There are 69 countries in the world that have laws that criminalize homosexuality – and almost half of them are in Africa. However, in some of these countries steps have been taken to decriminalize same-sex unions.
In February this year, Angolan President João Lourenço sanctioned a review of the Penal Code to allow same-sex relationships and prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
In June last year, Gabon overturned a law that criminalized homosexuality and made same-sex intercourse punishable by six months in prison and a fine.
The Botswana Superior Court also ruled in favor of decriminalizing homosexuality in 2019.
Mozambique and Seychelles have also abolished anti-homosexuality laws in recent years.
In Trinidad and Tobago, a court ruled in 2018 that laws banning same-sex sex were unconstitutional.
But there are countries where existing laws banning homosexuality have been tightened, including Nigeria and Uganda.
And in others, efforts to remove these laws have failed.
Earlier last year, a Singapore court rejected an attempt to overturn a law banning same-sex relationships.
In May 2019, Kenya’s highest court ruled to uphold laws that criminalize homosexual acts.
Many of the laws that criminalize same-sex relationships have their origins in colonial times.
And in many places, breaking these laws can result in long prison terms.
Of the 53 countries in the Commonwealth – a free association of countries, most of which are former British colonies – 36 have laws that criminalize homosexuality.
Countries that criminalize homosexuality also have criminal penalties for women who have sex with women, although the original UK laws only applied to men.
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (Ilga) monitors the evolution of laws relating to homosexuality around the world.
According to the organization, the death penalty is the punishment prescribed for sexual acts between people of the same sex in Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the northern states of Nigeria.
Sudan repealed the death penalty for consensual same-sex acts last year.
Some analysts say the actual risk of the process in some places is minimal.
For example, a 2017 UK government report on Jamaica found the country to be considered a homophobic society, but “authorities are not actively seeking to prosecute LGBT people.”
Activist groups say the capacity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) organizations to carry out advocacy work is limited.
There is a global trend towards decriminalizing same sex acts.
So far, 28 countries around the world recognize same-sex marriages and 34 more offer some partnership recognition for same-sex couples, Ilga says.
Brazil has recognized the stable union of same-sex couples since May 2011.
As of December 2020, 81 countries had laws against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. Twenty years ago, he was only 15.
Complete list of countries where homosexuality is prohibited:
Afghanistan Saudi Arabia Algeria Antigua and Barbuda Bangladesh Barbados Bhutan Brunei Burundi Cameroon Qatar Chad Comoros Dominica Egypt Eritrea Ethiopia Gambia Gambia Ghana Grenada Guinea Guyana Yemen Cook Islands Solomon Islands Iran Jamaica Kiribati Kuwait Lebanon Occupy Liberia Libya Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mauritania Mauritius Islands Napoli Morocco Nigeria M (Gaza Strip) Oman Pakistan Papua New Guinea Kenya Saint Kitts and Neves Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa Senegal Sierra Leone Singapore Syria Somalia Sri Lanka Swaziland Sudan South Sudan Tanzania Togo Tonga Tunisia Turkmenistan Tuvalu Uganda Uzbekistan Zambia Zimbabwe