LGBT rights in Yemen

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LGBT rights in Yemen Yemen
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Illegal
Corporal punishment for first offense. Death penalty for second offense
Gender identity/expression
Military service
Discrimination protections None
Family rights
Recognition of
No recognition of same-sex relationships

Homosexuality is illegal in Yemen in accordance with the country's Shari'ah legal system.[1] LGBT persons in Yemen are likely to suffer discrimination, legal, and social challenges. Punishments for homosexuality range from flogging to death.[2][3] Yemen is one of only seven countries to apply a death penalty for consensual sexual acts between adults of the same sex.[4]

Gay websites are blocked by the government.[5]

As of 2007, there was no public or semi-public space for gays as in western democratic countries or some Middle Eastern democracies such as Turkey.[6] The official position is that there are no gays in Yemen.[6]

Constitutional law[edit]

The Constitution of Republic Of Yemen, amended in 2001, does not explicitly address LGBT rights. It does guarantee certain human rights to all citizens, with the condition that all legislation must be compatible with principles of Islamic Shariah law [1].

Penal Code[edit]

Punishment for homosexuality in Yemen can originate from the codified penal code, or from people seeking to enforce traditional Islamic morality.

Article 264 of the national penal code prohibits private consensual homosexual acts between adult men. The stipulated punishment in the law for unmarried men is 100 lashes and up to a year in prison. The law stipulates that married men convicted of homosexuality are to be put to death [2].

Article 268 of the national penal code prohibits private consensual homosexual acts between adult women. The law stipulates that premeditated acts of lesbianism are punished with up to three years in prison [3].

In addition to the penal code, punishment for homosexuality can originate from people seeking to enforce traditional Islamic morality within their own family or for the broader society. In vigilante cases such as this, the punishment for homosexuality is oftentimes death [4].

Media Censorship[edit]

The government blocks access to webpages that express support of LGBT rights. This policy of censorship also extends to publications and magazines in Yemen.

In 2010, the magazine Al Thaqafiya was shutdown by the government for publishing a review on the Egyptian film titled, “Heena Maysara” (translates to “Till things get better”). The reviewer, a Yemeni filmmaker named Hamid Aqbi, expressed some support for LGBT-rights while discussing the film [Gay City News, April 29, 2010].

In 2004, the Yemem Times, an English-language magazine, was allowed to publish an opinion piece opposing legal recognition of gay marriage.

In 2003, the Week, an Arabic-language magazine, published an article that included interviews with Yemenis men imprisoned for homosexuality. The three journalists involved with the article were convicted by the government [Aljazeera, May 18, 2004].

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal No (Penalty: Death)
Equal age of consent No
Anti-discrimination laws in employment No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military No
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]