How The Ashley Madison Leak Puts The LGBT Community At Risk

The Ashley Madison leak has been entertaining to most people because it exposes the over 30 million cheaters registered on the website. However, the hack has taken a turn for the worse in just the short span of a week. It's been reported via the Inquisitr that there were two or three suicides linked to the Ashley Madison leak, and now, reports claim that gay users fear for their lives.

Some of the gay members on the Ashley Madison live in countries where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death. In addition, Ashley Madison owns gay-friendly sites like ManCrunch and We Know Down Low. Users of the gay-friendly sites are among the 37 million members whose personal information and sexual desires have been made public by the leak, which took place on Aug. 18.

According to a previous report via Q-Notes, homosexuality is still illegal in 75 countries, including nations in Africa, Caribbean, Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Exposing the personal information of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people living in these locations puts their lives at risk.

Over 50 accounts on Ashley Madison have been found in the Arab country of Qatar, where living your life as a homosexual is punishable by five years in jail. Cheating is punishable by 100 lashes, and Muslim women can be put to death. In addition, there were almost 1,500 accounts found in the country of Turkey, where homosexuality can ban you from being an active member of the military.

One gay user from Saudi Arabia expressed his concerns on Reddit. He said that he could be stoned to death just for being a gay man. Adultery is also punishable by death. Meanwhile, homosexuality and cross-dressing can lead to imprisonment, fines, and whipping/punishing, just to name a few.

"I was single, but used it because I am gay; gay sex is punishable by death in my home country so I wanted to keep my hook-ups extremely discreet."
Once the Ashley Madison leak settles down, the LGBT community and women in these repressive countries could pay a severe price for having their information exposed. And it won't be through snarky internet comments, but through the loss of their family, employment, and in some cases, their own lives.

Photo Courtesy of Grindr

The leak also reveals that the gay hook-up app, Grindr, was almost bought out by Ashley Madison earlier this year. Not only was the personal information of the millions of users leaked onto the internet, but files from the company's servers have been released by the hackers. The information reveals that Ashley Madison considered acquiring Grindr.

Back in May, it was reported that Grindr was on the lookout for a new owner, and the company was in the "early into the process" of a possible sale. Leaked emails reported via Forbes reveal that Avid Life Media, parent company of Ashley Madison, were "seriously considering" the acquisition of Grindr around that time.

It's unclear now whether Avid Life Media is still interested in acquiring in Grindr or if it will still acquire the gay dating app in light of the hacking scandal. Grindr has yet to address this new information. Meanwhile, Ashley Madison's CEO Noel Biderman has stepped down from the company after 10 of his affairs were exposed after he claimed on national TV that he's a faithful husband.

It's also been reported that Biderman is hiding to keep himself and his family safe, but what about the LGBT and women living in repressed countries? They won't be able to stay safe, even after this Ashley Madison leak ends, if it ever does.

[Image: Carl Court/Getty Images]