If you are familiar with LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Intersex)) laws, you must have heard some horror stories that these people encounter in many countries. One such story is about Jamil Bangoura, a West Africa resident, who was familiar about his homosexuality since childhood but kept it that a secret till he was 24. News about his sexual leanings spread like wildfire in his office and Jamil suffered being thrown out of his office as well as his home. The next three years he spent hiding in a tiny room. Decriminalization of homosexuality is not just a challenge in West Africa, they are persecuted equally harshly in Russia and several other countries. Homosexuals struggle in many countries to attain a sustainable livelihood. Where countries like US are confronting the issue by legalizing gay marriages, in countries like Senegal they continue to face daily challenges. Here is the list of top 10 countries that continue to face the challenge of decriminalization of homosexuality. All of them are known for harsh anti-gay laws.
Right before hosting the Winter Olympics in February 2014, Russia passed anti-gay propaganda laws. Though these laws were criticized by many liberal societies but President, Vladimir Putin, simply barred gays from participating in Olympics!
Recent attacks in Jamaica on gays sent shock waves in the global LGBTI community. Several mob attacks on gay couples led to death of several men. A cross-dressed man was murdered after he was coming out of a female party dressed as women. The laws of the country mandate a penalty of 10 years hard labor for gays.
How can a country known for its stringent rules and regulations sit back and watch gay couples living together? In Pakistan gay couples are dumped into jail for being in love with each other. In a country where Muslim fundamentalism is on the rise, penalty imposed on gay couples is to serve 2 years of rigorous imprisonment.
In Morocco several cases have been recorded in which a lot of people were arrested on suspicion or charges of homosexuality. The country’s law provides for a three year jail term to punish gay. Morocco does not allow any public display of gay relationships anywhere in the country.
Cameroon’s harsh anti-gay laws were applied in a case when a young man was nabbed for sending a love message ‘I have fallen in love with you’ a few years ago. He was arrested, tried and dumped into prison for three years. The penal actions for homosexuals below 21 years of age are less stringent than those who are older than that. The maximum imprisonment that a gay may have to undergo in Cameroon could be 5 years and six months.
Like in the other countries in this list, gay relationships in Ghana are considered illegal under law. Any consensual gay activity that the authorities notice in private or public could land the offender in jail for three years. The laws codified are even harsher as they have a provision for handing people of same sex entering into a relationship to penalize them with a maximum of 25 years of imprisonment.
Uganda is a home to some of the harshest anti-gay laws in the world. The sentences for homosexuality, in Uganda, range from 14 years imprisonment to lifetime imprisonment. Apart from this the political forces have been seeking to pass anti-homosexuality bill, which can probably include death penalty for anyone found in any homosexual act.
Somalia is a country where gays and lesbians are not facing harsh prosecution but they are straight away put to death. The country has very stringent anti-homosexuals laws. The country laws hold that gays by imitating women, commit indecent acts.
The country with already stringent laws for everything else enforces death penalty to gay couples. Gays are hanged to death if found in any kind of consensual acts. The country laws hold that such people are defying the laws of nature, God and their religion. Even if a person is cross-dressed in public, it is considered a very serious crime in Afghanistan.
Not in any manner less tolerant than Afghanistan, Iran applies anti gay laws in more if not equal measure of harshness than the Taliban country. Every other day gays being put to death in Iran are reported in the media.