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11 Most Anti-Gay Countries in the World

Which are the most anti-gay countries in the world?

The world is smaller than ever. Many of us can travel freely (finances allowing) and make friends all over the world. But for some groups, including LGBTQ individuals, a smaller world isn’t necessarily safer or even more comfortable. Homosexuality is illegal in many nations, including in all of the 11 most anti-gay countries in the world that are listed below, punishable by prison time in dozens of countries and by death in a select few. Attitudes toward LGBTQ issues aren’t uniform even among more secular or progressive nations.

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Beatriz Gascon J/

The countries with the worst legal track records for treatment of homosexuals have equally poor records with parallel human rights issues like women’s rights and treatment of different racial or religious groups. According to Pew Research, “There is a strong relationship between a country’s religiosity and opinions about homosexuality.” Many of the countries with the most severe laws against homosexuality are Muslim, but Christian nation Jamaica is often cited as one of the most violently homophobic nations on Earth, with Russia and some of its neighbors close behind. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like any of the 10 countries with the biggest gay populations are among the harshest.

To determine which are the worst countries for gay people, I’ve assigned points based on the illegality of and severity of punishment for several different acts. All of these nations punish homosexuality among all genders with prison time. Countries with the death penalty or life sentences received more points. Countries also received points for having different ages of consent for homosexuals and heterosexuals and for overall illegality of ALL extramarital sex.

Legal info was compiled from Equaldex. You can also read the results of Pew’s global poll on attitudes toward homosexuals.