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Criminalizing Love: LGBTQ+ Inequality Around the World

Updated: Jul 10

Did you know that betweek 2012-2017 about 4,000 LGBTQIA+ refugees filed for asylum out of fear of persecution due to their sexual orientations or gender identity?

As we celebrate Pride Month, it’s important to remember that not all countries offer the same freedoms and protections to LGBTQIA+ individuals. In some parts of the world, same-sex conduct and gender expression are criminalized, putting individuals at risk of discrimination, violence, imprisonment and even death.

At Antonini and Cohen, we stand in solidarity with the global LGBTQIA+ community. We believe in a world where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can live freely and without fear.

Countries that criminalize same-sex conduct

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Dominica, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territory (Gaza Strip), Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and Tuvalu.

Countries that maintain the death penalty as punishment for same-sex conduct

Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Uganda and Yemen.

Countries that criminalize forms of gender expression

Brunei, Malawi, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Tonga and United Arab Emirates.

Countries that explicitly criminalize sex between women

Algeria, Brunei, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Dominica, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Grenada, Iran, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Yemen Zambia.

The absence of a country doesn't imply compliance with international human rights law. For example, while Russia and Lithuania don't criminalize same-sex acts or gender expression, they do ban "propaganda" supporting LGBTQIA+ rights to silence activists.

If you or someone you know is seeking asylum or immigration help due to persecution based on LGBTQIA+ identity, we are here to assist. Call us at (470) 428-3200 or via our contact form.

This Pride Month, let’s honor those fighting for equality and continue to advocate for a world where love is love, everywhere. 🏳‍🌈

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