Brunei Joins 9 Other Countries In Adopting Death Penalty For Homosexuality

Stock photo of a gay pride parade.
TBuchs / Pixabay

While many western and other developed nations have adopted same-sex marriage legislation, there are some countries around the world that have yet to even legalize homosexual relationships. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, last week, the small southeast Asian nation of Brunei recently passed a rather violent law, which went into full effect earlier today, as noted by NPR.

Those who are caught having gay sex will be subjected to death, which will be administered by public stoning. Brunei, which has an estimated population of approximately 420,000, is two-thirds Muslim, and Islam is the official religion of the nation. As a result, a handful of laws have recently been enacted, which conform to the more conservative principles of the religion. While the new measures have sparked controversy and condemnation around the globe, the current Sultan of Brunei expressed his approval, per a report by the BBC.

“I want to see Islamic teachings in this country grow stronger,” Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah told Brunei citizens in a public address.

The country has made a few other changes to its penal code. Any offenses of rape, sodomy, adultery, or robbery, and the “insult or defamation of the Prophet Muhammad” also carry the death penalty. While the punishment for gay sex is public stoning, lesbian sex carries a (relatively) lighter penalty of 40 lashes (caning) and/or up to 10 years in jail. Those who are caught stealing may have their limbs amputated, and attempting to persuade Muslim children under the age of 18 to follow another religion can carry a fine or jail time.

While Brunei’s laws against gay sex have come under fire, it’s worth noting that they aren’t the only country that enforces a death penalty for homosexual relations. As noted by The Washington Post, there are nine other nations around the world that carry similar punishments.

  • Afghanistan: While the country’s penal code doesn’t explicitly mention homosexual acts, Article 130 of Afghanistan’s constitution does allow for “recourse to be made to sharia law, which prohibits same-sex sexual activity in general.” That being said, there have been no recorded cases of anyone being killed for having gay sex since the early 2000s.
  • Iran: Per sharia law, gay sex between men is punishable by death.
  • Mauritania: Despite official laws, there has been a moratorium on capital punishment for decades.
  • Nigeria: Several states within Nigeria have imposed a death penalty for gay sex.
  • Qatar: The law in Qatar applies only to those practicing Islam.
  • Saudi Arabia: Married men who commit sodomy, or a non-Muslim engaging in sodomy with someone who practices Islam, can be stoned to death.
  • Somalia: Similar to Nigeria, some states have adopted sharia law — and by extension, a death penalty for gay sex.
  • Sudan: Those convicted three times for sodomy can be put to death.
  • Yemen: For the last 25 years, married men who engage in gay sex can be stoned to death.

It’s worth mentioning that while The Washington Post lists the United Arab Emirates as a country that carries the death penalty for gay sex, it seems that legal experts within the country have not been able to come to a definitive conclusion.

“Lawyers in the country and other experts disagree on whether federal law prescribes the death penalty for consensual homosexual sex or only for rape,” The Washington Post notes. “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.”