The latest 10 countries to allow same-sex relations

by Rachel Savage | @rachelmsavage | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Friday, 7 June 2019 16:02 GMT

People belonging to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community celebrate after the Supreme Court's verdict of decriminalizing gay sex and revocation of the Section 377 law, at an NGO in Mumbai, India, September 6, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

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By Rachel Savage

LONDON, June 7 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Bhutan's lower house of parliament voted on Friday to decriminalise gay sex .

If the amendment to the penal code passes the upper house of the Asian nation's parliament, 69 countries will remain worldwide where same-sex relations are illegal.

Seven countries have the death penalty for gay sex.

Here are the latest 10 countries that have most recently removed bans on same-sex relations.

1. Angola

In January 2019 Angola removed a ban on "vices against nature" from its penal code, which had been interpreted as criminalising gay sex.

2. India

A colonial-era law ban on gay sex was ruled unconstitutional by India's Supreme Court in September 2018, decriminalising same-sex relations in the country of 1.3 billion people.

3. Trinidad and Tobago

The Caribbean state's high court overturned its law against "buggery", which criminalised sexual relations between consenting same-sex partners, in April 2018.

4. Seychelles

In 2016 the Indian Ocean island state repealed the parts of its penal code that criminalised same-sex relations.

5. Nauru

Homosexuality was legalised by the Pacific Island country in 2016, after it accepted recommendations made by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011.

6. Belize

The former British colony's criminalisation of "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" was ruled unconstitutional in 2016.

7. Mozambique

Two articles in Mozambique's Portuguese colonial-era penal code criminalising "vices against nature" were repealed in 2014.

8. Palau

The Pacific Island state introduced a new penal code in 2014, decriminalising same-sex relations.

9. Lesotho

Sodomy, which had been criminalised in 1939, was unbanned in 2012 in Lesotho.

10. Sao Tome & Principe

A new penal code adopted in 2012 removed the criminalisation of "acts against nature" in Sao Tome & Principe.

Sources: International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Assocation (ILGA), Reuters

(Reporting by Rachel Savage @rachelmsavage; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit

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