LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Bhutan’s lower house of parliament voted on Friday to decriminalize gay sex.
If the amendment to the penal code passes the upper house of the Asian nation’s parliament, 69 countries will remain worldwide where same-sex relations are illegal.
Seven countries have the death penalty for gay sex.
Here are the latest 10 countries that have most recently removed bans on same-sex relations.
In January 2019 Angola removed a ban on “vices against nature” from its penal code, which had been interpreted as criminalizing gay sex.
A colonial-era law ban on gay sex was ruled unconstitutional by India’s Supreme Court in September 2018, decriminalizing same-sex relations in the country of 1.3 billion people.
3. Trinidad and Tobago
The Caribbean state’s high court overturned its law against “buggery”, which criminalized sexual relations between consenting same-sex partners, in April 2018.
In 2016 the Indian Ocean island state repealed the parts of its penal code that criminalized same-sex relations.
Homosexuality was legalized by the Pacific Island country in 2016, after it accepted recommendations made by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011.
The former British colony’s criminalization of “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” was ruled unconstitutional in 2016.
Two articles in Mozambique’s Portuguese colonial-era penal code criminalizing “vices against nature” were repealed in 2014.
The Pacific Island state introduced a new penal code in 2014, decriminalizing same-sex relations.
Sodomy, which had been criminalized in 1939, was unbanned in 2012 in Lesotho.
10. Sao Tome & Principe
A new penal code adopted in 2012 removed the criminalization of “acts against nature” in Sao Tome & Principe.
Sources: International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Assocation (ILGA), Reuters
Reporting by Rachel Savage @rachelmsavage; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit news.trust.org