Protesters to challenge 8 countries’ anti-LGBT laws

IDAHO logo
IDAHO logo

Protests and celebrations to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) will be held May 17 in and for at least eight of the 76 countries where homosexuality is illegal.

Those activities are in addition to the scores of events planned for countries that continue to struggle with homophobia but do not have laws that define homosexuals as criminal.  IDAHO events are planned in and for the following countries that have criminalized homosexuality, seeking the repeal of those laws:


The following events are listed on the IDAHO website:

Nigerian flag
Nigerian flag

NIGERIA. The group Nigerian LGBTIs in Diaspora Against Anti Same-Sex Laws will hold a rally outside the Nigerian embassy in London.

Centered on the theme “We Are Family – Freedom to Love for all Nigerians,” the rally will include sharing of personal stories and experiences of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.  The group’s position paper on the Anti Same-Sex Marriage bill currently pending before the Nigerian legislatures will be delivered to the Nigerian High Commissioner.

Nigerian law. In Nigeria, homosexual behavior is punishable by up to 14 years in prison and, in the areas where sharia law applies, by capital punishment for men and by lashings and imprisonment for women.

The Nigerian senate has approved a bill that would make same-sex marriages illegal, punishable by up to 14 years in jail, with a sentence of up to 10 years for anyone helping at a gay marriage.

Related stories:

Iranian flag
Iranian flag

IRAN.  A report on the lives of LGBT Iranians will be presented in London on May 16 by the groups Small Media and the Peter Tatchell Foundation.  The event will include

An overview of the report’s findings by Small Media’s Director of Operations, Dr Bronwen Robertson, a music performance from Iranian guitarist Ramtin Montazemi, a Q&A panel of Iranian experts moderated by the Guardian’s Brian Whitaker, a poetry reading of work by Iranian LGBT literary activists, a short video screening about LGBT asylum seekers in Turkey, and video messages from LGBT Iranians enduring the repression of the Iranian government. Plus lesbian activist Shadi Amin, human rights lawyer Mehri Jafari and journalist for the Guardian Saeed Kamali Dehghan.

Iranian law. In Iran, homosexual activity is punishable by hanging.

Related stories:

Botswana flag
Botswanan flag

BOTSWANA. A dance choreographed and performed by Kalvin K Kol-Kes will be presented in Botswana on May 17 in conjunction with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Botswanan law. Homosexual activity in Botswana can be prosecuted under a law against “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature,” which carries a punishment of up to seven years in prison. The LGBT rights group LEGABIBO is seeking to have that law declared unconstitutional.

Related stories:

Cameroonian flag
Cameroonian flag

CAMEROON.  In the capital city Yaoundé, the group Humanity First Cameroon is planning a workshop for LGBT activists, a public conference, and a cultural evening.

Cameroonian law. Under the law, homosexual activity is punishable by prison terms of six months to five years.

In March, police in Cameroon broke up a planned three-day meeting on AIDS and the human rights of sexual minorities, stating that gay rights was an inappropriate topic for a public meeting.

Related stories:

Sri Lankan flag
Sri Lankan flag

SRI LANKA. The  Sri Lankan LGBT organization Equal Ground is sponsoring an  IDAHO poster competition. It will also show the documentary “Repeal Section 365A” about the country’s anti-homosexuality law, followed by a panel discussion.

Sri Lankan law. Under the law, homosexual activity is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Moroccan flag
Moroccan flag

MOROCCO.  The LGBT group GayMaroc is running a national campaign to repeal the country’s law, article 489, that prohibits homosexual relationships.

Moroccan law. Morocco calls for penalties of six months to three years for homosexual activities.

In addition, Gay Star News reported these IDAHO plans:

►Freedom and Roam Uganda is dedicating IDAHO 2012 to the bisexual community with the launch of a program that will specifically target bisexual people.

►In Kenya, the organization Women Working with Women will organize a football and volleyball tournament between LGBT teams and allies.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, and editor/publisher of Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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