All countries

Countries where Homosexuality is still a Crime

(in alphabetical order)

 

State

 

 

Domestic law[*]

 

Penalty

 

Ratified International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)[†]

 

Ratified Optional Protocol to the ICCPR[†]

 

Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Penal Code 1976 BOOK TWO SECTION TWO CHAPTER EIGHT: Adultery, Pederasty, and Violations of Honour

Article 427

“(1) A person who commits adultery or pederasty shall be sentenced to long imprisonment.

(2) In one of the following cases commitment of the acts, specified above, is considered to be aggravating conditions:

a. In the case where the person against whom the crime has been committed is not yet eighteen years old. …”

In Afghan legal terminology “pederasty” appears to refer to intercourse between males regardless of age.

Long imprisonment

24 Jan 1983

Algeria

Algeria 

Penal Code (Ordinance 66-156 of June 8, 1966)

Article 338

“Any person guilty of a homosexual act shall be punished with a term of imprisonment of between two months and two years and a fine of between 500 and 2,000 Algerian dinars.”

Imprisonment for a duration between two months and two years; and

Fine between 500 and 2,000 Algerian dinars

12 Sep 1989

12 Sep 1989

Angola

AGLA0001 

Penal Code of September 16, 1886, as amended in 1954 (inherited from the Portuguese colonial era)

Articles 70 and 71(4) provide for the imposition of security measures on people who habitually practice acts against nature.

Original text:

“Tout coupable d‘un acte d‘homo- sexualité est puni d‘un emprisonnement de deux (2) mois à deux (2) ans et d‘une amende de cinq cents (500) à deux mille (2.000) DA.”

 
Imposition of security measures

10 Jan 1992

10 Jan 1992

Antigua and Barbuda

 Antiguan

Sexual Offences Act of 1995 (Act No. 9)

Article 12: Buggery

“(1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment –

(a) for life, if committed by an adult on a minor;

(b) for fifteen years, if committed by an adult on another adult;

(c) for five years, if committed by a minor.

(2) In this section “buggery” means sexual intercourse per anum by a male person with a male person or by a male person with a female person.”

Imprisonment for a term of:

(a) life if committed by an adult on a minor;

(b) 15 years if committed by an adult on another adult;

(c) 5 years if committed by a minor.

Article 15: Serious indecency

“(1) A person who commits an act of serious indecency on or towards another is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment –

(a) for ten years, if committed on or towards a minor under sixteen years of age;

(b) for five years, if committed on or towards a person sixteen years of age or more,

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of serious indecency committed in private between –

(a) a husband and his wife; or

(b) a male person and a female person each of whom is sixteen years of age or more;

(3) An act of “serious indecency” is an act, other than sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural), by a person involving the use of genital organ for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”

Imprisonment for a term of:

(a) 10 years if committed on or towards a minor under sixteen years of age;

(b) 5 years if committed on or towards a person sixteen years of age or more.

Bangladesh

 Bangladesh

Penal Code, 1860 (Act XLV of 1860)

Section 377: Unnatural offences

“Whoever voluntary has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with man, woman, or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.

Imprisonment for life; or

Imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine

6 Sep 2000

Barbados

Barbados 

Sexual Offences Act 1992

Chapter 154 Section 9: Buggery

“Any person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.”

Imprisonment for life

5 Jan 1973

5 Jan 1973

Section 12: Serious indecency

“(1) A person who commits an act of serious indecency on or towards another or incites another to commit that act with the person or with another person is guilty of
an offence and, if committed on or towards a person 16 years of age or more or if the person incited is of 16 years of age or more, is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 10 years.

(2) A person who commits an act of serious indecency with or towards a child under the age of 16 or incites the child under that age to such an act with him or another, is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 15 years.

(3) An act of “serious indecency” is an act, whether natural or unnatural by a person involving the use of the genital organs for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”

Imprisonment for 10 years

Imprisonment for 15 years if committed on or towards a person under the age of 16

Belize

Belize 

Criminal Code (Revised edition 2000)

Section 53: Unnatural Crime

“Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.”

Imprisonment for 10 years

10 Jun 1996

Bhutan

Bhutan 

Penal Code 2004

Chapter 14: Sexual Offences
 Section 213: Unnatural sex

“A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of unnatural sex, if the defendant engages in sodomy or any other sexual conduct that is against the order of nature.”

Section 214: Grading of unnatural sex

“The offence of unnatural sex shall be a petty misdemeanor.”

Chapter 2: Classes of crime
, Section 3.

“For the purpose of this Penal Code, the classes of crimes shall be as follows:

(c) A crime shall be petty misdemeanor, if it is so designated in this Penal Code or other laws and provides for a maximum term of imprisonment of less than one year and a minimum term of one month for the convicted defendant.”

Imprisonment for less than one year, with a minimum term of one month

Botswana

Botswana 

Penal Code [Volume II, Chapter 08:01], amended by the Penal Code Amendment Act 5, 1998

Section 164: Unnatural offences

“Any person who;

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature;

(b) has carnal knowledge of any animal; or

(c) permits any other person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature,
is guilty of an offences and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.”

Imprisonment for up to seven years

8 Sep 2000

Section 165: Attempts to commit unnatural offences


“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section 164 is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.”

Imprisonment for up to five years
Section 167: Indecent practices between persons

“Any person who, whether in public or private, commits
any act of gross indecency with another person, or procures another person to commit any act of gross indecency with him or her, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any person with himself or herself or with another person, whether in public or private, is guilty of an offence.”

    

Brunei

Burnei 

Penal Code, Chapter 22, revised edition 2001

Section 377: Unnatural offences

“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman, or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine. [S 12/97]

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.”

Imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine

 

Burundi

Burundi 

Law No. 1/05 of 22 April 2009 concerning the revision of the Penal Code

Article 567

“Whoever has sexual relations with someone of the same sex shall be punished with imprisonment for three months to two years and a fine of fifty thousand to one hundred thousand francs or one of those penalties.” (Unofficial translation)

 Imprisonment for a duration between 3 months and 2 years; and/or

Fine of 50,000 to 100,000 francs

9 May 1990

Cameroon

Cameroon 

 

Penal Code of 1965 and 1967, as amended in 1972

“Whoever has sexual relations with a person of the same sex shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to five years and fine of from 20,000 to 200,000 francs.”

Imprisonment for a duration between 6 months and 5 years; and

Fine of 20,000 to 200,000 francs

27 Jun 1984

27 Jun 1984

Comoros

Comoros 

Penal Code of the Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros

Article 318

“(3) Without prejudice to the more serious penalties provided for in the preceding paragraphs or by articles 320 and 321
of this Code, whoever will have committed an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex will be punished by imprisonment of between one and five years and by a fine of 50 000 to 1 000 000 francs. If the act was committed with a minor, the maximum penalty will always be applied.”

Imprisonment for a duration between 1 and five years; and

Fine of 50,000 to 1,000,000 francs

Cook Islands

Cook Islands 

Crimes Act 1969

Section 154: Indecency between males

“(1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years who, bring a male,-

(a) Indecently assaults any other male; or

(b) Does any indecent act with or upon any other male; or

(c) Induces or permits any other male to do any indecent act with or upon him.

(2) No boy under the age of fifteen years shall be charged with committing or being a party to an offence against paragraph (b) or paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section, unless the other male was under the age of twenty-one years.

(3) It is not defence to a charge under this section that the other party consented.”

