FACTBOX-Beyond Uganda and Brunei, eight countries rolling back LGBT+ rights

Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:22 GMT

Police officers detain a participant during a rally held by LGBT activists and their supporters on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in central Saint Petersburg, Russia May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

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Same-sex relations are illegal in at least 68 countries around the world

By Nellie Peyton

NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Uganda on Thursday announced plans for a bill that would impose the death penalty on homosexuals, following plans announced by Brunei earlier this year to do the same.

Same-sex relations are illegal in at least 68 countries around the world, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

In addition to Uganda and Brunei, here are eight countries that have recently moved to roll back LGBT+ rights.

1. United States

The United States began implementing a ban on transgender people serving in the military this year, after President Donald Trump announced the change in 2017.

Trump cited medical costs as one reason for rolling back a 2016 policy of his predecessor Barack Obama, which had allowed transgender people to serve openly for the first time and also receive medical care to transition genders.

2. Russia

Russia fined its first minor last year under a so-called "gay propaganda" law that has been increasingly used to repress the LGBT+ community.

The 2013 law makes illegal any event or act regarded by the authorities as an attempt to promote homosexuality to minors. It has been used to stop gay pride marches and detain gay rights activists.

3. Poland

Poland's ruling party leader condemned gay pride marches this year and said the rule of law should be used to regulate what he called a "travelling theatre".

Ahead of elections later this month, the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party has used its anti-LGBT+ stance as a key campaign issue, which critics say has fomented violence toward the gay community.

4. Indonesia

Indonesia has drafted a law that would ban gay sex, which parliament delayed voting on last month amid protests.

The proposed revisions to the criminal code also include a ban on sex outside of marriage, a four-year jail term for abortions in the absence of a medical emergency or rape and a prison term for black magic.

5. Nigeria

Nigeria passed a bill in 2014 that criminalized same-sex relationships with penalties of up to 14 years in prison.

Authorities charged 43 people with homosexual acts in one case in 2017, ordering most to undergo monitoring and "sexual rehabilitation."

6. Malaysia

Malaysia's LGBT+ community has faced growing persecution, with two women caned in public for "attempting lesbian sex" in the state of Terengganu last year.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the leader of a new government elected last year, has said the country cannot accept same-sex marriage or LGBT+ rights.

7. Chad

Chad introduced a new penal code in 2017 with light prison sentences and fines for same-sex relations which had not been explicitly criminalized before, although there was a law condemning "acts against nature", according to the ILGA.

An earlier draft of the legislation from 2014 would have criminalized gay sex with up to 20 years in prison.

8. Slovakia

Slovakia inserted a definition of traditional marriage in its constitution in 2014.

In 2015 the country held a referendum which would have strengthened its ban on marriage and child adoption by same-sex couples, but it failed to pass on low voter turnout.

(Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Chris Michaud. 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 http://news.trust.org)

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