My Story

Growing up in conservative West Michigan, I watched lesbian and gay friends and family members struggle to be accepted and be treated equally. There are gains and losses in this fight every day, and it is vital for LGBT individuals and their straight allies to stand up and to pay attention.

08 February 2011

Homosexuality: Illegal Around the World

Bahrain, a small island country in the Persian Gulf, has arrested 127 people at a Feb. 2 party, most described as gay men, according to the Huffington Post

The revelers were hosting the Feb. 2 bash at a sports hall in Hidd, a conservative village on Muharraq Island in the country's north, which brought together gay men, mostly between 18 and 30 years old, from various Arabian Gulf nations.

"According to police sources some of the men were allegedly drunk, and others were described as wearing women’s clothing and make up. The police are now said to be checking if any have a history of “debauchery or sodomy."

A Hidd Sports Club (where the incident took place) board member said that seeing men dressed as women “was very shocking.”

Gulf News is reporting that the party goers were arrested for holding “a depraved and decadent” party.

Homosexuality is banned in Bahrain, and foreigners arrested for being gay are deported after serving prison terms.

Last semester, I made a documentary about how homosexuality was legalized in India in 2009. But after reading this, I began wondering about the legality of homosexuality in other countries around the world.

It turns out that more than 70 countries make gay sex a crime. Only 26 countries have same sex unions.

According to Amnesty International, up to 2003, 13 states of the USA and Puerto Rico criminalized sodomy.

In five countries (Mauritania, Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and parts of Nigeria and Somalia) homosexual acts are punishable by death.

Anyone who refuses to believe LGBT individuals are at a disadvantage in this world needs to see these stats. There is so much more, too.

In 16 countries, there is an unequal age of consent for homosexual and heterosexual acts. Marriage for same sex couples only exists in 7 countries. Same sex couples are offered most of the rights of marriage in only 8 countries. Joint adoption by same sex couples is legal in 10 countries. There are 4 countries that prevent lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from entering the country. And these are only a few statistics I’ve chosen for summary reasons.

Here's the truth: there is a huge gap in equality between heterosexual and LGBT individuals. 

There is this really super interesting Amnesty International interactive map, where you can choose a country and be told the details of the legal nature of homosexuality. I highly recommend visiting. You might be surprised by what you find.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. The maps are very interesting and informative! Thanks for sharing. Something to check out before I travel around the world. And the statistics are unbelievable.