Imprisonment for up to 5 years

Section 155: Sodomy

“(1) Every one who commits sodomy is liable-

(a) Where the act of sodomy is committed on a female, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years;

(b) Where the act of sodomy is committed on a male, and at the time of the act that male is under the age of fifteen years and the offender is of over the age of twenty-one years, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years;

(c) In any other case, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.

(2) This offence is complete upon penetration.

(3) Where sodomy is committed on any person under the age of fifteen years he shall not be charged with being a party to that offence, but he may be charged with being a party to an offence against section 154 of this Act in say case to which that section is applicable.

(4) It is no defence to a charge under this section that the other party consented.”

Imprisonment for a term of:

(a) up to 14 years if committed on a female;

(b) up to 14 years if committed on a male under the age of 15 years and if the offender is over the age of 21 years;

(c) up to 7 years in any other case.

Dominica

 Dominica

Sexual Offences Act 1998

Section 14: Gross Indecency


“(1) Any person who commits an act of gross indecency with another person is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for five years.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of gross indecency committed in private between an adult male person and an adult female person, both of whom consent.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) –
an act shall be deemed not to have been committed in private if it is committed in a public place; and
 a person shall be deemed not to consent to the commission of such an act if –
the consent is extorted by force, threats or fear of bodily harm or is obtained by false and fraudulent representations as to the nature of the act;the consent is induced by the application or administration of any drug, matter or thing with intent to intoxicate or stupefy the person; or
that person is, and the other party to the act knows or has good reason to believe that the person is suffering from a mental disorder.

(4) In this section “gross indecency” is an act other than sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural) by a person involving the use of genital organs for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”

Imprisonment for 5 years

17 Jun 1993

Section 16: Buggery

“(1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for– twenty-five years, if committed by an adult on a minor;
ten years, if committed by an adult on another adult; or
 five years, if committed by a minor;
and, if the Court thinks it fit, the Court may order that the convicted person be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment.

(2) Any person who attempts to commit the offence of buggery, or is guilty of an assault with the intent to commit the same is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for four years and, if
the Court thinks it fit, the Court may order that the convicted person be admitted to the psychiatric hospital for treatment.

(3) In this section “buggery” means sexual intercourse per anum by a male person with a male person or by a male person with a female person.”

(1) Imprisonment for a term of:

(a) 25 years if committed by an adult on a minor;

(b) 10 years if committed by an adult on another adult;

(c) 5 years if committed by a minor.

Admission to a psychiatric hospital if ordered by a court

(2) Imprisonment for 4 years.

Admission to a psychiatric hospital is ordered by a court

Egypt

Egypt 

The Law on the Combating of Prostitution and the Penal Code have been used to imprison gay men.Law 58/1937 promulgating The Penal Code

Article 98(f):

“Detention for a period of not less than six months and not exceeding five years, or paying a fine of 
not less than five hundred pounds and not exceeding one thousand pounds shall be the penalty inflicted on whoever exploits and uses the religion in advocating and propagating by talk or in writing, or by any other method, extremist thoughts with the aim of instigating sedition and division or disdaining and contempting any of the heavenly religions or the sects belonging thereto, or prejudicing national unity or social peace.”

Detention for a duration between 6 months and 5 years; or

Fine between 500 pounds and 1,000 pounds

14 Jan 1982

Article 269 bis:

“Whoever is found on a public road or a traveled and frequented place inciting the passersby with signals or words to commit indecency shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding one month. If the felon recurs to committing this crime within one year of the first crime, the penalty shall become imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months and a fine not exceeding fifty pounds. A ruling of conviction shall necessitate placing the convict under police supervision for a period equal to that of the penalty.”

Imprisonment for up to 1 month; or

Imprisonment for up to 6 months and a fine of up to 50 pounds if committed within one year of first crime.

Article 278:

“Whoever commits in public a scandalous act against shame shall be punished with detention for a period not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding three hundred pounds.”

Detention for up to 1 year or fine of up 300 pounds.
Law 10/1961 on the Combating of Prostitution

Article 9:

“Punishment by imprisonment for a period not less than three months and not exceeding three years and a fine not less than 25 LE and not exceeding 300 LE […] or one of these two punishments applies in the following cases:

(a) Whoever lets or offers in whatever fashion a residence or place run for the purpose of debauchery or prostitution, or for the purpose of housing one or more persons, if they are to his knowledge practicing debauchery or prostitution.

(b) Whoever owns or manages a furnished residence or furnished rooms or premises open to the public and who facilitates the practice of debauchery or prostitution, either by admitting persons so engaged or by allowing on his premises incitement to debauchery or prostitution.

(c) Whoever habitually engages in debauchery or prostitution.

Upon the apprehension of a person in the last category, it 
is permitted to send him for a medical examination. If it is discovered that he is carrying an infectious venereal disease, it is permitted to detain him in a therapeutic institute until his cure is completed.

It is permitted to determine that the convicted person 
be placed, upon completion of his sentence, in a special reformatory until the administrative agency orders his release. This judgment is obligatory in cases of recidivism, and the period spent in the reformatory is not allowed to be more than three years. […]”

Imprisonment for a duration between 3 months and 3 years; and/or

Fine between 25 LE and 300 LE.

May be placed in a special reformatory upon completion of sentence for up to 3 years.

Eritrea

Eriteria 

Penal Code of 1957 (inherited from Ethiopian rule)

Article 600: Unnatural carnal offences

“(1) Whosoever performs with another person of the same sex an act corresponding to the sexual act, or any other indecent act, is punishable with simple imprisonment.

(2) The provisions of Art. 597 are applicable where an infant or young person is involved.”

Article 105: Simple imprisonment

“(1) simple imprisonment is a sentence applicable to offences of a not very serious nature committed by persons who are not a serious danger to society.
It is intended as a measure of safety to the general public and as a punishment to the offender.
 Subject to any special provision of law and without prejudice to conditional release, simple imprisonment may extend for 
a period of from ten days to three years; such period shall be fixed by the court.

(2) The sentence of simple imprisonment shall be served in such prison or in such section thereof as is appointed for the purpose.”

Imprisonment for a period between 10 days and 3 years.

22 Jan 2002

Ethiopia

Ethiopia 

Criminal Code of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Proclamation No. 414/2004

Article 629: Homosexual and other Indecent Acts

“Whoever performs with another person of the same sex a homosexual act, or any other indecent act, is punishable with simple imprisonment.”

Article 106: Simple Imprisonment

“(1) Simple imprisonment is a sentence applicable to crimes of a not very serious nature committed by persons who are not a serious danger to society.

Without prejudice to conditional release, simple imprisonment may extend for a period of from ten days to three years. However, simple imprisonment may extend up to five years where, owing to the gravity of the crime, it is prescribed in the Special Part of this Code, or where there are concurrent crimes punishable with simple imprisonment, or where the criminal has been punished repeatedly.

The Court shall fix the period of simple imprisonment in its judgment.

(2) The sentence of simple imprisonment shall be served in such prison or in such section thereof as is appointed for the purpose.”

Imprisonment for a period between 10 days and 3 years.

May extend to a maximum of 5 years in special circumstances.

11 Jun 1993

Article 630: General Aggravation to the Crime

“(1) The punishment shall be simple imprisonment for not less than one year, or, in grave cases, rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years, where the criminal:a) takes unfair advantage of the material or mental distress of another or of the authority he exercises over another by virtue of his position, office or capacity as guardian, tutor, protector, teacher, master or employer, or by virtue of any other like relationship, to cause such other person to perform or to submit to such an act; orb) makes a profession of such activities within the meaning of the law (Art. 92).

