[Brussels, 10 May 2011] The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) is preparing the launch of its official Homophobia Report 2011. The report serves as an occasion to reflect on the state of homophobia in the world today. It elaborates on topics ranging from the number of same-sex couples in different countries, number of hate crimes based on gender or sexual orientation to prosecution, imprisonment or death penalty for same-sex acts. To illustrate its report, each year, ILGA produces a map on Gay and Lesbian rights in the world.
The conclusion ILGA has reached this year is that more and more people, organisations and governments consider homophobia, and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, with the same abhorrence as sexism, racism or religious prejudice, and discrimination based on sex, race or religion. Yet, only 32 countries and 30 regions officially recognise same-sex unions, such as marriage. Without official recognition same-sex couples are deprived from some legal benefits that most married couples enjoy.
But there are also other countries where fundamental rights have been denied to lesbian and gay people. ILGA’s report notes some progress compared to 2010 when 77 countries were listed as prosecuting people on ground of their sexual orientation. This year the report notes “only” 76 countries, a number indicating the gradual, yet slow decline of homophobia in the world. Among these countries, there are the infamous 5, which put people to death for their sexual orientation: Iran, Mauritania, Sauda Arabia, Sudan and Yemen (plus some parts of Nigeria and Somalia).