Nov 8, 2015

5 Countries Where Homosexuality Is Punishable By Death

While LGBT citizens of the United States continue to face legal and cultural discrimination, it’s important to remember that many parts of the world still operate with barbaric attitudes toward queer individuals.

President Barack Obama bravely spoke about equal rights on his recent trip to Kenya, despite ugly protest from some within the country.

Over 75 countries continue to criminalize homosexuality. But even worse, at least six parts of the world still prescribe death for non-heterosexual citizens.

These are some of the places where being gay or bisexual can result in state death.


In Iran, male homosexuality is punishable by death, while women are flogged for their “offense.”

Making the situation even more abominable, minors found “guilty” of homosexual acts can be lashed.

According to human rights advocates, thousands of gay people have been murdered by the state since 1979, although the death penalty seems to be losing favor contemporarily.

Saudi Arabia

Individuals found “guilty” of homosexuality more than once are put to death, but some are murdered by the state on the first “offense.”

According to International Business Times, “Saudi politicians have been pushing for a tougher crackdown on homosexuality, including immigration measures against LGBT expatriates living in the kingdom that would allow for prompt deportation.”

Just last month, religious police raided parties thought to contain LGBT individuals. Numerous people were arrested on “suspicion of homosexuality.”


Yemeni law describes homosexuality as a crime punishable by death. But some LGBT citizens don’t make it to sentencing.

Members of the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have taken it upon themselves to personally murder gay individuals.

There are numerous reports of youth being slaughtered. Families say they’ve reported the deaths and Yemen’s government has done nothing about it.

Islamic Republic of Mauritania

This small African country is among the most explicitly anti-LGBT in the world. Here’s an English translation of current law:

“Article 308: Any adult Muslim who has committed an indecent act or an act against nature with an individual of the same sex will be punished to death by public stoning. If the act is between two women, they will be punished by the punishment established in paragraph one of Article 306.”

The country’s already anti-LGBT laws were amended in 1983 to include Sharia law, which resulted in the current death penalty.


The North African country currently employs the death penalty against both men and women found “guilty” of homosexuality.

Usually, men are executed on the third “offense,” while woman are often executed on the first.

The current law has been on the books since 1991.

There are others…

Keep in mind that, due to shifting legal and cultural landscapes, there are almost certainly even more countries where LGBT citizens face the death penalty. Some put the number of countries where gays can be murdered at 10.

Even if not officially, LGBT citizens face death in many parts of the world extrajudicially.

While countries like the U.S. are seeing a surge in support for LGBT citizens, let’s remember to keep fighting for LGBT rights around the world for the millions of people who still face violence and oppression because of who they are. –Care2

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