(2) The punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment from three years to fifteen years, where:

(a) the criminal uses violence, intimidation or coercion, trickery or fraud, or takes unfair advantage of the victim’s inability to offer resistance or to defend himself or of his feeble- mindedness or unconsciousness; or

b) the criminal subjects his victim to acts of cruelty or sadism, or transmits to him a venereal disease with which he knows himself to be infected; or

c) the victim is driven to suicide by distress, shame or despair.”

Imprisonment for a duration between 1 year and 10 years

Gambia

 Gambia

Criminal Code 1965, as amended in 2005

Article 144: Unnatural offences

“(1) Any person who—

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or

(b)  has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(c)  permits any person to have carnal knowledge of him or  her against the order of nature;
is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for a term of 14 years.

(2) In this section- “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” includes-

(a) carnal knowledge of the person through the anus or the mouth of the person;

(b) inserting any object or thing into the vulva or the anus of the person for the purpose of simulating sex; and

(c) committing any other homosexual act with the person”

Imprisonment for 14 years

22 Mar 1979

9 Jun 1988

Gaza

Gaza 

 

The British Mandate Criminal Code Ordinance, No. 74 of 1936

Section 152(2) criminalizes sexual acts between men with a penalty of up to 10 years.

Imprisonment for 10 years

Ghana

Ghana 

Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29), as amended to 2003

Section 104: Unnatural Carnal Knowledge

“(1) Whoever has unnatural carnal knowledge—

(a) of any person of the age of sixteen years or over without his consent shall be guilty of a first degree felony and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty-five years; or

(b) of any person of sixteen years or over with his consent is guilty of a misdemeanour; or

(c) of any animal is guilty of a misdemeanour.

(2) Unnatural carnal knowledge is sexual intercourse with a person in an unnatural manner or with an animal.”

According to Article 296(4) of the Criminal Procedural Code, a misdemeanor shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.

Imprisonment for a term of:

(a) between 5 years and 25 years if there was no consent;

(b) up to 3 years if there was consent.

7 Sep 2000

7 Sep 2000

Grenada

 Grenada

Criminal Code of 1987 as amended in 1993

Article 431:

“If any two persons are guilty of unnatural connexion, or if any person is guilty of an unnatural connexion with any animal, every such person shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years”.

Imprisonment for 10 years

6 Sep 1991

Guinea

Guinea 

Penal Code of 1998

Article 325

“Any indecent act or act against nature committed with an individual of the same sex will be punished by six months to three years of imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 to 1,000,000 Guinean francs.

If the act was committed with a minor under 21 years of age, the maximum penalty must be pronounced.”

Original text:

“Tout acte impudique ou contre nature commis avec un individu de son sexe sera puni d’un emprisonnement de 6 mois à 3 ans et d’une amende de 100.000 à 1.000.000 de Francs guinéens. Si l’acte a été commis avec un mineur de moins de 21 ans, le maximum de la peine sera toujours prononcée”

Imprisonment for a period between 6 months and 3 years.

24 Jan 1978

17 Jun 1993

Guyana

 Guyana

Criminal Law (Offences) Act (Available at the Guyana Ministry of Legal Affairs website)

Section 352: Committing acts of gross indecency with male person

“Any male person, who in public or private, commits, or 
is a party to the commission, or procures or attempts to procure the commission, by any male person, of an act of gross indecency with any other male person shall be guilty of misdemeanour and liable to imprisonment for two years.”

Imprisonment for 2 years

15 Feb 1977

5 Jan 1999

Section 353: Attempt to commit unnatural offences

“Everyone who –

(a) attempts to commit buggery; or

(b) assaults any person with the intention to commit buggery; or

(c) being a male, indecently assaults any other male person, shall be guilty of felony and liable to imprisonment for ten years.”

Imprisonment for 10 years
Section 354: Buggery

“Everyone who commits buggery, either with a human being or with any other living creature, shall be guilty of felony and liable to imprisonment for life.”

Imprisonment for life

India

India 

Indian Penal Code (Available on the India Code website maintained by the Indian Ministry of Law and Justice)
Note: Section 377, which criminalises homosexuality, was ruled constitutionally invalid by the Delhi High Court in 2009. However, the Supreme Court overturned the High Court’s decision in December 2013. The Supreme Court held that it was up to the Parliament to decriminalise homosexuality. Read the Supreme Court’s decision here.Section 377: Unnatural offences

“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description or a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be to fine.”

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to candidate the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.

Imprisonment for life; or

Imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine

10 Apr 1979

Iran

Iran 

Islamic Penal Code of Iran of 1991 Book 2, Part 2 (Punishment for Sodomy)

Chapter 1 (Definition of Sodomy)

Article 108

Sodomy is sexual intercourse with a male.

Article 109

In case of sodomy both the active and the passive persons will be condemned to its punishment.

Article 110

Punishment for sodomy is killing; the Sharia judge decides on how to carry out the killing.

Article 111

Sodomy involves killing if both the active and passive persons are mature, of sound mind and have free will.

Article 112

If a mature man of sound mind commits sexual intercourse with an immature person, the doer will be killed and the passive one will be subject to Ta’azir of 74 lashes if not under duress.

Article 113

If an immature person commits sexual intercourse with another immature person, both of them will be subject to Ta’azir of 74 lashes unless one of them was under duress.

Chapter 2 (Ways of proving sodomy in court)

Article 114

By confessing after four lashes to having committed sodomy, punishment is established against the one making the confession.

Article 115

A confession made before receiving four lashes
(to having committed sodomy) does not involve punishment
of “Had” but the confessor will be subject to Ta’azir (lesser punishments).

Article 116

A confession is valid only if the confessor is mature, of sound mind, has will and intention.

Article 117

Sodomy is proved by the testimony of four righteous men who might have observed it.

Article 118

If less than four righteous men testify, sodomy
is not proved and the witnesses shall be condemned to punishment for Qazf (malicious accusation).

Article 119

Testimony of women alone or together with a man does not prove sodomy.

Article 120

The Sharia judge may act according to his own knowledge which is derived through customary methods.

Death for mature person74 lashes for immature person unless they were under duress

24 Jun 1975

Article 121

Punishment for Tafhiz (the rubbing of the thighs
or buttocks) and the like committed by two men without entry, shall be hundred lashes for each of them.

Article 122

If Tafhiz and the like are repeated three lashes without entry and punishment is enforced after each time, the punishment for the fourth time would be death.

Article 123

If two men not related by blood stand naked under one cover without any necessity, both of them will be subject to Ta’azir of up to 99 lashes.

Article 124

If someone kisses another with lust, he will be subject to Ta’azir of 60 lashes.

Article 125

If the one committing Tafhiz and the like or a homosexual man, repents before the giving of testimony by the witnesses, his punishment will be quashed; if he repents after the giving of testimony, the punishment will not be quashed.

Article 126

If sodomy or Tafhizis proved by confession and thereafter he repents the Shariajudge may request the leader (Valie Amr) to pardon him.

100 lashes for Tafhiz

Death if Tafhiz and the like are repeated for the fourth time

99 lashes for unrelated men standing under one cover without any necessity

60 lashes for kissing another with lust

Part 3 (Lesbianism)Article 127

Mosaheqeh (lesbianism) is homosexuality of women by genitals

Article 128

The ways of proving lesbianism in court are the same by which the homosexuality (of men) is proved.

