Let’s start this entry off with the basics, May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia. Why May 17th, because on May 17th, 1990, homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organization (WHO). Who is WHO, they are the “directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends”.

Some people might be wondering what is the difference between Gay Pride Day and the International Day Against Homophobia. Pride is about people’s pride in their sexuality and celebrating it. The International Day Against Homophobia is about letting society, governments, countries and the world know that homophobia is unacceptable and it will no longer be tolerated.

Here are some things to help bring the point home that homophobia still exists, not only on an individual level, but on a global level as well.

This is a photo of the public hanging of Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, two Iranian teenage gay lovers, legally murdered on July 19, 2005, because they were gay. This is real.

Next, I will review the anti-homosexual laws globally.

Let’s start with Africa

Algeria – Fine and up to 3 years in prison
Angola – Labor camps
Benin – Up to 3 years
Botswana – Fine and up to 7 years
Cameroon – Fine and up to 5 years
Comoros – Fine and up to 5 years
Djibouti- 10 to 12 years
Eritrea – 3 to 10 years
Ethiopia – 10 days to 3 years
Gambia – Fine and up to 14 years
Ghana – Fine
Guinea – 6 months to 3 years
Guinea Bissau – Labor camps
Kenya [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years
Lesotho – Up to 7 years
Liberia – Fine
Libya – Fine up to 5 years
Malawi – Up to 14 years[can be expelled as undesirable aliens as well]
Mauritania – Up to three years and a fine of one million francs for sexual acts with a person of the same sex under the age of 21. [Some sources say that the death penalty applies if sodomy is committed. I could not confirm.]
Morocco – 6 months up to 3 years
Mozambique – Labor camps
Nigeria – 5 to 14 years [in northern states under Muslim law the punishment can be death]
São Tomé and Príncipe – Labor camps
Senegal – 1 to 5 years and a fine of 100,000 to 1,500,000 francs
Seychelles – Fine and up to 2 years
Sierra LeoneLife
Somalia – For sexual intercourse 3 months up to 3 years, an act of lust different from sexual intercourse from 2 months to 2 years, areas under Sharia have instituted death for men and women.
Sudan – 5 years to 100 lashes/Death for sodomy [Between September 1983 and April 1985 hundreds of men and women were lashed for “intended” unlawful heterosexual intercourse, but none, as far as is known, for sodomy.]
Swaziland [Male only] – Fine US $90 – Prison
Tanzania – Fine and up to 25 years [In Zanzibar male homosexual acts are punished with up to 25 years imprisonment or fine. Lesbian acts are punished with up 7 years imprisonment or fine.]
Togo – Fine and up to 3 years
Tunisia – Fine and up to 3 years
Uganda [Male only] Fine and up to Life [The first country in the world to have a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage (since 2004)]
Zambia [Male only] Fine and up to 14 years
Zimbabwe [Male only] – Fine and up to 1 year

Next Let’s hit up Asia:

Bahrain [Male only] Fine and up to 10 years
Bangladesh – Life in prison/death
Bhutan – 1 month up to 1 year
Brunei – Fine and up to 10 years
India – Fine and up to 10 years
Iran [Male only] Prison/Lashings/Death [Sex change operations have been given official government support as means to cure a gender identity disease.]
Malaysia – Fine and up to 20 years
Maldives [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Myanmar/Burma – 10 years up to Life
Oman – Fine and up to 3 years
Pakistan – 2 years to Life
Palestinian Authority (Gaza) [Male only] – Up to 10 years
Qatar – Fine and up to 5 years
Saudi Arabia – Death [Jail time, fines or whipping may be used in lieu of the death penalty.]
Singapore – 2 years
Sri Lanka – Fine and up to 10 years
Syria – Fine
Turkmenistan [Male only] Fine and up to 2 years
United Arab Emirates – Death
Uzbekistan [Male only] Fine and up to 3 years
Yemen – Flogging up to Death

Europe is Next on the List

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [Male only and not recognized internationally] – Fine and 10 to 14 years

Next North America

Antigua and Barbuda – Up to 15 years
Barbados Life
Belize – Up to 10 years
Dominica – Up to 10 years
Grenada [Male only] – Up to 10 years
Saint Kitts and Nevis [Male only] – Up to 10 years
Saint Lucia [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Fine and up to 10 years
Trinidad and Tobago – Up to 25 years

Oceania is Next on the List

Cook Islands [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years
Kiribati [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years
Nauru [Male only] – Up to 14 years hard labor
Niue [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Palau [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Papua New Guinea [Male only] – Fine and up to14 years
Samoa – Fine and up to 7 years
Solomon Islands – Fine and up to 14 years
Tokelau [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Tonga [Male only] – I could not find the sentence
Tuvalu [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years

And Last but of Course not Least is South America

Guyana [Male only] – Life

[Sources: Wikipedia, Behind the Mask, and On Lesotho]

While I was doing all this research I noticed a lot of, “but these laws are rarely enforced in some cases” going around, like that makes it alright somehow. That is a flawed way to think, the point is they can be implemented at any time and it gives the impression to the citizens of these countries that homosexuals are less than and that is unequivocally unacceptable and untrue.

As Carl Schurz once said, “From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor’s rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own.”

We must evolve together not individually.

-Cara


Reason 82 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

When meat, fish, or poultry is barbecued, dripped fat over the open flame sends up plumes of carcinogenic smoke, coating the food. Other unhealthful chemicals are created just by extended cooking times. Chemists are telling meat eaters today to keep those grill times down. Even environmentalists are saying that restaurant grilling is an important source of soot and smog. But you still need to cook your meat thoroughly: How else are you going to kill all of those nasty bacteria?

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