Where is it (il)legal to be gay?

February 6, 2014

The BBC has produced a map which shows the broad legal status of gay people living in UN member states, according to data provided by the UN’s human right’s office, who built on information from the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association.

The legal status of people in same-sex relationships depends very much on where they live. At one end of the spectrum there are those countries that punish homosexuality with the death penalty – Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen – as well as in parts of Nigeria and Somalia. At the other end, there are those countries where gay couples have the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples. However, the categorisation of countries according to their approach to gay rights is not without problems. Some states have conflicting laws on same-sex relationships, simultaneously having laws that punish and protect, while other countries have different laws in different regions. This is reflected in the key. Countries have been categorised by their most progressive or regressive laws, apart from where laws are contradictory. Countries where gay rights vary between states have been coloured by their most progressive or regressive law. [The map does not reflect day-to-day experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans and intersex people. In many places where anti-discrimination laws exist, gay people continue to be persecuted by state authorities and wider society.]

There is also an interesting timeline, pulled together by the UN, which uses 1789 – the date of the French Revolution – as its starting point. It was chosen by the UN as a baseline, as it was a time when homosexuality was criminalised in many countries.

BBC News – Where is it illegal to be gay?.

One Response to “Where is it (il)legal to be gay?”

  1. AlexB Says:

    the map’s got lovely layout!


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