Article 129

Punishment for lesbianism is hundred (100) lashes for each party.

Article 130

Punishment for lesbianism will be established vis-a -vis someone who is mature, of sound mind, has free will and intention.

Note: In the punishment for lesbianism there will be no distinction between the doer and the subject as well as a Muslim or non-Muslim.

Article 131

If the act of lesbianism is repeated three lashes and punishment is enforced each time, death sentence will be issued the fourth time.

Article 132

If a lesbian repents before the giving of testimony by the witnesses, the punishment will be quashed; if she does so after the giving of testimony, the punishment will not be quashed.

Article 133

If the act of lesbianism is proved by the confession
of the doer and she repents accordingly, the Sharia judge may request the leader (ValieAmr) to pardon her.

Article 134

If two women not related by consanguinity stand naked under one cover without necessity, they will be punished to less than hundred (100) lashes (Ta’azir). In case of its repetition as well as the repetition of punishment, hundred (100) lashes will be hit the third time.

100 lashes for each party

Death if act is repeated for the fourth time

Less than 100 lashes for unrelated women standing naked under one cover without any necessity

Iraq

Iraq 

 

After the American invasion in 2003 the Penal Code
 of 1969 was reinstated in Iraq. This code does not prohibit same-sex relations.  However, various reports have shown that self-proclaimed Sharia judges have sentenced people to death for committing homosexual acts and that militias frequently have kidnapped, threatened and killed LGBT people.  

25 Jan 1971

Jamaica

Jamaica 

Offences Against the Person Act

Article 76: Unnatural Crime

“Whosoever shall be convicted of the abominable crime of buggery [anal intercourse] committed either with mankind or with any animal, shall be liable to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for a term not exceeding ten years.”

Imprisonment for up to 10 years

3 Oct 1975

Article 77: Attempt

“Whosoever shall attempt to commit the said abominable crime, or shall be guilty of any assault with intent to commit the same, or of any indecent assault upon any male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof shall be liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding seven years, with or without hard labour.”

Article 78: Proof of Carnal Knowledge

“Whenever upon the trial of any offence punishable under this Act, it may be necessary to prove carnal knowledge, it shall not be necessary to prove the actual emission of seed in order to constitute a carnal knowledge, but the carnal knowledge shall be deemed complete upon proof of penetration only.”

Imprisonment for up to 7 years, with or without hard labour
Article 79: Outrages on Decency

“Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable at the discretion of the court to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 2 years, with or without hard labour.”

Imprisonment for up to 2 years, with or without hard labour

Kenya

Kenya 

Penal Code (as amended by Act No. 5 of 2003)

Section 162: Unnatural Offences

“Any person who—

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or

(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature; is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years:

Provided that, in the case of an offence under paragraph (a), the offender shall be liable to imprisonment for twenty-one years if—

(i) the offence was committed without the consent of the person who was carnally known; or

(ii) the offence was committed with that person’s consent but the consent was obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of some kind, or by fear of bodily harm, or by means of false representations as to the nature of the act.”

Imprisonment for 14 years

Imprisonment for 21 years if committed without consent or if consent was obtained by force

1 May 1996

Section 163: Attempt to Commit Unnatural Offences

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section 162 is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

Imprisonment for 7 years
Section 165: Indecent Practices Between Males

“Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for five years.”

Imprisonment for 5 years

Kiribati

 Kiribati

Penal Code [Cap 67] Revised Edition 1977

Section 153: Unnatural offences

“Any person who-

(a) commits buggery with another person or with an animal; or

(b) permits a male person to commit buggery with him or her, shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 14 years.”

Imprisonment for 14 years

Section 154: Attempts to commit unnatural offences and indecent assaults

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences it specified in the last preceding section, or who is guilty of any assault with intent to commit the same, or any indecent assault upon any male person shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 7 years.”

Imprisonment for 7 years
Section 155: Indecent practices between males

“Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 5 years.”

Imprisonment for 5 years

Kuwait

 Kuwait

Penal Code, Law No. 16 of June 2, 1960, as amended in 1976

Article 193

“Consensual intercourse between men of full age (from the age of 21) shall be punishable with a term of imprisonment of up to seven years.”

Such relations with a man under 21 years of age are criminalised by article 192.

Imprisonment for up to 7 years

21 May 1996

Lebanon

Lebanon 

 

Penal Code of 1943

Article 534

“Any sexual intercourse against nature is punished with up to one year of imprisonment”.

Imprisonment for up to 1 year

3 Nov 1972

Lesotho

flag_of_lesotho-svg 

 

Sodomy remains a criminal offence under the common law of Lesotho. However, this law is not enforced.

Homosexuality is not a crime under the Penal Code Act 2010.

It is unclear what the punishment is as the common law offence does not appear to be enforced.

9 Sep 1992

6 Sep 2000

Liberia

 Liberia

New Penal Law, Volume IV, Title 26, Liberian Code of Laws Revised, Approved in 1976 and Published in 1978.

Articles 14.74, 14.79 and 50.7 consider “voluntary sodomy” as a first degree misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to one year imprisonment, with sodomy being defined as “deviate sexual intercourse” between human beings who are not (living as) husband and wife, that consists of contact between penis and anus, mouth and penis, or mouth and vulva.

Imprisonment for up to 1 year

22 Sep 2004

Libya

Libya 

Penal Code of 1953 as amended by Law 70 of 2 October 1973

Article 407
(4)

Whoever has intercourse with a person with his consent will be punished with his partner by imprisonment of not more than five years.

Article 408
(4)

Whoever commits an indecent act with a person with his consent will be punished with his partner with imprisonment.

Imprisonment for up to 5 years

15 May 1970

16 May 1989

Malawi

Malawi 

Penal Code Chap. 7:01 Laws of Malawi

Section 153: Unnatural offences


“Anyone who –

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or

(b) has carnal knowledge of any animal; or

(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature,
shall be guilty of a felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for fourteen years, with or without corporal punishment.”

Imprisonment for 14 years, with or without corporal punishment

22 Dec 1993

11 Jun 1996

Section 154: Attempt to commit unnatural offences

“
Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in the last preceding section shall be guilty of a felony and
 shall be liable to imprisonment for seven years, with or without corporal punishment.”

Imprisonment for 7 years, with or without corporal punishment
Section 156: Indecent practices between males

“Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act
by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, shall be guilty of a felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for five years, with or without corporal punishment.”

Imprisonment for 5 years, with or without corporal punishment
Section 137A: Indecent practices between females

“Any female person who, whether in public or private, commits “any act of gross indecency with another female” shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a prison term of five years.”

Imprisonment for 5 years

Malaysia

Malaysia 

Penal Code (Consolidated version 1998)

Unnatural OffencesSection 377A: Carnal intercourse against the order of nature

“Any person who has sexual connection with another person by the introduction of the penis into the anus or mouth of the other person is said to commit carnal intercourse against the order of nature.”

Explanation:
 Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual connection necessary to the offence described in this section.

Section 377B: Punishment for committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature.

“Whoever voluntarily commits carnal intercourse against the order of nature shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to twenty years, and shall also be liable to whipping.”

Imprisonment for up to 20 years; and whipping

Section 377C: Committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature without consent, etc.

