Listing of nations around the globe

Death penalties if you're gay


Gay Star News has assembled a list of countries where gay people may be punished by death.

Brunei is far from being the only nation sentencing gay people to death.

The tiny nation recently implemented the Sharia Penal Code, including the death penalty for people convicted of sodomy.

Gay Star News broke the news at the end of March, when it learned the new law was entering into force on April 3.

Since the news went public, it has met with significant public outcry.

Actor George Clooney penned an op-ed urging people to boycott Brunei-owned hotels and other businesses. Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres and other high-profile LGBTI celebrities also encouraged their fans to take action against Brunei.

Nonetheless, the nation in Southeast Asia isn’t the only one where gay sex is punishable by death.

Here are the other countries in the world where LGBTI people might lose their lives for living their truth.


The country’s penal code doesn’t refer explicitly to homosexuality, but Article 130 of the Constitution allows recourse to sharia law, prohibiting same-sex sexual activities in general.

Although gay men may face the death penalty, Afghanistan hasn’t issued any sentence for homosexuality since the end of the Taliban rule in 2001.


The federal Russian LGBTI laws apply in Chechnya, a part of the Russian Federation.

However, in Chechnya, as in other regions of southern Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin has empowered local leaders to enforce their interpretation of traditional values.

In 1996 Chechnya’s separatist president Aslan Maskhadov adopted sharia law in his Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Article 148 of the Chechen penal code made sodomy punishable by caning after the first two offences. Third-time offenders can be executed.

In 2017, local opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported anti-LGBTI purges were taking place in the country as people were detained and tortured, with many killed in extrajudicial killings.

Iran sentences gay men to death for homosexual intercourse. Moreover, men can be flogged for lesser acts such as kissing, while women may be flogged for same-sex sexual activity.

The country publicly hanged a man for homosexuality in January 2019 after he was found guilty of raping two males.


Muslim men engaging in same-sex sexual activity face death by stoning according to a 1984 law in force in the northwestern African country. Women can face prison for the same crime.

Several states have adopted sharia law and imposed a death penalty for men engaging in homosexual behavior.


Pakistan allows the death penalty for gay and bisexual men engaging in same-sex intercourse but there haven’t been executions since the law came into effect.


Qatar punishes Muslim people by death for extramarital sex, regardless of the gender of those involved.

According to the interpretation of the law by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, any married man or any non-Muslim who engages in sodomy with a Muslim risks death by stoning.


In the southern region of Jubaland, Islamic courts have imposed the sharia penal code and the death penalty for those engaging in same-sex intercourse.


Three-time offenders can face death, while first and second convictions might result in imprisonment and whipping.

United Arab Emirates

Lawyers and human rights activists disagree on whether the UAE prescribe the death penalty for consensual homosexual sex or only for rape. According to Amnesty International, there haven’t been instances of death sentences for gay men.


In accordance with a 1994 law, married men face death by stoning for same-sex sexual activities. Unmarried men risk flogging and up to one year in jail, whereas women face up to seven years imprisonment.


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