LGBT rights in Syria
|LGBT rights in Syria|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Illegal|
|Up to 3 years imprisonment|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons in Syria face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Syria and the government does not allow a LGBT rights movement to exist.
Laws against homosexuality
Article 520 of the penal code of 1949, prohibits having homosexual relations, i.e. "carnal relations against the order of nature", and provides for up to 3 three-years imprisonment.
In 2004 a Syrian woman named Hiba came forward as a transsexual who had been given permission to have a sex change operation.
2003 UN vote
In 2003 Syria, in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, voted to postpone a United Nations draft resolution on human rights and sexual orientation. The vote was 24-17. The draft resolution would have the Commission express deep concern at the occurrence of violations of human rights in the world against persons on the grounds of their sexual orientation; stress that human rights and fundamental freedoms were the birthright of all human beings, and that the universal nature of these rights and freedoms was beyond question; and call upon all States to promote and protect the human rights of all persons regardless of their sexual orientation.
In 2005 the Deputy Minister of Religious Endowments publicly stated that HIV-AIDS were divine punishment for people that engaged in fornication and homosexuality. That same year, the Health Ministry stated that only 369 persons in Syria were infected with HIV and that the government offers such persons "up-to-date medicines to combat this disease freely". Yet, Non-governmental organizations estimate that there are truly at least five times that many and the United Nations chastised the government for its ineffective prevention methods.
Beyond tolerating the work of some NGOs, the government has established voluntary clinics that can test for AIDS-HIV and distribute some educational pamphlets, but comprehensive public education, especially for LGBT people, does not exist.
- "Syria: Treatment and human rights situation of homosexuals" (PDF). Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "Syria: Cleric saves transsexual". Gaymiddleeast.com. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "369 infected with AIDS in Syria". Arabicnews.com. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "gaymiddleeast.blogspot.com". gaymiddleeast.blogspot.com. 16 June 2006. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "EGYPT-SYRIA: Governments criticised for approach against HIV/AIDS". Irinnews.org. 7 June 2006. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "un.org.sy". United Nations .sy. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "asylumlaw.org" (PDF). Retrieved 20 January 2011.