Laws against homosexuality overview
- Laws come from the Quran and the Hadith, which are reports of Muhammads words and actions outside of the Quran.
- Traditional Muslims believe that Islamic Law or the Sharia, which are based off the Quran and the Hadith, is the will of Allah and has the best goals for all societies.
Homosexuality Laws in the Middle east by country
* Must be noted, not all countries in the Middle East are represented.
- Afghanastan - Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Illegal. Penal Code, 1976 Article 427:
- “(1) A person who commits adultery or pederasty shall be sentenced to long imprisonment.
(2) In one of the following cases commitment of the acts, specified above, is considered to be aggravating
a. In the case where the person against whom the crime has been committed is not yet eighteen years old."
"In Afghan legal terminology “pederasty” appears to refer to intercourse between males regardless of age.
The fact that paedophilia or sexual relations with persons under the age of consent falls under subsection
2(a) o f article 427 indicates that this is the case."
"Islamic Sharia law, criminalising homosexual acts with a maximum of death penalty, is applied together with
the codified Penal law."
- Gaza Strip- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Legal. Criminal Code Ordinance of 1936
“(2) Anyone who:
(a) commits sexual intercourse with another person against the order of nature, or
(b) commits sexual intercourse with an animal, or
(c) permits or allows the above mentioned acts is considered to have committed a felony punishable by
imprisonment for a term of ten years.”
- Iran- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Illegal. Islamic Penal Code of Iran of 1991
Chapter 1: Definition of Sodomy
Article 108: Sodomy is sexual intercourse with a male.
Article 109: In case of sodomy both the active and the passive persons will be condemned to its punishment
Article 110: Punishment for sodomy is killing; the Sharia judge decides on how to carry out the killing.
Article 111: Sodomy involves killing if both the active and passive persons are mature, of sound mind and
have free will.
Article 112: If a mature man of sound mind commits sexual intercourse with an immature person, the doer will be killed and the passive one will be subject to Ta’azir of 74 lashes if not under duress.
Article 113: If an immature person commits sexual intercourse with another immature person, both of them will be subject to Ta’azir of 74 lashes unless one of them was under duress.”
- Iraq- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male: Unclear, Female/Female- Unclear. "After the American invasion in 2003 the Penal Code of 1969 was reinstated in Iraq. This code does not prohibit same-sex relations. However, various reports have shown that self-proclaimed Sharia judges have sentenced people to death for committing homosexual acts and that militias frequently have kidnapped, threatened and killed LGBT people. For example in August 2009, Human Rights Watch published a report documenting a wide-reaching campaign of extrajudicial executions, kidnappings, and torture of gay men that began in Iraq in the beginning of 2009."
- Kuwait- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Legal. "Penal Code, Law No. 16 of June 2, 1960, as amended in 1976 Article 193. “Consensual intercourse between men of full age (from the age of 21) shall be punishable with a term of imprisonment of up to seven years.” Such relations with a man under 21 years of age are criminalized by article 192."
- Lebanon- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Illegal. "Penal Code of 1943 Article 534. “Any sexual intercourse against nature is punished with up to one year of imprisonment”."
- Oman- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Illegal. "Omani Penal Code of 1974 Article 33
“The following are deemed as disgracing crimes:
I. All felonies punishable by a coercive sentence.
II. All misdemeanours stated hereafter:
1.Bribery; 2.Embezzlement; 3.False testimony; 4.Perjury; 5.Forgery and use, with knowledge, of forged items;
6.Incitement to prostitution; 7.Homosexual and lesbian intercourses; 8.Drug trafficking; 9.Theft; 10.Rape and
assault; 11.Fraud; 12.Flash Cheque; 13.Breach of trust; 14.Counterfeit; 15.Trespass.”
Homosexual and Lesbian Intercourses
“Anyone who commits erotic acts with a person of the same sex shall be sentenced to imprisonment from six
months to three years. The suspects of homosexual or lesbian intercourse shall be prosecuted without a prior
complaint, if the act results in a public scandal. The suspects of lesbian intercourse among ascendants,
descendants or sisters shall only be prosecuted upon a complaint from a relative or a relative by marriage
- Pakistan- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Legal. "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.""
- Qatar- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Illegal. "The Penal Code (Act No. 11 of 2004) Sexual acts with a female over the age of 16 are prohibited by article 281, while sexual acts with a male are
prohibited by article 284. The penalty is up to seven years imprisonment for both female and male acts.
Along with the civil Penal Code also Islamic Sharia law is in force in Qatar, although only applicable to
Muslims. The offence of “Zina” makes any sexual act by a married person outside of marriage punishable by
death, while sexual acts by nonmarried
persons are punish by flogging – both offences no matter if they
were heterosexual or homosexual."
- Saudi Arabia- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Illegal. "There is no codified Penal Law in SaudiArabia. Instead, the country applies strict Islamic Sharia law. According to the interpretation sodomy is criminalised. For a married man the penalty is death by stoning, while the penalty for an unmarried man is 100 blows of the whip as well as banishment for a year. For a nonMuslim, who commits sodomy with a Muslim, the penalty is death by stoning. Moreover are all sexual relations outside of marriage illegal in SaudiArabia according to the Sharia law, including sexual relations between women."
- Syria- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Illegal. "Penal Code of 1949 Article 520. “Any unnatural sexual intercourse shall be punished with a term of imprisonment of up to three
- Turkmenistan- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Legal. "Criminal Code of 1997 (Effective January 1, 1998) Article 135. Sodomy
“(1) Sodomy, that is the sexual relations of the man with the man, is punished by imprisonment for the term of
up to two years.”"
- Unite Arab Emirates- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Illegal. "All sexual acts outside of heterosexual marriage are banned in the United Arab Emirates. However, whether sodomy is punished with death penalty remains in dispute. The Arabic text of article 354 is ambiguously phrased and can be translated in different ways. Some sources indicate that the article punishes rape of a woman or forced sodomy with a man, while others indicate that it punishes rape on women and sodomy between men."
- Uzbekistan- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Legal. "Criminal Code of 1994 Article 120. Besoqolbozlik* (Homosexual Intercourse)
“Besoqolbozlik, that is, voluntary sexual intercourse of two male individuals – shall be punished with
imprisonment up to three years.”"
- Yemen- Same-Sex relations: Male/Male- Illegal, Female/Female- Illegal. "Penal Code 1994 89
punished with 100 lashes of the whip or a maximum of one year of imprisonment, married men with death by
Article 268. “Homosexuality between women is defined as sexual stimulation by rubbing. The penalty for
premeditated commission shall be up to three years of imprisonment; where the offence has been
committed under duress, the perpetrator shall be punishable with up to seven years detention.”"
- Israel- Is the most progressive country in the Middle East. Same-Sex relations are legal, there is recognition of same-sex relationships, same-sex marriages are legal, but cannot be performed in the country, must be married outside of country, but recognizes the marriage. Israel also allows same-sex adoption, gays in the military, and have anti-gay discrimination laws.