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    Sri Lanka may decriminalise homosexuality — being gay is a crime in these countries

    Sri Lanka may decriminalise homosexuality — being gay is a crime in these countries

    Sri Lanka may decriminalise homosexuality — being gay is a crime in these countries
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Updated)

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    India only decriminalised homosexual relationships in 2018, when the Supreme Court struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

    Sri Lanka’s new President Ranil Wickramasinghe has stated that the government will not oppose a motion to decriminalise homosexuality. Speaking to Samantha Power, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Wickramasinghe said the government wouldn’t oppose the Private Member's Bill presented to Parliament on decriminalising same-sex sexual relationships. However, Wickramasinghe said that it will require the support of individual members.

    "We are for it, but you have to get the support of individual members. It's a matter of their private conscience," the president said, reported news agency ANI.

    Under sections 365 and 365A of the Sri Lankan Penal Code same-sex sexual activity is punishable with 10 years’ imprisonment. MP Premnath Dolawatte’s Bill proposes to strike down these two sections, decriminalising consensual sex between two adults of the same sex.

    While the police did not actively enforce the law, it is used by many to harass, threaten and extort money from those belonging to sexual minorities.

    Sri Lanka is far from being the only country that still criminalises homosexual relationships between two consenting adults. Today, there are 69 countries where homosexuality is a crime. Of these, 11 impose the death penalty for the offence of same-sex relationships —  Iran, Northern Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen regularly award the death penalty for same-sex relations, while in Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar and UAE the death penalty can be legally awarded for same-sex relations.

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    Other nations like Bangladesh, Malaysia, Morocco, and Kenya award varied punishments like life imprisonment, whipping, harsh imprisonment and fines. The SPARTACUS Gay Travel Index 2021 found that Yemen, Iran, Somalia and Saudi Arabia with the Chechnya Republic, a region within Russia, were the worst regions for the LGBTQ community.

    While no country in Europe or North America criminalises homosexuality, there is a long road for many countries to traverse when it comes to stopping discrimination against LGBTQ members. Countries like Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey, Poland, Armenia and Belarus, in particular, have the worst living conditions for the LGBTQ community, according to the latest ILGA Europe's Rainbow List.

    India only decriminalised homosexual relationships in 2018, when the Supreme Court struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

    Here is the list of countries where homosexuality is a crime:
    • Afghanistan
    • Bangladesh
    • Brunei
    • Indonesia
    • Iran
    • Iraq
    • Kuwait
    • Lebanon
    • Malaysia
    • Maldives
    • Myanmar
    • Oman
    • Pakistan
    • Palestine
    • Qatar
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Singapore
    • Sri Lanka
    • Syria
    • Turkmenistan
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Uzbekistan
    • Yemen
    • Algeria
    • Burundi
    • Cameroon
    • Chad
    • Comoros
    • Egypt
    • Eritrea
    • Eswatini
    • Ethiopia
    • Ghana
    • Guinea
    • Kenya
    • Liberia
    • Libya
    • Malawi
    • Mauritania
    • Mauritius
    • Morocco
    • Namibia
    • Nigeria
    • Senegal
    • Sierra Leone
    • Somalia
    • South Sudan
    • Sudan
    • Tanzania
    • The Gambia
    • Togo
    • Tunisia
    • Uganda
    • Zambia
    • Zimbabwe
    • Barbados
    • Dominica
    • Grenada
    • Guyana
    • Jamaica
    • Saint Kitts And Nevis
    • Saint Lucia
    • Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
    • Cook Islands
    • Kiribati
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Samoa
    • Solomon Islands
    • Tonga
    • Tuvalu
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