As the western nations grapple with the question whether same-sex marriage should be made legal or not, homosexuality still finds great resistance in many regions around the world. While most citizens in such nations attribute the resistance as just a cultural thing, the reality is that a major cause of it is adherence to their religious teachings.
Recently, Russia passed an anti-gay bill that stigmatizes homosexuals by banning homosexuality being taught to children. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community won’t be able to hold gay pride rallies as a result of this act. With Russia hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the pressure is on them from the international community to soften their stance on same-sex relationships.
According to an international survey by Pew Research Center this year, the global divide on homosexuality varies considerably from region to region. Countries which are more secular, and where religion doesn’t play a greater role in people’s lives, were found to be the most tolerant as far as homosexuality is concerned. Moreover, secular nations were also found to be amongst the richest countries in the world; some of the exceptions were Russia and China.
In contrast, only a small percentage of the population in poorer countries is ready to accept homosexuality as part of their society. It was also found that religion plays a central role in people’s lives in most of these poorer countries.
The age of the respondents was also a major deciding factor, with the youth offering more accepting views of homosexuality than the elders. While gender differences weren’t a deciding factor, in those nations where they were, women were consistently found to be far tolerant of homosexuality than men.
This list details the 10 least gay-friendly countries in the world, and how they treat their homosexual citizens.
10. Kenya: 90% opposed to same-sex relationships
Homosexuality is widely considered as a taboo and repugnant to the moral values and cultural diversity of Kenya. A staggering 90% of Kenyans surveyed by Pew Research Center were opposed to allowing same-sex relationships in their society. According to Kenyan law, sex between males is considered illegal, and it can carry a penalty up to 14 years in prison, which can extend up to 21 years if the sex is non-consensual. Though the law doesn’t state explicitly about sex between women, lesbians also face arrests. Despite the hurdles, there are several organizations that are working towards protecting and improving LGBT rights in Kenya.