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LGBT rights in Asia

LGBT rights in Asia
Asia
Asia
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal in 32 out of 54 states
Legal in all 3 territories
Gender identity/expression Legal in 20 out of 54 states
Legal in 1 out of 3 territories
Military service Legal in 10 out of 54 states
Legal in 1 out of 3 territories
Discrimination protections Legal in 7 out of 54 states
Legal in 2 out of 3 territories
Family rights
Recognition of
relationships
Legal in 1 out of 54 states
Legal in 0 out of 3 territories
Restrictions:
Same-sex marriage constitutionally banned in 1 out of 54 states
Adoption Legal in 2 out of 54 states
Legal in 0 out of 3 territories

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Asia are limited in comparison to many other areas of the world. Same-sex sexual activity is outlawed in at least twenty Asian countries. While at least nine countries allow same-sex people to serve in the military, only Israel provides a wider range of LGBT rights - including same-sex relationship recognition.

In the Islamic regimes of Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, homosexual activity is punished with the death penalty.[1][2] The legal punishment for sodomy has varied among juristic schools: some prescribe capital punishment; while other prescribe a milder discretionary punishment such as imprisonment. In some relatively secular Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia,[3] Jordan and Turkey this is not the case.

Egalitarian relationships modeled on the Western pattern have become more frequent, though they remain rare. Same-sex intercourse officially carries the death penalty in several Muslim nations: Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Iran, and Yemen.[2][4]

File:Asia homosexuality laws.svg
Asia
Same-sex sexual activity legal
  Other type of partnership (or unregistered cohabitation)
  Foreign same-sex marriages recognized1
  No recognition of same-sex couples
  Restrictions on freedom of expression
Same-sex sexual activity illegal
  Not Enforced or unclear
  Penalty
  Life in prison
  Death penalty

Legislation by country or territory

This table:

Central Asia

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
Template:Country data Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Yes Legal since 1998[5] No No No No[6] No No
Template:Country data Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan Yes Legal since 1998[5] No No No 15px No No
23x15px Tajikistan Yes Legal since 1998[5] No No No 15px No No
23x15px Turkmenistan No Male illegal
Penalty: up to 2 year prison sentence
Yes Female always legal[5]
No No No 15px No No
23x15px Uzbekistan No Male illegal
Penalty: up to 3 year prison sentence
Yes Female always legal[5]
No No No 15px No No

Northern Asia

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
23x15px Akrotiri and Dhekelia
(overseas territory of the United Kingdom)
Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No 15px Yes UK responsible for defence 15px 15px
23x15px Armenia Yes Legal since 2003
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No No/Yes No explicit ban. However, LGBT persons have been reportedly discharged because of their sexual orientation.[7] No No
23x15px Azerbaijan Yes Legal since 2000[5] No No No Yes Legal [8] No Yes (Requires sterilization for change).[9]
23x15px23x15px Cyprus Yes Legal since 1998
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No (Pending)[10][11] No No (Step-child adopting pending) No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[12] Yes Forbids discrimination based on gender identity.
23x15px Georgia Yes Legal since 2000
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No (Constitutional ban proposed) No 15px Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[13] Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[9]
23x15px Russia Yes Male legal since 1993
Female always legal[14][5]
No No (Constitutional ban proposed) No/Yes Gay individuals may adopt. Yes No Yes (Requires sterilization for change)[9]
23x15px Turkey Yes Legal since 1858[5] No No No No (Proposed)[15] No (Proposed)[16] Yes (Requires sterilization for change)

