82 Countries have anti-LGBT laws.

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The eight countries I have mentioned in this blog are only a few of many countries, which have anti-LGBT laws. According to the article “82 countries where homosexuality is illegal” lists the countries, which have LGBT inequalities.

Here’s the list of 82 countries and independent political entities with anti-homosexuality laws:

Africa

1 Algeria
2 Angola
3 Benin
4 Botswana
5 Burundi
6 Cameroon
7 Comoros
8 Egypt
9 Eritrea
10 Ethiopia
11 Gambia
12 Ghana
13 Guinea
14 Kenya
15 Lesotho
16 Liberia
17 Libya
18 Malawi (enforcement of law suspended)
19 Mauritania
20 Mauritius
21 Morocco
22 Mozambique
23 Namibia
24 Nigeria
25 Sao Tome
26 Senegal
27 Seychelles
28 Sierra Leone
29 Somalia
30 South Sudan
31 Sudan
32 Swaziland
33 Tanzania
34 Togo
35 Tunisia
36 Uganda
37 Zambia
38 Zimbabwe

Asia, including the Middle East

39 Afghanistan
40 Bangladesh
41 Bhutan
42 Brunei
43 India
44 Iran
45 Kuwait
46 Lebanon (law ruled invalid in one court)
47 Malaysia
48 Maldives
49 Myanmar
50 Oman
51 Pakistan
52 Palestine/Gaza Strip
53 Qatar
54 Saudi Arabia
55 Singapore
56 Sri Lanka
57 Syria
58 Turkmenistan
59 United Arab Emirates
60 Uzbekistan
61 Yemen

Two Asian/Middle Eastern countries were listed separately by ILGA under the heading “Legal status of homosexual acts unclear or uncertain”:

  • In Iraq, there is no law against homosexual acts, but homophobic violence is unchecked and self-appointed sharia judges reportedly have imposed sentences for homosexual behavior.
  • In India, enforcement of the law against homosexual activity had been suspended by court action, but the Supreme Court overturned that ruling on Dec. 11, 2013, so India is back on the main list of countries with anti-homosexuality laws.

Americas

62 Antigua & Barbuda
63 Barbados
64 Belize
65 Dominica
66 Grenada
67 Guyana
68 Jamaica
69 St Kitts & Nevis
70 St Lucia
71 St Vincent & the Grenadines
72 Trinidad & Tobago

Oceania

73 Cook Islands
74 Indonesia (Aceh Province and South Sumatra)
75 Kirbati
76 Nauru
77 Palau
78 Papua New Guinea
79 Samoa
80 Solomon Islands
81 Tonga
82 Tuvalu

Europe

No country in Europe has a law against homosexuality. The last one, Northern Cyprus, repealed its law in January 2014.

Also in Europe and worth mentioning but not on that list of countries with laws against homosexuality are:

  • Russia, which enacted a law in 2013 prohibiting any positive mention of homosexuality in the presence of minors, including online;
  • Ukraine, which has considered, but so far has not adopted a similar law against “gay propaganda.”
  • Moldova, which adopted and then repealed such a law in 2013.

Some of these countries have very harsh punishments for those who are LGBT. The article titled “7 worst capital punishments for those who are (illegally) Gay” addresses these punishments and paints a picture for those who may be unaware that these punishments are occurring.

Here is the link to the article:

http://www.ranker.com/list/7-worst-capital-punishments-for-being-_illegally_-gay/joanne?page=1

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Uganda’s ant-LGBT laws become stricter

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This year, Uganda passed a law in which broadens the criminalization of same-sex relations to life in prison if caught. Before this law was passed the maximum sentence was 14 years.

Uganda is a great example of a country whose negative opinions on LGBT are largely influenced by the government. The article titled, “Uganda throws a party to celebrate passing of anti-gay law” addresses this issue through discussing the events of the rally which occurred in celebration of the bill being passed. This article mentions the fact that those living in Uganda are being brainwashed to think LGBT leads to disease 100% of the time. The author also mentions the large number of children who were present for this celebration. This is a huge concern to me as these children are being raised to think that LGBT are horrible people.