“Whoever voluntarily commits carnal intercourse against the order of nature on another person without the consent, or against the will, of the other person, or by putting other person in fear of death or hurt to the person or any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more.”

Imprisonment for up to 5 years
Section 377D: Outrages on decency

“Any person who, in public or private, commits, or abets
the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any person of, any act of gross indecency with another person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.”

Imprisonment for up to 2 years
Several states in Malaysia have instated Islamic Sharia laws, applying to male and female Muslims, criminalising homosexual and lesbian acts with up to three years imprisonment and whipping. The Sharia Penal law in the Malaysian state of Pulau Pinang prescribes penalties for sodomy (Liwat) and lesbian relations (Musahaqat) with fines of RM5,000.00, three years imprisonment and 6 lashes of the whip. All these penalties can be combined. 3 years imprisonment;

Fine of RM5,0006 lashes

Maldives

Maldives 

 

Penal Code of Maldives does not regulate sexual conduct. Uncodified Muslim Sharia Law criminalises homosexual acts between both men and between women. For men the punishment is banishment for nine months to one year or a whipping of 10 to 30 strokes, while the punishment for women is house arrest for nine months to one year. Men: banishment for 9 months to 1 year, or a whipping of 10 to 30 strokes.

Women: house arrest for 9 months to 1 year.

19 Sep 2006

19 Sep 2006

Mauritania

mauritania 

Penal Code of 1984

Article 308

“Any adult Muslim man who commits an indecent act or an act against nature with an individual of his sex will face the penalty of death by public stoning. If it is a question of two women, they will be punished as prescribed in article 306, first paragraph.” (Unofficial translation)

Original text Article 308:

“Tout musulman majeur qui aura commis un acte impudique ou contre nature avec un individu de son sexe sera puni de peine de mort par lapidation publique. S’il s’agit de deux femmes, elles seront punies de la peine prévue à l’article 306, paragraphe premier.

Article 306 (1), Toute personne qui aura commis un outrage public à la pudeur et aux mœurs islamiques ou a violé les lieux sacrés ou aidé à les violer, si cette action ne figure pas dans les crimes emportant la Ghissass ou la Diya, sera punie d’une peine correctionnelle de trois mois à deux ans d’emprisonnement et d’une amende de 5.000 à 60.000 UM.”

Death by public stoning

17 Nov 2004

Mauritius

Mauritious 

 

Criminal Code of 1838 

Section 250: Sodomy and bestiality

“(1) Any person who is guilty of the crime of sodomy or bestiality shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 5 years.”

Penal servitude for up to 5 years

12 Dec 1973

12 Dec 1973

Morocco

Morocco 

Penal Code of November 26, 1962

Article 489

“Any person who commits lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex shall be punished with a term of imprisonment of between six months and three years and a fine of 120 to 1,000 dirhams, unless the facts of the case constitute aggravating circumstances.”

Imprisonment for a period between 6 months and 3 years; and

Fine between 120 and 1,000 dirhams

3 May 1979

Myanmar

Myanmar 

Penal Code, Act 45/1860, Revised Edition

Section 377

“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with transportation for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Transportation for life; or

Imprisonment for up to 10 years; and

Fine

 

Namibia

Namibia 

 

Sodomy remains a crime in Namibia according to the Roman-Dutch common-law, which was imposed by the South Africans.  

28 Nov 1994

28 Nov 1994

Nigeria

 Nigeria

Criminal Code Act, Chapter 77, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990

Section 214: Unnatural offences

“Any person who-

(1) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or

(2) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(3) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature;
is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.”

Imprisonment for 14 years

29 Jul 1993

Section 215: Attempt to commit unnatural offences

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences defined in the last preceding section is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.” 

Imprisonment for 7 years
Section 217: Indecent practices between males

“Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another
male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.”

Note: several Northern Nigerian states have adopted Islamic Sharia laws, criminalizing sexual activities between persons of the same sex. The maximum penalty for such acts between men is death penalty, while the maximum penalty for such acts between women is a whipping and/or imprisonment. These laws differ from the federal law, as most of these prohibit also sexual relations between women.

The states which have adopted such laws are: Bauchi (the year 2001), Borno (2000), Gombe (2001), Jigawa (2000), Kaduna (2001), Kano (2000), Katsina (2000), Kebbi (2000), Niger (2000), Sokoto (2000), Yobe (2001) and Zamfara (2000).

Imprisonment for 3 years

Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013

Section 1(1)

“A … civil union entered into between persons of same sex: (a) is prohibited in Nigeria”.

Section 5

(1) “A person who enters into a … civil union commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment”.

14 years imprisonment
Section 4(2)

“The public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly is prohibited”.

Section 5(2)

“A person who … directly or indirectly makes public show of same sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.”

10 years imprisonment

Oman

Oman 

Omani Penal Code of 1974

Article 33

“The following are deemed as disgracing crimes:I. All felonies punishable by a coercive sentence.II. All misdemeanours stated hereafter:

7.Homosexual and lesbian intercourses;”

 

Article 223


“Anyone who commits erotic acts with a person of the same sex shall be sentenced to imprisonment from six months to three years. The suspects of homosexual or lesbian intercourse shall be prosecuted without a prior complaint, if the act results in
a public scandal. The suspects of lesbian intercourse among ascendants, descendants or sisters shall only be prosecuted upon a complaint from a relative or a relative by marriage forth-degree removed.”

Imprisonment for a period between 6 months and 3 years

Pakistan

 Pakistan

Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860)

Section 377: Unnatural offences

“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than two years nor more than ten years, and shall also be liable to a fine.”

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.

Imprisonment for life; or

Imprisonment for a period between 2 years and 10 years and a fine

23 Jun 2010

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea 

Criminal Code 1974, as amended in 2002

Section 210: Unnatural Offences

“(1) A person who–

(a) sexually penetrates any person against the order of nature; or

(b) sexually penetrates an animal; or

(c) permits a male person to sexually penetrate him or her against the order of nature, is guilty of a crime.”

Imprisonment for up to 14 years

21 Jul 2008

“(2) A person who attempts to commit an offence against Subsection (1) is guilty of a crime.”

Imprisonment for up to 7 years
Section 212: Indecent Practices Between Males

“(1) A male person who, whether in public or private–

(a) commits an act of gross indecency with another male person; or

(b) procures another male person to commit an act of gross indecency with him; or

(c) attempts to procure the commission of any such act by a male person with himself or with another male person, is guilty of a misdemeanour.”

Imprisonment for up to 3 years

Qatar

Qatar 

Penal Code (Law No. (II) of 2004)

Sexual acts with a female over the age of 16 are prohibited by article 281, while sexual acts with a male are prohibited by article 281 and 285.

Imprisonment for up to 7 years

Along with the civil Penal Code also Islamic Sharia Law is in force in Qatar, although only applicable to Muslims. The offence of “Zina” makes any sexual act by a married person outside of marriage punishable by death, while sexual acts by non-married persons are punishable
by flogging – both offences no matter if they were heterosexual or homosexual. Death for any sexual act by a married person outside of marriage.

Flogging for sexual acts by non-married persons

Saint Kitts and Nevis

 St Kitts

Offences against the Person Act

The Revised Laws prescribe terms of imprisonment
 of up to ten years, with or without hard labor, upon conviction for engaging in anal sex, described as “the abominable crime of buggery.”