Western Asia

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
23x15px Bahrain Yes Legal since 1976[5] (Age of consent discrepancy) No No No No No No
Template:Country data Iraq Iraq Yes Legal since 2003[17] (Age of consent discrepancy) No No No No No No
Template:Country data Israel Israel Yes Legal since 1988
+ UN decl. sign.[5][18]
Yes Unregistered cohabitation since 1994;
(Civil union pending)[19]
No/Yes Cannot be performed in the country, but foreign same-sex marriages are recognised Yes Since 2008 Yes Since 1993 Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination [20][21] Yes Full recognition of gender's ID without a surgery or medical intervention [22]
Template:Country data Jordan Jordan Yes Legal since 1951[5] No No No 15px No 15px
Template:Country data Kuwait Kuwait No Male illegal
Penalty: Fines or up to 6 year prison sentence
Yes Female always legal[5][23]
No No No No No No
23x15px Lebanon Yes Legal since 2014[24] No No No No No No
23x15px Oman No Illegal
Penalty: Fines and prison sentence up to 3 years (only enforced when dealing with "public scandal")[5]
No No No No No No
23x15px Palestinian territories
(Gaza)
No Male illegal
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment
Yes Female always legal[5]
No No No 15px No No
23x15px Palestinian territories
(West Bank)
Yes Legal since 1951 (as part of Jordan)[5] No No No 15px No 15px
23x15px Qatar No Illegal
Penalty: Fines, prison sentence up to 7 years. Death penalty offense. (applies to Muslims only)[5]
No No No No No No
23x15px Saudi Arabia No Illegal
Penalty: Prison sentences of several months to life, fines and/or whipping/flogging, castration, torture or death can be sentenced on first conviction. A second conviction merits execution.[5]
No No No No No No
23x15px Syria No Illegal
Penalty: Prison sentence up to 3 years (law in de-facto suspended)[25][5]
No No No No No No
23x15px United Arab Emirates No Illegal under federal law
Penalty: deportation, fines or prison time (unclear if the death penalty applies)
Illegal in the emirate of Dubai
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment
Illegal in the emirate of Abu Dhabi
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment[5]
No No No No No No
23x15px Yemen No Illegal
Penalty: Unmarried men punished

with 100 lashes of the whip or a maximum of one year of imprisonment, married men with death by stoning. Women punished up to three years of imprisonment; where the offense has been committed under duress, the punishment is up to seven years detention.[5]

No No No No No No

Southern Asia

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
23x15px Afghanistan No Illegal
Penalty: Long imprisonment or death penalty (no known cases of death sentences have been handed out for same-sex sexual activity after the end of Taliban rule)[5]
No No No No No No
23x15px Bangladesh No Illegal
Penalty: 10 years to life imprisonment[5]
No No No No No Yes A third option (hijra) beside male and female[26]
23x15px Bhutan No Illegal
Penalty: Prison sentence up to 1 year (not enforced)[5]
No No No No No No
Template:Country data India India No Illegal nationwide since 1860[27]
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment (not enforced)[28][27][5]
No No explicit recognition.[29] No No explicit recognition.[29] No No[30] No Yes "Third gender" recognised by Supreme Court[31]
Template:Country data Iran Iran No Illegal
Penalty: For men 74 lashes for immature men and death penalty for mature men of sound mind and is consenting. For women 50 lashes for women of mature sound mind and is consenting. Death penalty offense after fourth conviction.[5]
No No No No No Yes Legal gender recognition in Iran is legal if accompanied by a medical intervention.[32]
23x15px Maldives No Illegal
Penalty: For men the punishment is banishment for nine months to one year or a whipping of 10 to 30 strokes. For women is house arrest for nine months to one year.[5]
No No No No[citation needed] No No
File:Flag of Nepal.svg Nepal Yes Legal since 2007
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No Under consideration No Under consideration Yes Yes Supreme Court ruled discrimination laws apply to homosexuals Yes "Third gender" cards have been issued since September 2007, legally protected class[33]
23x15px Pakistan No Illegal
Penalty: 2 years to life sentence[5]
No No No No No Yes 'Third gender' officially protected from discrimination by Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2010
23x15px Sri Lanka No Illegal
Penalty: Fine and up to 10 years imprisonment (not enforced)[5]
No No No No[citation needed] No No

