Repression, homophobia and transgender policies in Iran

Published: March 27, 2013

Because of Islam’s many sects and a lack of centralized religious authority, there is no one opinion on the status and rights of LGBT peoples.

The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) notes that of the seven countries that currently have the death penalty for homosexuality, all are Muslim or predominantly Muslim states.

 In Saudi Arabia, governed by Shari’ah law, sentencing decisions for the crime of homosexuality vary, including a 2010 sentencing of a man to 500 lashes and five years in jail for having sex with another man.

Another example is Iran, where homosexual intercourse is punishable by death for men and by lashings for women. Not all citizens of an Islamic Republic charged with the crimes of lavat (sodomy) and mosahegheh (lesbian sex acts) will face the death penalty. Whether the sex was consensual, and whether parties involved were minors or adults, is rarely if ever taken into account.

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