The Independant: “More Than 70 Countries Make Being Gay a Crime”
The following excerpts from a story by The Independent:
“A comprehensive study of global lesbian, bisexual and gay rights, seen by The Independent on Sunday, reveals the brutal – and, in many instances, fatal – price people pay around the globe for their sexuality. The research, which was conducted by the charity network the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), shows that 76 countries still prosecute people on the grounds of their sexual orientation – seven of which punish same-sex acts with death.
“On a global scale, the nations doing something positive for gay rights are dwarfed by those behaving negatively. While 75 countries will imprison you if you are gay, only 53 have anti-discrimination laws that apply to sexuality. Only 26 countries recognise same-sex unions.
“…ILGA’s study of global gay rights shows that…admitting to being gay is still a matter of life and death. In much of Africa, the past decade has seen the lives of gay people go ‘from bad to worse, the report says. More than 50 per cent of African states have taken action to criminalise homosexuality and religious homophobia is rife. The picture is not much brighter in Asia, where 23 countries have made being gay a crime.
“Latin America and the Caribbean are also home to many governments with a similar outlook. In Jamaica, sex with another man is described in the statute book as an ‘abominable crime’.
“Widney Brown of Amnesty International lists sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe as the regions which give them the greatest concern for gay rights. Ms Brown also warned against Western nations becoming complacent. ‘The US is the only country in NATO with a prohibition of being openly gay in the military.’
“Renato Sabbadini, co-secretary general of ILGA, said: ‘The unworthiness rests entirely on these states, for theirs is the shame of depriving a significant number of their citizens of dignity, respect and the enjoyment of equal rights.’”