You wouldn’t be very likely to visit any of these places during your hard-earned vacation days even before reading this. But it’s important to know that there are still corners of the world that punish LGBTs as if they were capital offenders. It’s amazing to think someone could equate being gay with committing treason or first-degree murder.
It’s also interesting that countries we think of as having horrible official policies towards LGBT people like Russia seem if not evolved then at least humane compared with this terrible list. Though in Russia, as with many places, it’s not the government you have to be most afraid of, it’s the gang of armed neanderthals.
Here are ten places in the world that can put people to death for being gay, as compiled by the Washington Post:
Yemen: According to 1994 penal code, married men can be sentenced to death by stoning for homosexual intercourse. Unmarried men face whipping or one year in prison. Women face up to seven years in prison.
Iran: In accordance with sharia law, homosexual intercourse between men can be punished by death, and men can be flogged for lesser acts such as kissing. Women may be flogged.
Iraq: The penal code does not expressly prohibit homosexual acts, but people have been killed by militias and sentenced to death by judges citing sharia law.
Mauritania: Muslim men engaging in homosexual sex can be stoned to death, according to a 1984 law. Women face prison.
Nigeria: Federal law classifies homosexual behavior as a felony punishable by imprisonment, but several states have adopted sharia law and imposed a death penalty for men. A law signed in early January makes it illegal for gay people countrywide to hold a meeting or form clubs.
Qatar: Sharia law in Qatar applies only to Muslims, who can be put to death for extramarital sex, regardless of sexual orientation.
Saudi Arabia: Under the country’s interpretation of sharia law, a married man engaging in sodomy or any non-Muslim who commits sodomy with a Muslim can be stoned to death. All sex outside of marriage is illegal.
Somalia: The penal code stipulates prison, but in some southern regions, Islamic courts have imposed Sharia law and the death penalty.
Sudan: Three-time offenders under the sodomy law can be put to death; first and second convictions result in flogging and imprisonment. Southern parts of the country have adopted more lenient laws.
United Arab Emirates: Lawyers in the country and other experts disagree on whether federal law prescribes the death penalty for consensual homosexual sex or only for rape. In a recent Amnesty International report, the organization said it was not aware of any death sentences for homosexual acts. All sexual acts outside of marriage are banned.