What really struck me about this article is the fact that Museveni believes that they do not need U.S. after the country threatened to withdraw. He told the audience Uganda is one of the richest countries in the world. However many people who are struggling to survive in that country due to the lack of access to basic amenities. I also don’t agree with the fact that Museveni is brainwashing the audience to think that Uganda is a free country. Clearly they aren’t if they are refusing to give LGBT the equal rights they deserve. The fact that this law was passed only shows Uganda moving backwards when it comes to freedom. LGBT individuals are not criminals and the Uganda needs to be further educated on this topic in order for them to realize that.

Article found at:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/02/uganda-celebrates-anti-gay-law

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8 States have laws similar to Russia’s in the U.S.

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The article Washington Post raised a very valid agreement in the article titled “ U.S. hypocrisy over Russia’s anti gay laws” through stating that there are currently 8 states in America, which have similar propaganda laws to Russia. Although the U.S. is much more ahead of Russia when it comes to equal rights for LGBT their eights states which prohibits LGBT promotion makes them hypocrites for criticizing Russia. The eight states, which currently have the “no promo homo” laws, are Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

This article argues that the U.S. must take immediate action to repeal these laws before they can go bashing other countries. The article states “sometimes the moral failings of others can help us see moral failings in ourselves.” I agree with this argument as clearly the U.S. government was over looking the fact that these laws are still in place in some states. The violence occurring in Russia due to these laws poses as a warning of what could occur in some states in the U.S. if these laws continue to be in place. If the U.S. wants to be the free of speech and equal rights country they claim to be they need to take further action in ensuring LGBT equality. That way they will be able to scrutinize other countries for their anti-gay laws without seeming like hypocrites.

 

Article Found at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/us-hypocrisy-over-russias-anti-gay-laws/2014/01/31/3df0baf0-8548-11e3-9dd4-e7278db80d86_story.html

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Hopes for Increased Tolerence in Jamaica

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According to some human’s rights activists, Jamaica is said to be one of the most homophobic places on earth due to the high levels of violence towards those who are LGBT. Sexual acts between men in this country are punishable with up to ten years imprisonment. However, sexual acts between women are legal. There are no laws in place to protect those who are LGBT from discrimination. One of these major causes to Jamaicans homophobic believes is due to their Catholic religion.

The article “Jamaica’s Gay Tolerance On The Upswing, Growing Push To Repeal Anti-LGBT Law” discusses how equal rights for LGBT is gaining momentum in this country. This article mentions how Jamaica’s current prime minister advocated repealing the law. This was a bold move on the prime ministers part as it risked political suicide but her party actually won the election.

The article also tells the story of a 25-year old gay male who fled to the United States and plans on never returning to Jamaica. He states that while living in Kingston Jamaica he was repeatedly harassed. He also tells the reported how a few of his friends were murdered because they were gay.

This article argues that fact that Jamaicans are homophobic due to the fact that they believe being homosexual is a choice. It is my strong opinion that people are LGBT because they are born that way and the only choice they have in the matter is if they want to come out or not. In order to remove this stigma Jamaicans have towards LGBT they must be further educated on the topic. If Jamaicans can learn to be more understanding towards LGBT then the violence towards them may slow down. I really hope that the prime minister has some luck with repealing the law as that is the first step to giving LGBT equal rights and hopefully will reduce the violence against them.

Article found at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/19/jamaica-gay-tolerance_n_4622866.html

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Cameroon quietly aresting, charging and imprisioning LGBT individuals for years

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Cameroon is an African country in which anti-LGBT laws have been in place for the last 30 years. In 2007, a poll found that 84 percent of Cameroonians stated that their country is not a good place for homosexuals. The current president, who has been in power for the last 31 years, as well as the catholic church are the two mains reasons why the anti-LGBT laws are in place and have no plans on being terminated. What is interesting to note is that only 39 percent of people in this country are Catholic yet this religion has such high influence on these laws. In Cameroon, officials do not require much proof to arrest and individual for being LGBT. If a person suspects an individual to be gay, they can just call the police and that individual will be arrested. Some people accuse a person just because they don’t like them but the police don’t bother doing any further investigation. Police will often sit outside of clubs that are rumored to be LGBT friendly and will arrest men and women as they leave the premises. Not all arrests result in imprisonment if the accused is able to pay a bribe. These individuals will often be rearrested and extorted all over again.

