April 6, 2015 – Reported by 76crimes.com – Today this blog gets an updated map of countries with laws against homosexual activity. The total number of such countries is down to 78. The list had totaled 82 at the beginning of last year.
Mozambique’s LGBTI advocacy organization, Lambda, can celebrate the repeal of the country’s anti-gay law, but it has not yet won its battle for official government recognition, which it has been seeking since 2008. (Photo courtesy of Lambda)
The latest country to drop off the list is Mozambique, on the southeastern coast of Africa, which removed its anti-gay law as part of an overhaul of its Penal Code in the second half of 2014.
The tiny nation of Palau in the western Pacific Ocean also decriminalized homosexuality last year. So did the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized as a country only by Turkey. Tiny São Tomé and Príncipe, in the Atlantic Ocean off the shores of central Africa, did so in 2012, but that fact was little known until last year.
Of course, LGBTI people face hostility, repression, discrimination and violence in a multitude of countries other than those with specific laws against homosexual activity. One of the most prominent of those exceptions is violently homophobic Russia, which in 2013 outlawed any positive descriptions of same-sex intimacy that minors might read or hear. That anti-“gay propaganda” law is known in Russia as the law “for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values.”
Also in 2013, a huge setback for LGBTI people occurred in India, when the Supreme Court struck down a 2009 Delhi High Court verdict that had decriminalised homosexuality.