The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) has released a map signifying the worst places to be gay in the world. Based on governmental laws, the map highlights places where homosexuality is illegal and in some cases punishable by the death penalty.
Internationally, Russia and Uganda have faced a large amount of controversy and backlash surrounding recent anti-gay legislation. But the map proves they are far from the only countries with government-supported homophobia—and some have even harsher laws.
According to the map, laws allowing the death penalty for acts of homosexuality are partially or wholly enforced in seven different countries including Iran, Mauritania, and Sudan. Countries such as Uganda, India, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea also have laws on the books allowing prison sentences from fourteen years to life for same-sex sexual activity.
After two months of going back and forth on the issue, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni officially signed into law a new legislation on Monday, February 24, which worsened punishments for LGBT citizens, those who “promote” homosexuality, and even criminalized failing to report known gay people to the police. The passing of the law has now placed Uganda even higher on the ILGA map, which the bill’s creator, David Bahati, is no doubt pleased with.
According to ABC News, even an opponent of the LGBT rights movement, extreme evangelical Scott Lively, responded to the new law with disapproval. He said, “I would rather the Ugandans had followed the Russian anti-propaganda model which reflects my philosophy of preventing the mainstreaming of homosexuality with the minimum limitation on personal liberties for those who choose to live discretely outside the mainstream.”
In reaction to the new anti-gay laws passed in Nigeria and Uganda, the ILGA said: “These developments go against the ideals of humanity and human rights. LGBT individuals are victimized, humiliated, violated and murdered within their own countries. Societies should be alarmed when governments legalize human rights violations.”
In 2013, the ILGA released a similar map focused on Europe, revealing LGBT rights in the countries. It compared defamatory language usage and numbers of hate groups, which had increased in some countries due to economic crises.