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The 71 Countries Where It's Still Illegal to Be Gay

Updated May 6, 2019 22.9k views71 items

List of All the Countries Where It's Illegal to Be Gay ranked by notoriety. Although gay marriage is now legal in the U.S. in 16 states, there are many places in the world that still punish individuals for engaging in any type of gay, lesbian or bisexual relationship. Here is a list of the countries where it is illegal to gay.

India recently made headlines by reversing the 2009 decision that stated that India's sodomy statute, which was enacted in 1861, was discriminating and encouraging of harassment towards the LBGT community. The law now prohibits “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.” If found guilty of homosexual activity an individual can face up to life in prison.

Several countries operate under Shariah law, which punishes individuals who engage in sodomy by death. In Iran, the law states, “Sodomy is a crime, for which both partners are punished. The punishment is death if the participants are adults, of sound mind and consenting; the method of execution is for the Shari'a judge to decide.” Typical methods of execution involve being stoned or buried alive.

Are you surprised by how many countries still consider it illegal to be gay? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
  • India
    Photo: Meanest Indian / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    In India, same-sex relationships have a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.

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  • Singapore
    Photo: HargaiNyawa / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    In Singapore, same-sex relationships between men are punishable by up to two years in prison. There is no punishment for women.

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  • Egypt
    Photo: Nicolas Raymond / Flickr

    Same-sex relationships aren't illegal in Egypt, but the government uses laws that state "violation of honor by threat" and "practicing immoral and indecent behavior" to convict individuals suspect of engaging in gay relationships. For example, one young man was sentenced to 17 years in prison for merely placing his profile on a gay dating site.

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  • Jamaica
    Photo: CLender / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Same-sex relationships are punishable by up to life in prison in Jamaica.

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