DON’T GO!

The 10 Des­ti­na­tions That Hate The Gays … and some of them are your favourites!

DNA Magazine - - CONTENT #225 - By Marc An­drews

Not ev­ery travel desti­na­tion loves the gays. Some are out­right hos­tile. Oth­ers ap­pear gay friendly to at­tract tourist. And oth­ers make sure you have a nice time in your in­ter­na­tional 5-star re­sort, but your du­ties and taxes prop up anti-gay regimes. These LGBT-hat­ing coun­tries don’t de­serve your money, time or In­sta­gram posts… BALI (IN­DONE­SIA) For gay men, up to five years in jail.

The In­done­sian par­lia­ment is seek­ing to crim­i­nalise any sex­ual act (straight or gay) out­side of het­ero mar­riage and to re­clas­si­fy­ing ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity as a men­tal ill­ness. For gay men, this means up to five years in jail for same-sex acts. Even though Bali is pre­dom­i­nantly Hindu, it’s still part of greater Mus­lim In­done­sia, which last year ar­rested 50 gay men at a sauna in Jakarta and caned four gay men in the prov­ince of Ache. In 2015 a Ba­li­nese gay wed­ding cer­e­mony re­sulted in re­li­gious blas­phemy charges for those at the ho­tel where it was held.

FIJI “Fiji does not need that rub­bish.”

Plan­ning a hon­ey­moon here? In 2016 the Fi­jian Prime Min­is­ter spoke out on the sub­ject of gay mar­riage in­sist­ing, “Fiji does not need that rub­bish.” In 2005 an Aus­tralian tourist had sex with a lo­cal man and they were both ar­rested and put on trial. They won their case but sub­se­quently same-sex ac­tiv­ity was made il­le­gal in 2010. Lonely Planet adds the warn­ing that, “gay sin­gles should ex­er­cise some cau­tion; don’t give any­one an ex­cuse to even think you are pay­ing for sex and be very care­ful not to give the im­pres­sion you are after young Fi­jian men”.

BER­MUDA The first place in the world to re­peal mar­riage equal­ity.

This Bri­tish pro­tec­torate was in the news re­cently for a par­tic­u­larly vex­ing rea­son. In Fe­bru­ary this year, the is­land ter­ri­tory, next to the Caribbean, re­pealed last year’s mar­riage equal­ity rul­ing, mak­ing Ber­muda the first place in the world to re­peal mar­riage equal­ity

DUBAI/ABU DHABI Sex out­side of het­ero mar­riage is a crime.

In this dual United Arab Emi­rates shop­pers’ par­adise even straight peo­ple have been ar­rested for dar­ing to kiss in pub­lic or ac­ci­den­tally brush­ing past the wrong per­son at the wrong time. LGBT rights are best de­scribed as “sup­pressed”. All sex­ual re­la­tion­ships out­side of het­ero­sex­ual mar­riage are con­sid­ered a crime. In 2013 UAE sought to cre­ate a test to ban gay for­eign­ers. Such a test does not ex­ist. Yet. Nonethe­less, sodomy is con­sid­ered a crime on the same level as rape – both pun­ish­able by death. In neigh­bour­ing Doha, the cap­i­tal of Qatar, host na­tion for the 2022 World Cup, LGBT news is cen­sored and ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is il­le­gal, pun­ish­able by pub­lic flog­ging.

EGYPT Po­lice elec­tro­cute de­tainees’ gen­i­tals and in­sert ba­tons into their rear ends.

For a brief mo­ment after the Arab Spring of 2011 it seemed as though things might change for the bet­ter in this Mid­dle Eastern coun­try, so beloved of West­ern tourists. Sadly, that wasn’t to be for ei­ther hu­man rights or gay rights. En­forc­ing a “de­bauch­ery” law to jus­tify per­se­cu­tion of the gay com­mu­nity, this has in­volved on­line en­trap­ment, ban­ning me­dia state­ments sup­port­ing ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity, and round­ing up po­ten­tial sus­pects for anal ex­am­i­na­tions to de­ter­mine if they’ve had sex. While world lead­ers try to find ways to praise Pres­i­dent al-Sisi for be­ing po­lit­i­cally mod­er­ate, his po­lice elec­tro­cute de­tainees’ gen­i­tals and in­sert ba­tons into their rear ends.

