Commonwealth

Countries where Homosexuality is still a Crime

(in alphabetical order)

There are 37 Commonwealth countries that still criminalise homosexuality. Of these 27 have ratified the ICCPR, but only 14 have submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the UN Human Rights Committee by ratifying the Optional Protocol to the ICCPR.

 

State

 

 

Domestic law[*]

 

Penalty

 

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

 

Ratified Optional Protocol to the ICCPR[†]

 

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 oinor;

(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 154Section 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.”

(1) Imprisonment for 10 years(2) Imprisonment for 15 years

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

 

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

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

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 1993Article 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

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

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

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

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

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

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 2013Section 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

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 2002Section 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

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

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

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/orFine

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

Swaziland

Swaziland 

 

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

26 Mar 2004

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; orFine 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

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

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

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

 


[*]           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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