The number of countries with laws against same-sex sexual activity has dropped from 92 a decade ago to 75 today, according to tallies kept by ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.
ILGA’s 2016 edition of its State-Sponsored Homophobia report, by Aengus Carroll, is being published today.
The latest countries to repeal their anti-LGBT laws, as reported previously, are:
- Mozambique, on the southeastern coast of Africa, with a population of 24 million, adopted a new Penal Code in the second half of 2014 and was dropped from this blog’s list in early 2015.
- The tiny nations of Palau in the western Pacific Ocean and São Tomé and Príncipe, in the Atlantic Ocean off the shores of central Africa, recently decriminalized homosexuality and were dropped from this list in 2014.
- Lesotho also was dropped from the list after adopting a new Penal Code, which effectively eliminated the nation’s former common-law crime of sodomy.
This blog’s similar 79-country list includes four political entities that are not on the ILGA list:
- Indonesia, where two large provinces outlaw homosexual acts; and
- Three political entities that have anti-LGBT laws but that aren’t accepted as countries by the international community — the Cook Islands, a self-governing country whose residents all have citizenship in New Zealand; Gaza/Palestine; and the territory of Syria and Iraq that is controlled by Daesh/ISIS/ISIL troops.
The latest ILGA report states:
“There are 75 States that we classify as criminalising States: it should be noted that some of these States either have no law, or have such repressive regimes (like Egypt, Qatar and Iraq) that same-sex sexual relations are functionally severely outlawed. “
Also see this blog’s discussion of the law in Egypt, which does not explicitly outlaw sodomy, but uses an Arabic euphemism that, in effect, is much the same as English legal euphemisms such as “against the order of nature.”
The ILGA report adds:
“We note that in 45 of these States (24 in Africa, 13 in Asia, six in the Americas and two in Oceania), the law is applied to women as well as men.”