As Brunei brings in stoning, where are the worst countries to be LGBT+?

By Yasmin Mills

LONDON, April 2 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Brunei has sparked global criticism for saying it will implement Sharia law this week, allowing homosexuality to be punishable by stoning to death.

The move will make it the seventh country to impose the death penalty for same-sex relationships, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). Many more criminalise homosexuality.

Here are some of the world’s worst countries to be LGBT+.

1. Six United Nations member states already impose the death penalty for consensual same-sex acts – Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia. Mauritanian law allows for a sentence of death by stoning, but the country has a de facto moratorium on capital punishment.

2. Sodomy and other same-sex acts are banned in Malaysia under Islamic law. Last year, two women found guilty were punished by caning in a case that sparked a global outcry.

3. Russia introduced a wide-ranging law banning gay “propaganda” to minors in 2013 as President Vladimir Putin pursued an increasingly conservative social agenda. Human rights groups say the law has fuelled attacks on homosexuals.

4. Sodomy has long been punishable by jail in Nigeria, but a law passed in 2014 went further, banning gay marriage, same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership of gay rights groups.

5. Japan forces transgender people to undergo sterilisation before their new gender can be legally recognised.

6. In Azerbaijan, same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption are illegal. In 2017, LGBT+ people were subjected to a police crackdown that saw gay men tortured and beaten, according to rights groups.

7. Gay sex is punishable by up to 30 years in jail in Tanzania. A conviction could lead to a jail sentence of up to 30 years.

8. The United States has moved to roll back protections for LGBT+ people under President Donald Trump, whose administration also hopes to bar many trans people from serving in the military.

Sources: Reuters, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Equaldex, ILGA (Reporting by Yasmin Mills, Editing by Claire Cozens. Thomson Reuters Foundation)