LGBT rights in Ethiopia

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LGBT rights in Ethiopia
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Illegal[1]
Needs verification
Gender identity/expression -

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Ethiopia do not exist; all homosexual activity is recognized by Ethiopian law as a sexual crime, and the promotion of homosexuality is overwhelmingly rejected by Ethiopian society.

According to the 2007 Pew Global Attitudes Project, 97% of Ethiopian residents said that homosexuality should be rejected by society, which was the second-highest percentage rejecting homosexuality among the 44 countries surveyed, exceeded only by Mali at 98%.[2]

Laws against homosexuality

Both male and female homosexual acts are illegal[1] in Ethiopia. The AIDS Resource Center in Addis Ababa reported that the majority of self-identified gay and lesbian callers (75% were male) requested assistance in changing their behavior to avoid discrimination. Many gay men reported anxiety, confusion, identity crises, depression, self-ostracizing, religious conflict, and suicide attempts. In 2007 Addis Ababa reported at least 5 mob lynchings involving gay men. In December 2008, nearly a dozen religious figures adopted a resolution against homosexuality, urging lawmakers to endorse a ban on homosexual activity in the constitution.[3]

Under Ethiopian law, homosexual activity is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment. A homosexual act is never considered a victimless crime in Ethiopian law; rather, the wording of the penal code recognizes that it is an act of an aggressor against a victim. Consequently, the offense of the aggressor is considered aggravated, when it results in the suicide of the victim.[4]

Mainstream Ethiopian social mores are broadly influenced by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Muslim religious life.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ottosson, Daniel (May 2008). State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults Pages 14–15. International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). Retrieved on 2009-05-05.
  2. Pew Global Attitudes Project PDF
  3. "2008 Human Rights Reports: Ethiopia - Section 5 Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons", United States Department of State website (accessed 26 May 2009)
  4. Criminal Code of Ethiopia (2005) § 630.2.c.

External links


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