Countries Where Stoning And Hanging For LGBTQ People Are Somehow Still Law

On Wednesday, Brunei introduced harsh new laws -- including death by stoning for adultery and gay sex -- despite international condemnation, including from stars like George Clooney, Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres.

The move makes the Asian country the seventh in the world to impose the death penalty for same-sex relationships, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

Homosexuality was already illegal in Brunei and carried a punishment of up to 10 years in prison.

The new measures introduced now also criminalise sex between women, carrying a penalty of 40 strokes of the cane and/or up to 10 years in jail.

"It constitutes an authoritarian move towards brutal medieval punishments that have no place in the modern, 21st-century world," according to the Human Rights Watch.

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IMAGE: Getty Images

In it's 2019 edition of 'State-Sponsored Homophobia', the ILGA identified where the death penalty for consensual same-sex sexual acts still applies.

As well as countries where a gay death penalty is enshrined in law, the report, released in March, also identified five countries where the death penalty remains a technical possibility.

Death Penalty Applied State-Wide
  1. Iran
  2. Saudi Arabia
  3. Yemen
  4. Sudan
  5. Brunei (as of April 2019)
Applicable In Only Specific Provinces
  1. Somalia
  2. Nigeria
Death Penalty Remains A Possibility
  1. Pakistan
  2. Afghanistan
  3.  United Arab Emirates
  4. Qatar
  5. Mauritania

In Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, homosexuality is punishable by death, under Sharia Law. The same applies in parts of Somalia and northern Nigeria. However in Syria and Iraq, the  death penalty is reportedly carried out by non-state actors, including Islamic State.

Identifying and quantifying which countries have actually carried out these punishments is difficult.

In its 2016 findings, Amnesty International says it has had no reports of executions under anti-homosexuality laws in the past few years.

There are also currently 70 countries which criminalise same-sex relations, according to the ILGA.

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In a further 26 countries, the maximum penalty can vary between 10 years to a life imprisonment.

"Landmark advances have taken place in the last two years: India, Trinidad and Tobago, and Angola were the latest to repeal such laws," ILGA authors said.

"Hopefully this will help further change in their regions. However, global progress comes with setbacks: in 2017, Chad criminalised consensual same-sex sexual acts, a worrying example of legal regression."

Countries Where Same-SEx Marriage Is Now Legal
IMAGE: Pew Research
  • 2001 The Netherlands
  • 2003 Belgium
  • 2005 Canada, Spain
  • 2006 South Africa
  • 2009 Norway, Sweden
  • 2010 Iceland, Portugal, Argentina
  • 2012 Denmark
  • 2013 Uruguay, New Zealand, France, Brazil
  • 2014 UK (excluding Northern Ireland)
  • 2015 Luxembourg, Republic of Ireland, Mexico, USA
  • 2016 Colombia
  • 2017 Finland, Malta, Germany and Australia
  • 2019 Austria

As the above map illustrates, there is a divide between the East and West on same-sex marriage -- with the exceptions of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Latin America.

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