The article “Abandoned and Imprisoned for being Gay in Cameroon” discusses the lives of those who are LGBT in this country. The author of the article actually visits a prison where 20 known LGBT individuals have been incarcerated. The author describes the horrible living conditions in the prison where the individuals have been contained. In Cameroon, all inmates are required to pay for their own beds, medication, water and food. This is very difficult for arrested LGBT to do as many of their families of abandoned them, as they do not support their sexual orientation. This means that many of these individuals have to sleep on the cement floor. The author describes one female inmate who has developed a rash on her leg from the abuse she was receiving from the prison guards. She told the journalist that she could not afford the medication to heal it.

Through reading the story of what this journalist experienced while visiting this prison, I felt sorry for the LGBT individuals who are contained there. Being LGBT is not a crime and these individuals should not have to live that way. It’s horrifying to know that LGBT individuals in this county are seen as equal to criminals who have committed murders.

The author of this article also points out that the treatment towards LGBT in this county doesn’t get the same media attention as countries such as Nigeria. He explains that this could be because Cameroon lacks petroleum, which is the largest exporter of crude in Africa. I believe this is a great point to address, as there are many countries that have anti-LGBT laws that most North Americans are unaware of.

Article found at:

http://www.thenation.com/article/178630/abandoned-and-imprisoned-being-gay-cameroon#

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Harassment to Transgendered Not Yet Considered a Hate Crime in Canada

The fact that the law doesn’t protect Transgendered Canadians is something that really boggles my mind. The articles, Transgender Canadians Deserve Protection — Why Aren’t They Getting It? Makes a great argument that the U.S. has better laws protecting transgendered individuals. We are a country that prides ourselves over the fact that we support LGBT equality yet our laws are not to the point where that equality can be fully supported. I am happy that the House of Commons have passed bill C-279 nicknamed “The Bathroom Bill” but it still shocks me that this has not been done sooner. Its also shocking that it’s been almost a year since this bill was passed and it has yet to become a law.

As this article states 79 percent of transgendered individuals reported being harassed in some form while attending school. This is a huge issue as it affects their self-esteem as well as their learning. This article also states that 43 percent of trans people surveyed said they had attempted suicide at one point in their lives. This is a huge percentage that needs to be taken into consideration by the government. Canadians need to realize that harassing these people because they are transgendered is wrong. The only way to accomplish this is if it became against the law. By expanding the Canadian Criminal Code to protect gender identity and gender expression by hate crime law would help lower the amount of harassment transgendered individuals face on a regular basis. Canada has come so far in creating equality for the LGBT community but transgender rights have been placed on the back burning. In order for Canadians to remain a country who takes pride in the rights we have for those who are LGBT we need pass the law to establish harassing transgendered individuals as a hate crime.

Article found at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/peter-goffin/transgender-hate-crimes_b_3818530.html

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LGBT Iranians seek Community over the Internet to avoid Execution

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In Iran those homosexuality considered a crime punished by imprisonment or even execution in more extreme cases. Those LGBT Iranians who chose to come out risk being tortured solely for their sexual orientation. The article titled “Iran gay report highlights isolation, abuse and fear” discusses findings of a report based on the LGBT community in Iran. The report found that many LGBT Iranians are expressing their true self and finding a sense of community through the use of the Internet. Many of the people interviewed in this article emphasis that they don’t feel part of their community, they feel like outsiders and seeking a community on the Internet gives them a sense of self worth.

The quote that really struck me in this article was made by a 26-year-old male to female transsexual from Lorestan. She states, “I am a human being, but I was created with an imperfection. I’m someone that nobody wants to be friends with, someone that even her own family doesn’t like. Nobody will employ me because of the way that I am.” As a straight, female living in Canada I could not imagine living a life where I had no friends, family and no career path. Those are the three most important things that keep me going everyday. This woman goes on to say I long to become a woman, get married, have a family and find a good job. I like to be surrounded by people, but people always reject me. It’s as if I’m from another planet and they don’t want to be seen with me.’ Unfortunately this is what all LGBT Iranians feel and it is something that will continue to be felt unless the laws change.

Unfortunately those laws will not be changed anytime soon. After the report was released the president of Iran slammed the LGBT community for engaging in ugly behavior. He quoted “Do you believe that someone is born homosexual? Homosexuality ceases procreation.” As long as the president is against gays the laws will remain the same, which is a very unfortunate fact for the LGBT community in Iran.

Article found at:

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/iran-gay-report-highlights-isolation-abuse-and-fear110512

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