LGBT rights in Syria
|LGBT rights in|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||
(Syrian Arab Republic)
Up to 3 years imprisonment|
(Syrian Arab Republic)
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons in Syria face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents.
Syrian Civil War
Army of Conquest
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham
Syrian Arab Republic
Article 520 of the penal code of 1949, prohibits having homosexual relations, i.e. "carnal relations against the order of nature", and provides for up to 3 three-years imprisonment, although the law is not strictly enforced. Most LGBT Syrians, like most minorities in Syria, support President Bashar al-Assad.
2003 UN vote
In 2003 Syria, in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, voted to postpone a United Nations draft resolution on human rights and sexual orientation. The vote was 24-17. The draft resolution would have the Commission express deep concern at the occurrence of violations of human rights in the world against persons on the grounds of their sexual orientation; stress that human rights and fundamental freedoms were the birthright of all human beings, and that the universal nature of these rights and freedoms was beyond question; and call upon all States to promote and protect the human rights of all persons regardless of their sexual orientation.
The first reported cases of HIV infection were in 1987.
In 2005 the Deputy Minister of Religious Endowments publicly stated that HIV-AIDS were divine punishment for people that engaged in fornication and homosexuality. That same year, the Health Ministry stated that only 369 persons in Syria were infected with HIV and that the government offers such persons "up-to-date medicines to combat this disease freely". Yet, Non-governmental organizations estimate that there are truly at least five times that many and the United Nations chastised the government for its ineffective prevention methods.
Beyond tolerating the work of some NGOs, the government has established voluntary clinics that can test for AIDS-HIV and distribute some educational pamphlets, but comprehensive public education, especially for LGBT people, does not exist.
Mahmoud Hassino, gay Syrian opposition activist, journalist and started the online magazine Mawaleh, notes that regardless of the outcome of the civil war, work needs to be done in the civil right area on behalf of all Syrians, not just the LGBT community. Miral Bioredda, a secular leader of the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, said "Personally I see homosexuality as a private matter. But Syrian society would say "no way" if gays rose to claim their rights. Developing a civil society will take time." Nasradeen Ahme, a member of the Free Syrian Army, said "If I was in charge I would enforce tougher laws against homosexuals. If someone said homosexuals should be stoned to death as in Iran and Saudi Arabia, I would not object."
Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava
The People's Protection Units (YPG) bans “gays” from the organization.
- Al-Qa`ida Uncoupling: Jabhat al-Nusra’s Rebranding as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham
- We Don’t Have Rights, But We Are Alive Part 3
- "Syria: Treatment and human rights situation of homosexuals" (PDF). Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- We Don’t Have Rights, But We Are Alive
- Gays join the Syrian uprising
- "Syria: Cleric saves transsexual". Gaymiddleeast.com. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "369 infected with AIDS in Syria". Arabicnews.com. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "gaymiddleeast.blogspot.com". gaymiddleeast.blogspot.com. 16 June 2006. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "EGYPT-SYRIA: Governments criticised for approach against HIV/AIDS". Irinnews.org. 7 June 2006. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "un.org.sy". United Nations .sy. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "asylumlaw.org" (PDF). Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- An invisible minority: Iraqi LGBTs need to come out