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(Old count): 83 countries where homosexuality is illegal

(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.

See Also

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).

View Comments (3)
  • The count should be 85 – with Australia included due to the fact that it’s large state of Queensland retains an active Sodomy Law (Section 208 of the 1899 Criminal Code). The age of consent for all other acts is 16, however Section 208 applies a penalty of up to 14 years in prison for any person not yet 18 who engages, or attempts to engage, in “sodomy” (anal intercourse). The law also applies to any person over 18 whom they might be doing sodomy with. Queensland is also the only region in Australia where 17 year olds can be sent to an adult prison. “Consent” is not accepted by the Courts as a defense to this crime. The “Sodomy Law” came into being in November 1990 when sex between men was otherwise “decriminalised”. The Government PCJC Report which led to that reform had also specifically recommended that the age of consent should be made equal at 16 for all persons, regardless of their gender or whether the act they were doing was considered “homosexual” or “heterosexual”. The Goss Labor Government of the time refused to enact an equal age of consent, and instead installed the Sodomy Law to placate MPs within their own ranks who had opposed decriminalisation and who held the irrational fear that older men would prey on younger men. The Sodomy Law was introduced due to ignorance and homophobia – and it remains because no Queensland government since 1990 has had the guts to make a simple change in law which would ensure equal treatment, protection and support of all youth, regardless of their gender or sexuality. Until the Queensland Sodomy Law is removed, Australia must be included among the worst nations in the world for laws which make homosexuality illegal. My website detailing 15 years of action on this law is at:

      • Thank you Colin – I used “85” just in following on from your text in which you mention possible additions to the 81 – with Russia perhaps at 84, due to it’s law against publicly promoting homosexuality. There is common misinformation on the internet which suggests that all the laws against homosexuality in Australia have already been fixed – and sadly that misinformation feeds on itself – and is occasionally further fueled by LGBT activists in other Australian states who ought to know better. Queensland is currently being Governed by the ultra-conservative Liberal/National Party who hold a 90% majority in Parliament – and the only way they will ever consider enacting an equal age of consent is if there is considerable public pressure from the rest of the nation, or from the rest of the world, The previous liberal-minded Labor government flatly refused to enact this reform even though their official Policy Platform included very specific support for “equity in laws relating to age of consent”. A simple example of what’s wrong with the Sodomy Law – as a hazard to youth – is that the policy of Education Queensland (the state education authority) is that if the school becomes aware of any student aged under 18 who is believed to have engaged in Sodomy, then the Principal is obliged to report the matter directly to Police. The Queensland Sodomy Law has the potential to cause a great deal of harm – not least by obstructing the effective delivery of safe sex education. Even though this law has only rarely been used to secure a prosecution, it is clearly offensive that it particularly defines young homosexually-active males as being likely potential criminals. Any help you give in raising the profile of this issue will be greatly appreciated. x John

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