This is a photo of a gay middle eastern couple

10 Countries That Will Punish You for Being Gay


The backlash of growing anti-gay sentiments is on the rise in many parts of the world.

The 10 countries that will kill you for being gay, are obviously not gay-friendly travel destinations.

Rhetoric by religious leaders, politicians and community leaders are inflaming aggressive acts against gay men and women. The death penalty is on the books in a number of countries in Africa and other less enlightened parts of the world as a sentence for homosexual acts.

Related | The History and Importance of Big City Gayborhoods

Now, sit back relax and take a trip through these photos. Here are the countries that will kill you for being gay, bisexual or lesbian.

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1. Yemen

Married men can be stoned to death for engaging in homosexual intercourse. Penalties are less harsh for married men and women. In 2014, a gunmen in Lahj killed a man suspected of homosexuality and it was perfectly legal. In addition, more than 30 people were killed for suspected homosexuality in the past two years. Many of those who were murdered were in the southern provinces, which has been, at times, under Al Qaida control.

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2. Iran

Gay men (including teens) can be killed for engaging in homosexual intercourse in accordance with sharia law. On July 19, 2005, teenagers Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni were hanged as convicted “homosexuals.” LGBT rights in Iran are nonexistent.

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3. Iraq

Militias and judges have sentenced and killed people for homosexual acts using sharia law as the basis for their decisions.

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4. Mauritania

Gay Muslim men who have gay sex can be sentenced to death by stoning based on a 1984 law. However, women who engage in same-sex sex will be imprisoned.

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5. Nigeria

Several states have adopted harsh sharia law and imposed death penalties for men having gay sex. A recent law makes it illegal for gays to collectively gather for meetings or clubs. In 2014, the courts were lenient and a Nigerian man was sentenced to only 20 lashes in an Islamic court in the city of Bauchi. He was whipped by an official in front of a packed courtroom where he screamed out in pain.

Related | How Gay Tourism in Australia and Mardi Gras Are Entwined

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6. Qatar

Muslim cannot engage in any extramarital sex, which obviously includes same-sex sex. The punishment is death.

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7. Saudi Arabia

Gay men in Saudi Arabia are often stoned to death, but sometimes they’re lashed and punished with jail time. This includes married men and non-Muslim men who commit “homosexual” acts, which Saudi Arabia proscribes. The man in this photo was lashed 1,000 with a cane and sentenced to 21-months in prison for wearing women’s clothing.

Homo Cosmicos / Shutterstock

8. Somalia

Islamic courts in some southern areas of the country have sentenced those committing homosexual acts to death according to Sharia law.


9. Sudan

Like many other African countries, death is a final judgment for a third offense under the country’s sodomy law. But it’s important to note that not all areas of the country are as harsh.


10. United Arab Emirates

There is contention about how the federal law applies to consensual same-sex sex. However, all sex outside of marriage is deemed illegal and punishable by death.


Take time to research your next gay travel destination. Even if the law in a country doesn’t expressly sentence gays to death, prevailing antigay attitudes have allowed gays to be killed. It’s happening in Russia, Latin America and other civilized parts of the world. Backlash against the rising rights of LGBT people can even be seen in the United States. Californian attorney Matthew McLaughlin launched a ballot initiative called the Sodomite Suppression Act on February 24th.

The law would proscribe death by “bullets to the head or any other convenient method” as a response to “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification.” McLaughlin is influenced by his strong Christian beliefs. This is an interesting development in a state that has a history of supporting the LGBT community.

10 Countries That Will Punish You for Being Gay
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