Eroding support for laws threatening death for gay sex

Until this month, at least seven nations with large Muslim populations either had laws threatening the death penalty for gay sex or allowed local anti-gay groups to execute sexual minorities. The number dropped to six this month.

This photo accompanied the Iran Human Rights report on three men who were hanged in Shiraz on Aug. 3.
These three men, hanged in Iran in 2014, may have been convicted and executed for gay sex. (Photo courtesy of Iran Human Rights)

On July 9, Sudan removed the death penalty as a punishment for homosexuality, leaving life imprisonment as the maximum penalty for a third offense.

That leaves six countries that definitely have laws providing the death penalty for gay sex or that otherwise allow such executions to occur. (Those nations are Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Somali, Yemen,  and part of Nigeria.)

Many fewer countries actually impose or allow the death sentence — by this blog’s best estimate, four of them. (Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Somalia)

For an analysis of available facts about those countries and others (Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar and U.A.E.) where it’s theoretically possible to interpret the laws as allowing executions for gay sex, see the article “6 nations have death penalty for gay sex; 4 carry it out”.

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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 info@76crimes.com.

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Sudan drops death penalty for homosexuality

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