5 Countries Where Homosexuality Is Punishable by Death

While LGBT citizens of the United States continue to face legal and cultural discrimination, it’s important to remember that many parts of the world still operate with barbaric attitudes toward queer individuals.

President Barack Obama bravely spoke about equal rights on his recent trip to Kenya, despite ugly protest from some within the country.

Over 75 countries continue to criminalize homosexuality. But even worse, at least six parts of the world still prescribe death for non-heterosexual citizens.

These are some of the places where being gay or bisexual can result in state death.


In Iran, male homosexuality is punishable by death, while women are flogged for their “offense.”

Making the situation even more abominable, minors found “guilty” of homosexual acts can be lashed.

According to human rights advocates, thousands of gay people have been murdered by the state since 1979, although the death penalty seems to be losing favor contemporarily.

Saudi Arabia

Individuals found “guilty” of homosexuality more than once are put to death, but some are murdered by the state on the first “offense.”

According to International Business Times, “Saudi politicians have been pushing for a tougher crackdown on homosexuality, including immigration measures against LGBT expatriates living in the kingdom that would allow for prompt deportation.”

Just last month, religious police raided parties thought to contain LGBT individuals. Numerous people were arrested on “suspicion of homosexuality.”


Yemeni law describes homosexuality as a crime punishable by death. But some LGBT citizens don’t make it to sentencing.

Members of the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have taken it upon themselves to personally murder gay individuals.

There are numerous reports of youth being slaughtered. Families say they’ve reported the deaths and Yemen’s government has done nothing about it.

Islamic Republic of Mauritania

This small African country is among the most explicitly anti-LGBT in the world. Here’s an English translation of current law:

“Article 308: Any adult Muslim who has committed an indecent act or an act against nature with an individual of the same sex will be punished to death by public stoning. If the act is between two women, they will be punished by the punishment established in paragraph one of Article 306.”

The country’s already anti-LGBT laws were amended in 1983 to include Sharia law, which resulted in the current death penalty.


The North African country currently employs the death penalty against both men and women found “guilty” of homosexuality.

Usually, men are executed on the third “offense,” while woman are often executed on the first.

The current law has been on the books since 1991.

There are others…

Keep in mind that, due to shifting legal and cultural landscapes, there are almost certainly even more countries where LGBT citizens face the death penalty. Some put the number of countries where gays can be murdered at 10.

Even if not officially, LGBT citizens face death in many parts of the world extrajudicially.

While countries like the U.S. are seeing a surge in support for LGBT citizens, let’s remember to keep fighting for LGBT rights around the world for the millions of people who still face violence and oppression because of who they are.


Jerome S
Jerome Sabout a year ago


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Elizabeth Koenig
Elizabeth Koenig2 years ago

These are all Islamic states. Iran hangs LGBT people from cranes. Mauritania still practices slavery, as well--as many as 20% of the population is enslaved.Slavery is rife in Sudan, as well. These places are also nightmares for even the most basic of women's rights. That there are still places like this is terrible for human rights.

Oliver Webb
Only Me2 years ago

The list represents five black-holes in human civilisation.

Dimitris Dallis
Past Member 2 years ago

Thank you for letting me know.
And what about "civilized" countries who kill them emotionally, psychologically?

Walter F.
Walter F2 years ago

What a catalog of evil states let them wallow in their cruelty ..Don't include them in holiday brochures.

Greta Holm
.2 years ago


Amy C.
Amy C2 years ago

its so scary how cold the human heart can be, i pray through my life i keep it warm and share it like a bonfire. lets love and not hurt eachother anymore. please

BMutiny TCorporationsEvil

It is very helpful, in the LONG run, that the Democratic Administration has made LGBT Rights as HUMAN Rights, part of its Foreign Policy, and has declared so. You would NEVER, EVER see any Rethuglican Administration doing this! All the MORE reason for NEVER Voting Rethuglican, I don't see how the Log Cabin Rethuglicans [Gay GOP members] can live with themselves...
Also, it is helpful that the UNITED NATIONS has come out and stated support for LGBT Human Rights... and such organizations as the EU. Also, while you can tell by my name I don't love them, still, MANY INTERNATIONAL CORPORATIONS have stated policies of INCLUSION of LGBT people... as have City and State and other National Governments...
All this is quite long-term, but the idea is to make those countries that violate Gay and Human and Women's Rights into PARIAHS, clearly on the WRONG side of History, as well as of Ethics. Social Media and the Internet really help! There ARE people in ALL of those countries, working for change under the most dire and dangerous circumstances scarcely imaginable - and they need ALL of our support, even if it's only to acknowledge their existence and re-state our Principles in ENCOURAGEMENT.
These brave folks must know they are ULTIMATELY on the winning side, and we WANT them to persevere, NO MATTER HOW LONG THE JOURNEY.....