Imprisonment for up to 10 years, with or without hard labour

Attempted “buggery” is sanctioned by up to four years imprisonment, with or without hard labor, as is “any indecent assault upon any male person.” The latter, which is in no way defined, is subject to arbitrary interpretation. It could potentially encompass any behavior perceived as a homosexual advance. Imprisonment for up to 4 years, with or without hard labour

Saint Lucia

 St Lucia

Criminal Code, No. 9 of 2004 (Effective January 1, 2005)

Section 132: Gross indecency

“(1) Any person who commits an act of gross indecency with another person commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for ten years or on summary conviction to five years.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of gross indecency committed in private between an adult male person and an adult female person, both of whom consent.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) —

(a) an act shall be deemed not to have been committed in private if it is committed in a public place; and

(b) a person shall be deemed not to consent to the commission of such an act if —

(i) the consent is extorted by force, threats or fear of bodily harm or is obtained by false and fraudulent representations as to the nature of the act;

(ii) the consent is induced by the application or administration of any drug, matter or thing with intent to intoxicate or stupefy the person; or

(iii) that person is, and the other party to the act knows or
has good reason to believe that the person is suffering from a mental disorder.

(4) In this section “gross indecency” is an act other than
sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural) by a person involving the use of the genital organs for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”

Imprisonment for 10 years on conviction for indictment.

Imprisonment for 5 years on summary conviction

Section 133: Buggery

“(1) A person who commits buggery commits
an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for —

(a) life, if committed with force and without the consent of the other person;

(b) ten years, in any other case.”

Imprisonment for life if committed with force and without consent.

Imprisonment for 10 years in any other case

“(2) Any person who attempts to commit buggery, or commits an assault with intent to commit buggery, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for five years.

(3) In this section “buggery” means sexual intercourse per anus by a male person with another male person.”

Imprisonment for 5 years

Saint Vincent & The Grenadines

St Vincent 

Criminal Code, 1990 Edition

Section 146

“Any person who —

(a) commits buggery with any other person;

(b) commits buggery with an animal; or

(c) permits any person to commit buggery with him or her; is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for ten years.”

Imprisonment for 10 years

9 Nov 1981

9 Nov 1981

Section 148

“Any person, who in public or private, commits an act of gross indecency with another person of the same sex, or procures or attempts to procure another person of the same sex to commit an act of gross indecency with him or her, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for five years.”

Imprisonment for 5 years

Samoa

 Samoa

Crimes Act 2013 No. 10

Section 67: Sodomy

“(1) A person who commits sodomy is liable:

(a) where the act of sodomy is committed on a female, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven (7) years; or

(b) where the act of sodomy is committed on a male, and at the time of the act that male is under the age of 16 years and the offender is of or over the age of 21 years, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven (7) years; or

(c) in any other case, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five (5) years.

(2) Sodomy is complete upon penetration.
(3) It is no defence to a charge under this section that the other party consented.”
Imprisonment for up to 7 years if committed on a female.

Imprisonment for up to 7 years if committed on a male under the age of 16 years and if the offender is over the age of 21.

Otherwise, imprisonment for up to 5 years.

15 Feb 2008

Section 68: Attempts to commit sodomy

“A person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five (5) years who:

(a) attempts to commit sodomy; or
(b) assaults any person with intent to commit sodomy”
Imprisonment for up to 5 years

Saudi-Arabia

Saudi Arabia 

There is no codified Penal Law in Saudi-Arabia. Instead, the country applies strict Islamic Sharia Law. According to the interpretation sodomy is criminalised. For a married man the penalty is death by stoning, while the penalty for an unmarried man is 100 blows of the whip as well as banishment for a year.For a non-Muslim, who commits sodomy with a Muslim, the penalty is death by stoning. Moreover are all sexual relations outside of marriage illegal in Saudi-Arabia according to the Sharia law, including sexual relations between women. Married men: death by stoning.

Unmarried men: 100 blows of the whip and banishment for a year.

Non-Muslim: death by stoning

Senegal

Senegal 

Penal Code of 1965

Article 319 (third paragraph)

“Without prejudice to the more serious penalties provided for in the preceding paragraphs
 or by articles 320 and 321 of this Code, whoever will have committed an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex will be punished by imprisonment of between one and five years and by a fine of 100,000 to 1,500,000 francs. If the act was committed with a person below the age of 21, the maximum penalty will always be applied.”

Original text:

“Sans préjudice des peines plus graves prévues par lês alinéas qui précédent ou par les articles 320 et 321 du présent Code, sera puni d’un emprisonnement d’un à cinq ans et d’une amende de 100.000 à 1.500.000 francs, quiconque aura commis um acte impudique ou contre nature avec un individu de son sexe. Si l’acte a été commis avec un mineur de 21 ans, le maximum de la peine sera toujours prononcé.”

Imprisonment for a period between 1 and 5 years and fine between 100,000 and 1,500,000 francs

13 Feb 1978

13 Feb 1978

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone 

Offences against the Person Act 1861

Section 61 of the above named Act criminalizes buggery and bestiality, with a penalty of life imprisonment.

Life imprisonment

23 Aug 1996

23 Aug 1996

Singapore

 Singapore

Penal Code (Chapter 224), Revised Edition 2008

Section 377A: Outrages on decency

“Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years.”

Imprisonment for up to 2 years

Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands 

Penal Code (Revised Edition 1996)

Section 160: Unnatural offences

“Any person who-

(a) commits buggery with another person or with an animal; or

(b) permits a male person to commit buggery with him or her, shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.”

Imprisonment for 14 years

Section 161: Attempts to commit unnatural offences

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in the last preceding section, or who is guilty of
any assault with intent to commit the same, or any indecent assault indecent assaults upon any male person shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

Imprisonment for 7 years
Section 162: Indecent practices between persons of the same sex (Inserted by Act 9 of 1990, s. 2)

“Any person who, whether in public or private –

(a) commits any act of gross indecency with another of the same sex;

(b) procures another of the same sex to commit any act of gross indecency; or

(c) attempts to procure the commission of any act of gross indecency by persons of the same sex, shall be guilty of a felony and be liable to imprisonment for five years.”

Imprisonment for 5 years

Somalia

Somalia 

Penal Code, Legislative Decree No. 5/1962

Article 409: Homosexuality


“Whoever has carnal intercourse with a person of the same sex shall be punished, where the act does not constitute a more serious crime, with imprisonment from three months to three years. Where the act committed is an act of lust different from carnal intercourse, the punishment imposed shall be reduced by one-third.”

Article 410: Security Measures

“A security measure may be added to a sentence for crimes referred to in Articles 407, 408, and 409.” (Unofficial Translation)

The political situation in Somalia has been complicated since the fall of the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, and the enforcement of the national Penal Code can be questioned. However, Somaliland in the north has declared itself independent, and it still applies the Penal Code.

Imprisonment for a period between 3 months and 3 years. 

Security measures may be added to the sentence

24 Jan 1990

24 Jan 1990

South Sudan

South Sudan 

Penal Code Act 2008

Section 248: Unnatural Offences

(1) Whoever, has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person and whoever allows any person to have such intercourse with him or her commits an offence, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and may also be liable to a fine.
[…]”

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.