Eastern Asia

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of relationships Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
23x15px China
(People's Republic of)
Yes Legal since 1997[5] No No No 15px No Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender, but only after sex reassignment surgery.
Template:Country data Hong Kong Hong Kong
(Special administrative region of China)
Yes Legal since 1991[5] No No No 15px
The People's Republic of China is in charge of Hong Kong's defence affairs. Regardless of sexual orientation, military personnel are not recruited from Hong Kong.
Yes Government employment, goods and services only Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender, but only after sex reassignment surgery.
Template:Country data Japan Japan Yes Legal since 1880
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No/Yes Partnership in Shibuya since 2015[34] No No Yes[citation needed] No/Yes No nationwide protections, but some cities ban some anti-gay discriminations[5] Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender, but only after sex reassignment surgery and in case that the transsexual has no child under 20 years old
23x15px Macau
(Special administrative region of China)
Yes Legal</br>(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the region) No No No 15px
The People's Republic of China is in charge of Macau's defence affairs. Regardless of sexual orientation, military personnel are not recruited from Macau.
Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination 15px
23x15px Mongolia Yes Legal since 1961
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No 15px No 15px
Template:Country data North Korea North Korea Yes Legal</br>(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)[5] No No No 15px No 15px Unknown although there are heavily obeyed gender roles for both male and female. See Let's trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle
Template:Country data South Korea South Korea Yes Legal</br>(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No Yes Due to conscription, but gays subject to discrimination No Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender

Southeast Asia

LGBT rights in:exp Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of relationships Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
23x15px Brunei No Illegal
Penalty: Fines and imprisonment up to 10 years or death by stoning[5]
No No No No No No
23x15px Burma No Illegal
Penalty: Up to life sentence (not enforced)[5]
No No No No No No
23x15px Cambodia Yes Legal</br>(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)[5] No No Constitutional ban since 1993, though there has been at least one recorded case of a legally registered and recognized same-sex marriage. No[citation needed] 15px No 15px
23x15px East Timor Yes Legal since 1975
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No No No 15px Yes Prohibits hate crimes based on sexual orientation 15px
Template:Country data Indonesia Indonesia Yes Legal nationwide, except;
No Illegal in the provinces of Aceh Province and South Sumatra (applies only to Muslims)[35][36][5] (Age of consent discrepancy)
No No No No[37] No Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender
23x15px Laos Yes Legal</br>(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)[5] No No No 15px No 15px
23x15px Malaysia No Male illegal
Penalty: fines, prison sentence (2-20 years), or whippings

Yes Female always legal[5]

No No No No No No
23x15px Philippines Yes Legal nationwide since 1933 except;
No Illegal in Marawi City (applies to Muslims only)[38][5][39]
No (Pending)[38] No Yes/No Step-adoption only No Since 2009 No/Yes No national protections, but Cebu[40] Quezon City, Davao[41] and Albay have anti-discrimination ordinances[42] (National bill pending but still not made into law) 15px
23x15px Singapore No Male illegal
Penalty: up to 2 years prison sentence (not enforced since 1999)
Yes Female legal since 2007[5]
No No No Yes Due to conscription, but gays are not allowed to go to command school or serve in sensitive units. No Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender, but only after sex reassignment surgery.
23x15px Thailand Yes Legal since 1956
+ UN decl. sign.[5]
No (Proposed)[43] No No Yes Since 2005 No Yes Gender change legal
23x15px Vietnam Yes Legal</br>(no laws against same-sex sexual activity has ever existed in the country)[5] No Yes (But without protection by the law) 15px 15px 15px Yes Sex-change recognized for sex assignment for persons of congenital sex defects and unidentifiable sex

Partially recognized or unrecognized states

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex unions Same-sex marriage Adoption by same-sex couples LGB allowed to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination laws concerning sexual orientation Laws concerning gender identity/expression
23x15px Abkhazia Yes Legal after 1991 No No No 15px No 15px
23x15px Nagorno-Karabakh Yes Legal since 2000 No No No 15px No 15px
23x15px Northern Cyprus Yes Legal since 2014[44][45][5] No No No No Yes Bans all anti-gay discrimination[44][45] Yes Discrimination or hate speech banned since 2014.[44][45]

15px Unknown if gender change is legal.

