(Old count): 83 countries where homosexuality is illegal

Russian pride protest. (Photo courtesy of
In 83 countries, same-sex love is illegal. That total doesn’t include Russia, despite its crackdown against LGBT people. (Photo of Russian police disrupting LGBT pride protest courtesy of

[For the latest tally, see this blog’s updated list of countries with anti-homosexuality laws. The text below is from December 2013.]

76+ countries with anti-homosexuality laws? It’s more like 83.

Click image for list of people in jail or awaiting trial.

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) lists 78 countries with criminal laws against sexual activity by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) people, but the number 78 is an understatement.

A more realistic count puts the total at  83 countries. (See this blog’s list.)

The ILGA total, published earlier this year, would be 82 countries if you were to include Indonesia, where two large provinces outlaw homosexual acts, along with three political entities that aren’t fully accepted by the international community — Gaza, Palestine and the Turkish-controlled northern portion of Cyprus.

On Dec. 11, the total increased by one — to 83 countries with anti-homosexuality laws — when the Supreme Court of India reversed a lower court ruling that had suspended enforcement of the law.

Recent world map shows countries (in black) with laws against homosexual activity. The map now needs to be revised to show India in black.
Recent world map shows countries (in black) with laws against homosexual activity. The map now needs to be revised to show India in black.

The total would actually be 84 countries if you were to include Russia, which does not have a law against homosexual acts but is in the midst of an anti-gay crackdown on the basis of its new law against “gay propaganda.”

Back in 2012, based on a separate, nearly complete count, St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation put the total at 76. The foundation’s list was used in that year’s Spirit of 76 Worldwide program aimed at repealing those laws. It also inspired the name of this blog — “Erasing 76 Crimes.”

For the full list of 83 countries and independent political entities with anti-homosexuality laws, see the newly retitled page “83 countries where homosexuality is illegal” (right after that page’s introductory paragraphs).

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.


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