 

Imprisonment for up to 10 years; and

Fine

Sri Lanka

 Sri Lanka

Penal Code (as amended by the Penal Code (Amendment) Act, No. 22 of 1995)

Article 365: Unnatural offences

“
Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order
of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend ten years, and shall also be punished with fine and where the offence is committed by a person over eighteen years of
 age in respect of any person under sixteen years of age shall
 be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than ten years and not exceeding twenty years and with fine and shall also be ordered to pay compensation of an amount determined by court to the person in respect of whom the offence was committed for injuries caused to such person.”

Explanation – penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.

Imprisonment for up to 10 years; and
Fine.If committed by a person over the age of 18 towards a person under the age of 16:

  • Imprisonment for a period between 10 years and 20 years;
  • Fine; and
  • Order to pay compensation

11 Jun 1980

3 Oct 1997

Article 365A: Acts of gross indecency between persons

“Any person who, in public or private, commits, or is a party
to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any person of any act of gross indecency with another person, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with a fine, or with both and where the offence is committed by a person over eighteen (18) years of age in respect of any person under sixteen (16) years of age shall be punished worth rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than 10 years and not exceeding 20 years and with a fine and shall also be ordered to pay compensation of amount determined by court to the person in respect of whom the offence was committed for the injuries caused to such a person.”

Imprisonment for up to 2 years; and/or
Fine.If offence is committed by a person over the age of 18 in respect of a person under the age of 16:

  • Imprisonment for a period between 10 years and 20 years;
  • Fine; and
  • Order to pay compensation

Sudan

Sudan 

The Penal Code 1991 (Act No. 8 1991)

Section 148: Sodomy

“(1) Any man who inserts his penis or its equivalent into
a woman’s or a man’s anus or permitted another man to insert his penis or its equivalent in his anus is said to have committed Sodomy.

(2) (a) Whoever commits Sodomy shall be punished with flogging one hundred lashes and he shall also be liable to five years imprisonment.

(b) If the offender is convicted for the second time he shall be punished with flogging one hundred lashes and imprisonment for a term which may not exceed five years.

(c) If the offender is convicted for the third time he shall be punished with death or life imprisonment.”

Flogging 100 lashes and 5 years imprisonment.

Death or life imprisonment if convicted for the third time

18 Mar 1986

Section 151: Indecent Acts

“Whoever commits an act of gross indecency upon the person of another person or any sexual act which does not amount to Zina or Sodomy shall be punished with not more than forty lashes and shall also be liable for imprisonment for a term which may not exceed one year or fine.”

Up to 40 lashes and imprisonment for up to one year or fine
In 2003 the south parts of Sudan (also known as New Sudan) gained some autonomy, and adopted its own Penal Code the same year. As the federal Penal Code, this Penal Code criminalizes sodomy, however with a milder punishment, according to the following section:

Section 318: Unnatural Offences

“Whoever has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person and whoever allows any person to have such intercourse with him commits an offence and shall on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and may also be liable to fine; and if such intercourse is done without consent he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years and may also be liable to fine; provided that a consent given by a person below the age of eighteen years to such intercourse shall not be deemed to be a consent within the meaning of this section.”

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal knowledge necessary to the offence described in this section.”

Imprisonment for up to 10 years; and
Fine.Imprisonment for up to 14 years and fine if act carried out without consent

Swaziland

Swaziland 

 

Sodomy – sexual intercourse per anus between two human males – is prohibited as a common law offence.  

26 Mar 2004

Syria

 Syria

 

Penal Code of 1949

Article 520

“Any unnatural sexual intercourse shall be punished with a term of imprisonment of up to three years.”

Imprisonment for up to 3 years

21 Apr 1969

Tanzania

 Tanzania

Penal Code of 1945 (as amended by the Sexual Offences Special Provisions Act, 1998)

Section 154: Unnatural of offences


“(1) Any person who–

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or

(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, commits an offence,
and is liable to imprisonment for life and in any case to imprisonment for a term of not less than thirty years.

(2) Where the offence under subsection (1) of this section is committed to a child under the age of ten years the offender shall be sentenced to life imprisonment.”

Imprisonment for life

11 Jun 1976

Section 155: Attempt to commit unnatural offences

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified under section 154 commits an offence and shall on conviction be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than twenty years.”

Imprisonment for a minimum of 20 years
Section 138A: Gross indecency

“Any person who, in public or private commits, or is party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any person of, any act of gross indecency with another person, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not exceeding five years or to a fine not less than one hundred thousand shillings and not exceeding three hundred thousand shillings; save that where the offence is committed
 by a person of eighteen years of age or more in respect of any person under eighteen years of 
age, a pupil of a primary school or a student of a secondary school the offender shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not less than ten years, with corporal punishment, and shall also be ordered to pay compensation of an amount determined by the court to the person in respect of whom the offence was committed for any injuries caused to that person.”

Imprisonment for a period between 1 year and five years; or

Fine between 100,000 and 300,000 shillings.

If offence is committed in respect of a person under the age of 18 years, or a primary or secondary school student:

  • Imprisonment for a minimum of 10 years with corporal punishment; and
  • Order to pay compensation

Togo

Togo 

Penal Code of 13 August 1980

Article 88

“Impudent acts or crimes against the nature with an individual of the same sex are punished with imprisonment from one to three years and 100,000-500,000 franc in fine.” (Unofficial translation)

Original text:

“Sera puni d’un emprisonnement d’un à trois ans et d’une amende de 100 000 à 500 000 francs quiconque aura commis un acte impudique ou contre nature avec un individu de son sexe.”

Imprisonment for a period between 1 year and 3 years; and

Fine between 100,000 and 500,000 francs

24 May 1984

30 Mar 1988

Tonga

Tonga 

Criminal Offences Act 1988 Revised Edition

Section 136: Sodomy and bestiality

“Whoever shall be convicted of the crime of sodomy with another person or bestiality with any animal shall be liable at the discretion of the Court to be imprisoned for any period not exceeding ten years and such animal shall be killed by a public officer.” (Substituted by Act 9 of 1987.)

Imprisonment for up to 10 years

Section 139: Attempted sodomy, indecent assault upon a male

“Whoever shall attempt to commit the said abominable crime of sodomy or shall be guilty of an assault with intent to commit the same or of any indecent assault upon any male person shall be liable at the direction of the Court to imprisonment for any term not exceeding 10 years.”

Section 140: Evidence

“On the trial of any person upon a charge of sodomy or carnal knowledge it shall not be necessary to prove the actual emission of seed but the offence shall be deemed complete on proof of penetration only.”

Imprisonment for up to 10 years
Section 142: Whipping for certain offences

“Whenever any male person shall be convicted of any offence against sections 106, 107, 115, 118, 121, 122, 125, 132, 136 and 139 of this Act the Court may, in its discretion 
in lieu of or in addition to any sentence of imprisonment authorised under this Act order the person so convicted to be whipped in accordance with the provisions of section 31 of this Act.” (Substituted by Act 9 of 1987.)

Whipping may be added to any sentence of imprisonment

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad 

Sexual Offences Act 1986, Consolidated Version 2000

Section 13

“(1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment—

(a) if committed by an adult on a minor, for life;

(b) if committed by an adult on another adult, for twenty-five years;

(c) if committed by a minor, for five years.

(2) In this section “buggery” means sexual intercourse through the anus by a male person with a male person or by a male person with a female person.”

