LGBT rights in Somaliland

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LGBT rights in Somaliland
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Illegal[1]
Up to 3 years imprisonment[1]
Gender identity/expression
Discrimination protections None
Family rights
Recognition of
No recognition of same-sex relationships

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the Somaliland face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Ottoman Empire[edit]

In 1858, the Ottoman Empire legalized same-sex sexual intercourse.[1]

Italian East Africa[edit]

In 1940, Italy conquered British Somaliland and annexed it into the Italian East Africa. Since same-sex sexual activity was legal in Italy since 1890, it became legal in British Somaliland. In 1941, the British reconquered British Somaliland and re-instated their sodomy laws.[1]

British Somaliland[edit]

Prior to independence from the British, the Indian Penal Code of 1860 was applied in British Somaliland.[2]

Somali Republic[edit]

In 1964, a new penal code came into force in the Somali Republic. The code states that "Whoever has carnal intercourse with a person of the same sex shall be punished, where the act does not constitute a more serious crime, with imprisonment from three months to three years. Where the act committed is an act of lust different from carnal intercourse, the punishment imposed shall be reduced by one-third."[2]


In 1991, Somaliland declared itself as an independent state. Somaliland continues to apply the 1964 penal code in the country.[1]

See also[edit]