LGBT rights in Myanmar
This article needs to be updated.(October 2012)
|LGBT rights in Myanmar|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal status||Illegal|
|Ten years to life in prison|
|No recognition of same-sex relationships|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons in Myanmar (also known as Burma) face legal challenges and discrimination not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same sex sexual activity is illegal in Burma and punishable by fines and imprisonment for ten years to life. The past authoritarian nature of the government made it difficult to obtain accurate information about the legal or social status of LGBT Burmese citizens. However, along with the ongoing political reforms, improvements in media and civil freedoms have allowed LGBT people to gain more and more recognition in the country.
Section 377 of the penal code prohibits same sex sexual activity and sodomy. Along with fines, the punishment is ten years to life, though no known enforcement has been done in recent years. In 2001, the exile group called the All Burma Students' Democratic Front voted to have the law repealed. This was seen as a victory by the Committee for Lesbigay Rights in Burma, although such a change is not likely to occur given the current political climate.
The following sections of the penal code can also be used against LGBT people in Burma:
- Sections 269 & 270 make it a crime for a person to negligently spread a sexually transmitted disease.
- Section 290 makes it a crime to commit "a public nuisance", not specified in the code, with fines up to two hundred rupees.
- Sections 292 – 294 make it a crime to make, sell, or distribute "obscene" material or songs to adults or minors and to engage in any obscene acts in public.
- Section 372 prohibits buying or selling a prostitute under the age of eighteen or using a prostitute to engage in illicit sexual relations.
- Section 377- Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term for which shall not be less than 2 years, but may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable to a fine that shall not be less than four hundred rupees but may extend to one thousand rupees.
- Section 469 prohibits engaging in any marriage ceremony absent of a legal marriage.
- Section 5(j) of the Emergency Provisions Act prohibits anything that might affect the morality of an individual, society or the public in a negative way.
Marriage and Family
Society & Culture
During the military regime, no organised LGBT political or social life was able to exist. Burma's social mores about human sexuality have been described as being "extremely conservative.".
Aung Myo Min is an openly gay man and has been involved in the All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF). In 2005 he talked about his coming out process and the homophobia that exists, even with the pro-democracy opposition. Today he is involved with exile Burma human rights organisations, including the Campaign for Lesbigay Rights in Burma.
In 2003, FocusAsia (Star TV) aired a story about the Nat Kadaws. The "Utopia Guide to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar & Vietnam" references "transgender shaman channeling spirits at Myanmar sacred festivals." Yet, within Burma itself, no formal gay bars or LGBT-rights organisations exist. There are only some unconfirmed reports that certain nightclubs in the cities that are a reputation for both heterosexual and LGBT clientele.
Despite the illegal nature of it, homosexuality and gender expression has become more visible in Burma, especially after the political reforms. Gay and lesbian couples freely cohabit in major cities like Yangon and Mandalay, though they are not legally allowed to marry. The increased media freedom has also allowed journalists to report on the gay and lesbian community. Same-sex couples have also been able to celebrate ceremonial marriages in major cities without any legal persecution.
Burma also celebrated its first gay pride in several cities around the country in 2012, to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. In 2016, The Gemini was released and became the first LGBT film in cinema of Myanmar. The film openly railed against the Burmese homosexuality laws.. In 2018, officials gave permission for public pride party. Almost 6000 people showed up to the event, rise from previous times.  The number rose further to 10,000 the next day. 
|Same-sex sexual activity legal||(Penalty: Up to life imprisonment)|
|Equal age of consent|
|Anti-discrimination laws in employment only|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services|
|Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)|
|Recognition of same-sex couples|
|Step-child adoption by same-sex couples|
|Joint adoption by same-sex couples|
|Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military|
|Right to change legal gender|
|Access to IVF for lesbians|
|Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples|
|MSMs allowed to donate blood|
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- Golluoglu, Esmer (13 May 2012). "Gay people in Burma start to challenge culture of repression". London: Guardian.
- "Woman raised as a man in Birma". Youtube.com. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "Myanmar Gay Marriage". Waiphyomyint.wordpress.com. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "A pride with no parade for Burma's first gay festival". BBC. 17 May 2012.
- "Convoluted plot and tech issues undo gay romantic thriller 'The Gemini'". Latimes.com. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Burmese Director Explores Same-Sex Relationships in New Film". Irrawaddy.com. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2018.