Imprisonment for a term of:

(a) life if committed by an adult on a minor;

(b) 25 years if committed by an adult on another adult;

(c) 5 years if committed by a minor

21 Dec 1978

14 Nov 1980

Section 16

“(1) A person who commits an act of serious indecency on or towards another is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment—

(a) if committed on or towards a minor under sixteen years
 of age for ten years for a first offence and to imprisonment for fifteen years for a subsequent offence;

(b) if committed on or towards a person sixteen years of age or more for five years.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an act of serious indecency committed in private between—

(a) a husband and his wife; or

(b) a male person and a female person each of whom is sixteen years of age or more, both of whom consent to the commission of the act.

(3) An act of “serious indecency” is an act, other than sexual intercourse (whether natural or unnatural), by a person involving the use of the genital organ for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”

Imprisonment for a term of:

(a) 10 years if committed on a minor and 15 years for a subsequent offence;

(b) 5 years if committed on a person aged 16 years or older.

Tunisia

Tunisia 

 

 

Penal Code of 1913 (as modified)

Article 230

“The sodomy, that is not covered by any of the other previous articles, is punished with imprisonment for three years”.  (Unofficial translation)

Original text:

”La sodomie, si elle ne rentre dans aucun des cas prévus aux articles précédents, est punie de l’emprisonnement pendant trois ans.”

Imprisonment for 3 years

18 Mar 1969

29 Jun 2011

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan 

 

Criminal Code of 1997 (Effective January 1, 1998)

Article 135: Sodomy

“(1) Sodomy, that is the sexual relations of the man with the man, is punished by imprisonment for the term of up to two years.” (Unofficial translation)

Imprisonment for up to 2 years

1 May 1997

1 May 1997

Tuvalu

Tuvalu 

Penal Code Revised Edition 2008

Section 153: Unnatural offences

“Any person who-

(a) commits buggery with another person or with an animal; or

(b) permits a male person to commit buggery with him or her, shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 14 years.”

Imprisonment for 14 years

Section 154:Attempts to commit unnatural offences and indecent assault

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in the last proceeding section, or who is guilty of any assault with intent to commit the same, or any indecent assault upon any male person shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 7 years.”

Imprisonment for 7 years
Section 155: Indecent practices between males


“Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 5 years.”

Imprisonment for 5 years

Uganda

Uganda 

The Penal Code Act of 1950 (Chapter 120) (as amended)

Section 145: Unnatural offences

“Any person who—

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature;

(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.”

Imprisonment for life

21 Jun 1995

14 Nov 1995

Section 146: Attempt to commit unnatural offences

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section145 commits a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

Imprisonment for 7 years
Section 148: Indecent practices

“Any person who, whether in public or in private, commits any act of gross indecency with another person or procures another person to commit any act of gross indecency with him or her or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any person with himself or herself or with another person, whether in public or in private, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

Imprisonment for 7 years

United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emrites 

All sexual acts outside of heterosexual marriage are banned in the United Arab Emirates.  However, whether sodomy is punished with death penalty remains in dispute.

The Arabic text of article 354 is ambiguously phrased and can be translated in different ways. Some sources indicate that the article punishes rape of a woman or forced sodomy with a man, while others indicate that it punishes rape on women and sodomy between men.

Whether sodomy is punished with death penalty remains in dispute

Apart from federal law, consensual sodomy is criminalised in the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Article 80 of the Dubai Penal Code punishes sodomy with a penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment, while Article 177 of the Abu Dhabi Penal Code punishes such acts with a penalty of up to ten years imprisonment.

Dubai: Imprisonment for up to 14 years.

AbuDhabi: Imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Uzbekistan

 Uzbekistan

Criminal Code of 1994

Article 120: Besoqolbozlik* (Homosexual Intercourse)

“Besoqolbozlik, that is, voluntary sexual intercourse of two male individuals – shall be punished with imprisonment up to three years.”

 

Imprisonment for up to 3 years

28 Sep 1995

28 Sep 1995

Yemen

Yemen 

Penal Code 1994

Article 264

“Homosexuality between men is defined as penetration into the anus. Unmarried men shall be punished with 100 lashes of the whip or a maximum of one year of imprisonment, married men with death by stoning.”

100 lashes; or
Imprisonment for 1 year.Married men: death by stoning.

9 Feb 1987

Article 268

“Homosexuality between women is defined as sexual stimulation by rubbing. The penalty for premeditated commission shall be up to three years of imprisonment; where the offence has been committed under duress, the perpetrator shall be punishable with up to seven years detention.”

Imprisonment for up to 3 years if consensual.

Imprisonment for up to 7 years if under duress.

Zambia

Zambia 

Penal Code Act (as amended by Act No. 15 of 2005)

Section 155: Unnatural offences

“Any person who-

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or

(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature;
commits a felony and liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for a term not less than fifteen years and may be liable to imprisonment for life:

Provided that where a person-

(i) has carnal knowledge of a child against the order of nature;

(ii) causes a child to have carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(iii) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of 
a male or female child against the order of nature; that person commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for not less than twenty-five years and may be liable to imprisonment for life.”

Imprisonment for a minimum of 15 years and maximum of life.

Imprisonment for a minimum of 25 years if committed on a child.

10 Apr 1984

10 Apr 1984

Section 156: Attempt to commit unnatural offences

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section one hundred and fifty-five commits a felony and is liable, upon conviction of not less than seven years but not exceeding fourteen years.”

Imprisonment for a period between 7 years and 14 years
Section 158: Indecent practices between persons of the same sex

“(1) Any male who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with a male child or person, or procures a male child or person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male child or person, whether in public or private, commits a felony and is liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and not exceeding fourteen years.”

Imprisonment for a period between 7 years and 14 years

“(2) Any female who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with a female child or person, or procures a female child or person to commit any act of gross indecency with her, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any female person with himself or with another female child or person, whether in public or private, commits a felony and is liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and not exceeding fourteen years.”

Imprisonment for a period between 7 years and 14 years

“(3) A child who, whether in public or private, commits any
act of gross indecency with another child of the same sex or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any person with the child’s self or with another child or person
of the same sex, whether in public or private, commits an offence and is liable, to such community service or counseling as the court may determine in the best interests of the child.”

Community service or counseling

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe 

Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Effective July 8, 2006)

Section 73: Sodomy


“(1) Any male person who, with the consent of another male person, knowingly performs with that other person anal sexual intercourse, or any act involving physical contact
other than anal sexual intercourse that would be regarded by a reasonable person to be an indecent act, shall be guilty of sodomy and liable to a fine up to or exceeding level fourteen or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), both parties to the performance of an act referred to in subsection (1) may be charged with and convicted of sodomy.

(3) For the avoidance of doubt it is declared that the competent charge against a male person who performs anal sexual intercourse with or commits an indecent act upon a young male person—

(a) who is below the age of twelve years, shall be aggravated indecent assault or indecent assault, as the case may be; or

(b) who is of or above the age of twelve years but below the age of sixteen years and without the consent of such young male person, shall be aggravated indecent assault or indecent assault, as the case may be; or

(c) who is of or above the age of twelve years but below the
age of sixteen years and with the consent of such young male person, shall be performing an indecent act with a young person.”

Imprisonment for up to 1 year; and/or
Fine up to or exceeding level 14

13 May 1991

 


[*]           Data and unofficial translations of laws are sourced from Lucas Paoli Itaborahy and Jingshu Zhu, State Sponsored Homophobia Report, (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, 6th ed, May 2013.

[†]           Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations, ‘Ratification status by country or by treaty’ <http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/TreatyBodyExternal/Treaty.aspx?Treaty=CCPR&Lang=en&gt;

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