people of the same sex.

“Any act of debauchery committed against nature with an individual of the same sex will be punished with imprisonment from two to ten years and a fine between 5,000 and 100,000 dinars [approximately between $38 and $770 US dollars].» In addition, LGBT+ people in Algeria face discrimination in many aspects of life, such as employment, housing, and access to healthcare. Often, they also experience harassment, violence and abuse from society and authorities.


sudan lgbt flag

Sudan is another of the countries that penalize homosexuality. In this nation, sexual activity between two people of the same sex is not only frowned upon and considered immoral, it is also an illegal act that is penalized, according to article 148 of the penal code, with up to five years in prison, fines, and public flogging.

As occurs in countries where homosexuality is a crime, discrimination and harassment towards the LGBTQIA+ community often results in physical and mental suffering, Members of this community often lack access to timely medical care or basic services such as public education. In 2020, the death penalty for homosexuality was abolished, after the fall of the Omar al-Bashir regime.

Countries that criminalize homosexuality: Iran

iran lgbt

In Iran, homosexuality is illegal and penalized, as Islamic law prohibits same-sex sexual activity However, currently, death sentences for this are rare. Instead punishments such as imprisonment, whipping and fines have been imposed.

Article 233 of the Iranian Penal Code states that, «Sexual intercourse between men, whether penetrative or penetrated, is prohibited and shall be punishable by death.» While women who have sex with other women can be sentenced to between 100 lashes and three years in prison.


countries that criminalize homosexuality

Morocco is on the list of countries that penalize homosexuality. Penalties for homosexual behavior include up to three years in prison and high fines.

Article 489 of the Criminal Code establishes that, «Anyone who commits impudent or unnatural acts with a person of the same sex will be punished with imprisonment from six months to three years and a fine of 200 to 1,000 dirhams [approximately between $20 and $100]».

Saudi Arabia

saudi arabia lgbt

Saudi Arabia is governed by Islamic law. Homosexuality is considered a serious crime that can be punished with the death penalty. The Penal Code of this country establishes that homosexual relations are punishable by prison, fines, whippings and even public execution in extreme cases.

The law also criminalizes any type of activity that is considered «immoral» or that goes against Islamic values. In addition to the criminalization of homosexuality, LGBT+ people in Saudi Arabia face discrimination and harassment from society and the authorities. They often face bullying, persecution and exclusion in daily life, including in the workplace, education and health.

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