10 countries with anti-LGBT laws might face Google’s wrath

Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, India,
Malaysia, Singapore and Russia.

Google marchers at 2012 Pride Parade in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Google)
Google marchers at 2012 Pride Parade in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Google)

Those are some of the countries that might feel the greatest pressure from Google as the Internet search company pursues its new “Legalize Love” campaign.

Google has offices in those countries, which are among the 76-plus nations with laws related to homosexual activity.

“‘Legalize Love’ is a campaign to promote safer conditions for gay and lesbian people inside and outside the office in countries with anti-gay laws on the books,” according to a Google statement. ” ‘Legalize Love’ is our call to decriminalize homosexuality and eliminate homophobia around the world.”

Google has a history of supporting gay rights.  So far, though, much of Google’s focus in its LGBT-right work has been in countries where homosexuality is legal — for example, participation in Pride Parades in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv and Warsaw.

Beyond those, Google’s London office invited the Kaleidoscope Trust to hold a meeting of  LGBT activists from more than 40 countries to discuss strategies for achieving LGBT rights in British Commonwealth countries, many of which still have colonial-era laws against homosexuality.

CNN said the campaign “will focus on countries such as Singapore, where certain homosexual activities are illegal, and Poland, which has no legal recognition of same-sex couples.”

Here are some of the countries that have Google offices as well as laws against homosexuality:

Senegal.  Imprisonment for 1-5 years for “unnatural acts.”

Ghana. “Unnatural carnal knowledge” is a misdemeanor.

Nigeria.  Imprisonment for up to 14 years for homosexual activity. In addition, the Nigerian Senate, but not the House, has approved a bill that would allow imprisonment of people believed to be homosexuals or  advocating in favor of LGBT rights.

Kenya. Imprisonment for up to seven years for male homosexual activity.

Egypt. Imprisonment for “shameless public acts.”

United Arab Emirates. The national law may be interpreted as providing the death penalty for homosexual acts, but no actual instances have been reported.

India. The law against homosexual activity has been suspended pending further court action.

Malaysia. Imprisonment for up to 20 years.

Singapore. Male homosexual activity punishable by up to two years in prison.

In addition, in Russia, the City of St. Petersburg and several Russian regions have laws against homosexual “propaganda,” which includes Pride Parades.

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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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