As President Obama said recently,
“What’s happening in Russia is not unique.”
August 9, 2013
It is illegal to be gay in 76 countries. Punishments range from fines to short and lifelong prison sentences, hard labor, forced psychiatric treatment, banishment, whippings, and death by public stoning. The upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi have put Russia’s “gay propaganda” law and the international community on an unavoidable collision course, but whatever happens in February is only the beginning of a broader (and much more complicated) conversation about the status of LGBT rights around the world.
In May 2013, the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) released a 110-page study (PDF) on the status of the international LGBT community with country-by-country profiles of relevant laws. The report is updated annually and was used throughout this post along with other sources when possible.