RUS­SIA LGBT peo­ple are phys­i­cally abused by po­lice.

Of­fi­cially, gay sex has been le­gal in Putin’s play­ground since 1993, with ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity re­moved from the list of men­tal ill­nesses in 1999. How­ever, this is not a coun­try where

you can be out-and-proud or feel safe as a tourist. So-called “gay pro­pa­ganda” laws make any ex­pres­sion of same-sex any­thing il­le­gal. Even Madonna’s live show broke this law. In­tol­er­ance of LGBT peo­ple is en­cour­aged by the state and the Ortho­dox Church, lead­ing to hate crimes. The mayor of Moscow re­fused to al­low a Pride pa­rade, call­ing it, “Satanic”. Gay night­clubs are phys­i­cally at­tacked by gangs, gay men are lured into traps through hook-up apps, LGBT peo­ple are phys­i­cally abused by po­lice. Fur­ther afield in the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion, the state of Chech­nya rou­tinely vi­o­lates hu­man rights, purges gay men, and, with a third con­vic­tion for the crime of anal sex, ex­pect the death penalty via ston­ing or be­head­ing..

THE MAL­DIVES With­drew from the Com­mon­wealth fol­low­ing gay rights vi­o­la­tions.

This glis­ten­ing South Asian is­land na­tion with­drew from the Com­mon­wealth in 2016 to protest in­ter­na­tional crit­i­cism of its gay rights vi­o­la­tions. Gay men still va­cay there: “We didn’t find it as scary as we thought it would be,” bleated LGBT travel site No­madic Boys. A blind eye is gen­er­ally turned to for­eign­ers due to tourism be­ing the main source of in­come. Nonethe­less, in 2015 two lo­cal gay men were ar­rested at home and charged un­der Shariah Law, which has been im­ple­mented against gay men through flog­gings, jail and even the death penalty.

ZANZ­IBAR (TANZANIA) “Even an­i­mals can’t do such a thing!”

This for­mer Spice Is­land off the coast of Africa (part of Tanzania) has a penalty of 14 years im­pris­on­ment for men who en­gage in sex with men. Tourists are gen­er­ally left alone as long as they keep to them­selves, but there are no hos­pi­tals where LGBT vis­i­tors can ac­cess treat­ment and there have been protests against gay travel groups. Dur­ing a dis­cus­sion on ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity the Tan­za­nian Prime Min­is­ter de­clared, “Even an­i­mals can’t do such a thing!” The Tan­za­nian govern­ment has closed HIV ser­vices, al­leg­ing they “pro­mote ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity”.

JA­MAICA “The most ho­mo­pho­bic coun­try in the world.”

In the 2017 LGBTQ Gay Travel In­dex of safe coun­tries, Ja­maica ranked 183rd, equal with Libya, Afghanistan, Cameroon and Rus­sia. Re­spon­si­bleTravel.com noted Ja­maica has been de­scribed as “the most ho­mo­pho­bic coun­try in the world, thanks to its bru­tal, ar­chaic laws and cul­tural at­ti­tudes to­wards the LGBT com­mu­nity”. Hu­man Rights Watch re­ported, “Ja­maica is the worst any of us has ever seen.” De­spite this, Pride Ja­maica has taken place in the cap­i­tal of Kingston since 2015, though mi­nus a pa­rade and more “sym­bolic” in na­ture.

TUR­KEY Vi­o­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion de­fine the lives of gay peo­ple liv­ing un­der the regime

Pres­i­dent Er­do­gan drives the coun­try con­cert­edly into dic­ta­tor­ship but it re­mains a tourism hotspot. On LGBT rights, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional re­ports that vi­o­lence, dis­crim­i­na­tion and of­fi­cial con­tempt de­fine the lives of gay peo­ple liv­ing un­der the regime. The last Is­tan­bul Pride pa­rade was in 2014. After run­ning for 13 years it has been banned for “se­cu­rity con­cerns”. In the city of Ankara, a pop­u­lar hol­i­day desti­na­tion, LGBT re­lated events are banned be­cause of “so­cial sen­si­bil­i­ties”. In July, leaflets were dis­trib­uted in Turk­ish cities blam­ing the “Bri­tish deep state” for “forc­ing peo­ple into ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity”.

The LGBTIQ com­mu­nity protest against the killing of trans peo­ple in Is­tan­bul, Tur­key.

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