36 Commonwealth nations have laws against gay sex

Map shows members of the Commonwealth of Nations, including those with anti-homosexuality laws and those that have repealed them. (Map courtesy of Wikipedia)
Map shows members of the Commonwealth, including nations with anti-homosexuality laws and those that have repealed them. (Map courtesy of Wikipedia)

Among the 53 nations in the Commonwealth of nations, the following 36 still have anti-homosexuality laws  Worldwide, 74 countries still have such anti-homosexuality laws.


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About half of the world’s laws against same-sex intimacy can be traced back to laws that were imposed by the British on their colonies. Almost all Commonwealth countries formerly were part of the British Empire.

These are the latest changes among Commonwealth nations with such laws, which totaled 39 as of  early 2016:

  • In May 2016, Seychelles repealed its anti-gay law.
  • In  August 2016,  the Supreme Court in Belize overturned that nation’s anti-sodomy law as applied to consensual sex.
  • Maldives retained its anti-gay law, but left the Commonwealth in October 2016.
  • The Gambia has so far retained its anti-gay law, despite having elected a less anti-LGBT leader. It rejoined the Commonwealth in February 2018.
  • In April 2018, Trinidad‘s High Court overturned that nation’s sodomy law (pending an appeal).

The following list includes links to this blog’s coverage of the 36 Commonwealth nations with anti-LGBT laws:

Africa

  1. Botswana
  2. Cameroon
  3. Gambia
  4. Ghana
  5. Kenya
  6. Malawi (enforcement of law suspended)
  7. Namibia
  8. Nigeria
  9. Sierra Leone
  10. Swaziland
  11. Tanzania
  12. Uganda
  13. Zambia

Lesotho was formerly on the list, but it has adopted a new Penal Code that apparently eliminates the nation’s former common-law crime of sodomy.

Asia

  1. Bangladesh
  2. Brunei
  3. India
  4. Malaysia
  5. Pakistan
  6. Singapore
  7. Sri Lanka

Americas

  1. Antigua & Barbuda
  2. Barbados
  3. Dominica (But see “Dominica leader: No enforcement of anti-gay law.”)
  4. Grenada
  5. Guyana
  6. Jamaica
  7. St Kitts & Nevis
  8. St Lucia
  9. St Vincent & the Grenadines

Oceania

  1. Kirbati
  2. Nauru
  3. Papua New Guinea
  4. Samoa
  5. Solomon Islands
  6. Tonga
  7. Tuvalu

Former members of the Commonwealth

These nations — formerly part of the British Empire — have maintained anti-homosexuality laws but have withdrawn from the Commonwealth:

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