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78 countries where homosexuality is illegal

Updated Jan. 16, 2015


  1. Algeria
  2. Angola
  3. Botswana
  4. Burundi
  5. Cameroon
  6. Comoros
  7. Egypt
  8. Eritrea
  9. Ethiopia
  10. Gambia
  11. Ghana
  12. Guinea
  13. Kenya
  14. Lesotho
  15. Liberia
  16. Libya
  17. Malawi (enforcement of law suspended)
  18. Mauritania
  19. Mauritius
  20. Morocco
  21. Namibia
  22. Nigeria
  23. Senegal
  24. Seychelles
  25. Sierra Leone
  26. Somalia
  27. South Sudan
  28. Sudan
  29. Swaziland
  30. Tanzania
  31. Togo
  32. Tunisia
  33. Uganda
  34. Zambia
  35. Zimbabwe
Benin had been included in some editions of the ILGA report, but homosexuality is not illegal there, though the age of consent is higher for same-sex relations than for heterosexual relations. It was removed from this list in May 2014.

Asia and the Middle East

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Bhutan
  4. Brunei
  5. India
  6. Iran
  7. Kuwait
  8. Lebanon (law ruled invalid in one court)
  9. Malaysia
  10. Maldives
  11. Myanmar
  12. Oman
  13. Pakistan
  14. Palestine/Gaza Strip
  15. Qatar
  16. Saudi Arabia
  17. Singapore
  18. Sri Lanka
  19. Syria
  20. Turkmenistan
  21. United Arab Emirates
  22. Uzbekistan
  23. Yemen
One Middle Eastern country, Iraq, was listed separately by ILGA in 2014 under the heading "Legal status of homosexual acts unclear or uncertain." In Iraq, there is no civil law against homosexual acts, but homophobic violence is unchecked. Militias and self-appointed sharia judges reportedly have imposed sentences for homosexual behavior.


  1. Antigua & Barbuda
  2. Barbados
  3. Belize
  4. Dominica (But see "Dominica leader: No enforcement of anti-gay law")
  5. Grenada
  6. Guyana
  7. Jamaica
  8. St Kitts & Nevis
  9. St Lucia
  10. St Vincent & the Grenadines
  11. Trinidad & Tobago
In the United States, anti-sodomy laws were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003, but they are still on the books in 13 states: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia. Conservative state legislators refuse to repeal the laws and, in some cases, police still enforce them. Reportedly, in the past few years more than a dozen LGBT people were arrested for violating those laws, but the arrestees were freed because prosecutors won't seek convictions based on defunct laws.


  1. Cook Islands
  2. Indonesia (Aceh Province and South Sumatra)
  3. Kirbati
  4. Nauru
  5. Papua New Guinea
  6. Samoa
  7. Solomon Islands
  8. Tonga
  9. Tuvalu


No country in Europe has a law against homosexuality. The last European location with such a law was Northern Cyprus (recognized as a country only by Turkey), which 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 an anti-gay propaganda 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.

In addition, in central Asia, Kyrgyzstan in October 2014 was on the verge of adopting an anti-gay "propaganda" law harsher than that in Russia. If that bill becomes law, any type of distribution of positive information on same-sex relations, not just discussions in the presence of a minor, would become a crime punishable by fines and a jail sentence.

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, or ILGA, lists 78 countries with criminal laws against sexual activity by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people (LGBTIs), but that's a slight understatement.

The ILGA total as of early 2014 would 81 countries if you included Indonesia, where two large provinces outlaw homosexual acts, as well as political entities that aren't fully accepted by the international community--Gaza/Palestine and the Cook Islands, a self-governing country whose residents all have citizenship in New Zealand. Unlike this blog, ILGA also includes the Central African Republic in its tally, because of its law against same-sex intimacy in public places.

That total would actually be 82 countries if you were to include Russia, which does not have a law against homosexual acts but is in the midst of an anti-gay crackdown on the basis of its new law against "gay propaganda."

Back in 2012, based on a separate, nearly complete count, St. Paul's Foundation for International Reconciliation cited a total of 76 countries. That list was used in that year's Spirit of 76 Worldwide program aimed at repealing those laws. It also inspired the name of this blog--"Erasing 76 Crimes."

The tiny nations of Palau in the western Pacific Ocean and São Tomé and Príncipe, in the Atlantic Ocean off the shores of central Africa, recently decriminalized homosexuality and were dropped from this list in 2014.

Mozambique, on the southeastern coast of Africa, with a population of 24 million, adopted a new Penal Code in the second half of 2014 and was dropped from this list in early 2015.

For more information, download the ILGA report on state-sponsored homophobia and maps of countries that recognize and those that reject gay and lesbian rights.

This information above is from


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