State-Sponsored Homophobia Report 2017
“The number of countries criminalizing consensual, private same-sex sexual activity between adults has decreased to 72, while the variety of law relevant to sexual orientation continues to expand steadily” Daniele Paletta May 14, 2017
The 2017 report is co-authored by Aengus Carroll and Lucas Ramon Mendos. First Edition was published in 2006 and offered credible date on laws affecting people worldwide on the basis of their sexual orientation. The annual reports are a fundamental resource for human rights defenders, researchers, civil society organizations, governments and UN agencies, allies and media.
“As of May 2017, 72 States continue to criminalize same-sex consensual activity, and in 45 of these States the law is applied to women as well as men,” Carroll notes. “Although law that criminalizes same-sex sexual practice is slowly annually decreasing – with Belize and Seychelles being the most recent to repeal such laws in 2016 – persecution and deep stigmatization persist in many States. On the other hand, enactment of specific legislation that protects us from discrimination and violence has significantly expanded in recent years, and the real test facing States is meaningful implementation of those laws. Although laws that recognize our relationships and families are also on the increase, less than 25% of the world’s States recognize or protect us – that is a sobering thought.”
It is an unavoidable truth that full equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual persons is unfortunately still very far from reach.
Download State-Sponsored Homophobia 2017 Report (196 page PDF)
Key Figures State-Sponsored Homophobia Report 2017
There are currently 8 UN member States (or parts thereof) where death penalty occurs as a punishment for same-sex consensual sexual acts, and a further 5 States where although the death penalty is technically possible, it is never implemented. In 14 other countries the maximum penalty can vary from 14 years to a life sentence in jail.
- There are 124 States (122 UN member States as well as Taiwan and Kosovo) where same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults are legal.
- 108 countries have a law on equal age of consent, 16 are unequal.
- 72 States still criminalize same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults: in 45 of these States the law is applied to women as well. ILGA knows of recent arrests under these laws in 45 States.
- The death penalty for same-sex sexual acts may be applied in 8 UN member States.
In 4 of them (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan) it is applied State-wide; in 2 (Somalia, Nigeria) it is implemented only in specific provinces; in other 2 countries (Iraq, Daesh-held territories in northern Iraq and northern Syria) it is implemented by local courts, vigilantes or non-State actors.
- There are another 5 States (Pakistan, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Mauritania) where interpretation of Shari’a, or where black letter law, permits the death penalty technically, but where it is not invoked to our knowledge.
- 22 States have ‘promotion’ or ‘morality’ laws targeting public expression of same-sex and trans realities.
- 25 States pose barriers to the formation, establishment or registration of sexual orientation-related NGOs.
- 72 UN States have laws protecting from discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation.
- 9 States contain Constitutional provisions that specify sexual orientation in their discrimination protections.
- 43 States enacted legislation combating hate crime; 39 countries have laws addressing incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.
- There are currently 23 States in the world that recognize same-sex marriage, while 28 countries provide for some civil partnership recognition.
- 26 States have joint adoption laws: Austria, Finland and parts of Australia were the latest to pass such laws in the last 12 months, while 27 UN States allow for same-sex second parent adoption.