23x15px South Ossetia Yes Legal after 1991 No No No 15px No 15px
23x15px Taiwan
(China, Republic of)
Yes Legal since 1895[46] No (Proposed) No (Pending) No (Pending) Yes Due to military draft Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination (in work and education) Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender. Surgery no longer a requirement beginning in 2015[47]
23x15px ISIL-controlled territory No Illegal
Penalty: Death
No No No No No No


See also


References

  1. ^ Asia from a Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Perspective (2013).
  2. ^ a b MV Media (20 April 2014). "Brunei: Sultan institutes death penalty for homosexuality". Muslim Village. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Rough Guide to South East Asia: Third Edition. Rough Guides Ltd. August 2005. p. 74. ISBN 1-84353-437-1. 
  4. ^ "7 countries still put people to death for same-sex acts". ILGA. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, authored by Lucas Paoli Itaborahy, May 2014
  6. ^ "Kazakhstan Says No to Gays in Military". Eurasianet. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Armenia: Gays live with threats of violence, abuse". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ a b c Map shows how Europe forces trans people to be sterilized
  10. ^ "Δημόσια Διαβούλευση Ο περί Συμφώνου Συμβίωσης Νόμος του 2014". Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία, Υπουργείο Εσωτερικών (in Ελληνικά). Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Cabinet approves bill on civil partnerships (Updated)". CyprusMail. 2015-05-06. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  12. ^ Rainbow Europe Country Index
  13. ^ LAW OF GEORGIA ON THE ELIMINATION OF All FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION
  14. ^ Russian Gay History
  15. ^ http://www.kaosgl.com/page.php?id=18860
  16. ^ http://www.kaosgl.com/page.php?id=18860
  17. ^ Iraq: Sexual Orientation, Human Rights and the Law
  18. ^ LGBTQ Timeline
  19. ^ http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/10/30/world/middleeast/centrist-party-in-israel-introduces-civil-union-bill.html?referrer=&_r=0
  20. ^ "Law prohibiting discrimination in products, services, and entry to businesses" (in Hebrew). Israeli Economy Ministry. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  21. ^ "El Al vs. Yonatan Danilovich" (in Hebrew). Supreme Court of Israel. Retrieved 2013-05-09. 
  22. ^ "Israel recognizes sex changes without operation". Supreme Court of Israel. Retrieved 2015-01-23. 
  23. ^ Kuwait Law
  24. ^ Lebanon Just Did a Whole Lot More Than Legalize Being Gay
  25. ^ Syria, Middle East
  26. ^ Bangladesh government makes Hijra an official gender option
  27. ^ a b "CIVIL APPEAL NO.10972 OF 2013 (Arising out of SLP (C) No.15436 of 2009)". , Supreme Court of India, retrieved on 7 March 2015
  28. ^ "India’s Supreme Court Restores an 1861 Law Banning Gay Sex". The New York Times. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  29. ^ a b "Lesbian marriages, born of a legal loophole, stir debate in India". 
  30. ^ "Being gay still a crime in the military". StratPost. 2 July 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  31. ^ Supreme Court recognizes transgenders as 'third gender', The Times of India, retrieved 15 April 2014
  32. ^ "CBC News - Film - Iran's gay plan". Cbc.ca. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  33. ^ "Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity References" (PDF). U.S. Department of State Human Rights Reports for 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  34. ^ http://ksmu.org/post/first-place-east-asia-welcome-same-sex-marriage
  35. ^ "Aceh passes stoning law". The Straits Times. 14 September 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  36. ^ Rough Guide to South East Asia: Third Edition. Rough Guides Ltd. August 2005. p. 74. ISBN 1843534371. 
  37. ^ "Sacking Sergeant SNF, Court: Homosex a Threat to Army". Detik. 16 November 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  38. ^ a b "Philippines: Congress Approves Anti-Discrimination Bill". Iglhrc.org. 24 January 2004. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  39. ^ Historical Dictionary of the Lesbian and Gay Liberation Movements
  40. ^ PNA, PNA. "Passage of Cebu's anti-discrimination law lauded". Local News. Sun Star Publishing, Inc. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  41. ^ http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/324189/davao-council-bans-discrimination-vs-gays-minority-differently-abled
  42. ^ "Gay Filipinos and Rainbow - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos". Lifestyle.inquirer.net. 21 November 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  43. ^ Same-sex marriage may come true under Thai junta
  44. ^ a b c Northern Cyprus Decriminalizes Homosexuality and Protects LGBTs Against Hate Speech
  45. ^ a b c Invalid language code. Kuzey Kıbrıs’ın “Eşcinsellik Suçu” Yasası Tarihe Karıştı!
  46. ^ Taiwan
  47. ^ Gender reassignment rule to be changed

External links