40% of UN Members still criminalize same-sex sexual acts

78 countries out of 193 still have legislation criminalising same-sex consensual acts between adults. Punishments range from a number of lashes (e.g. Iran), two months of prison (e.g. Algeria) to life sentence (e.g. Bangladesh) or even death (Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen). Among the 113 countries where homosexuality is legal, 55 have legislation against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation at the work place, in 10 gays and lesbians enjoy full equal marriage rights, in 12 they can adopt children. 

These are some of the elements which give the picture of the legal status of lesbians and gays in the world as of May 2012 according to the 6th edition of the State-Sponsored Homophobia Report presented yesterday, 16th May, in Geneva by ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, on the occasion of the 8th annual celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. 

The State-Sponsored Homophobia Report, authored by Lucas Paoli Itaborahy, is not only a collection of laws criminalizing same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults, but includes also several lists of countries according to the rights LGBT people enjoy in them. The report, usually accompanied by a world map summarising the findings of the report, is this year accompanied also by regional maps of Africa, Asia and Latina America and the Caribbean in seven languages, including German, Chinese and Hindi. Data of the 2011 State-Sponsored Homophobia Report featured also in the first ever United Nations report on discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in December last year. 

Gloria Careaga and Renato Sabbadini, co-secretaries general of ILGA, said: “This report has become a very useful tool not only for ILGA members, but for researchers, governmental representatives and activists all over the world. We are very grateful to all those who worked on it and provided the data and we are very proud to have the chance to offer a global State-Sponsored Homophobia Report and contribute in this way to the struggle in the achievement of LGBTI rights”.


About ILGA 

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association is the only global federation of national and international LGBTI organizations. Since 1978, year of its foundation, ILGA works for equality and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people worldwide. ILGA has today more than 900 member organizations from about 110 countries. 

About the report

ILGA’s State Sponsored Homophobia Report and ILGA’s Lesbian and Gay Rights Maps can be downloaded here: http://ilga.org/ilga/en/article/1161

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