The 10 Destinations That Hate The Gays … and some of them are your favourites!
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 In February this year, the island territory, next to the Caribbean, repealed last year’s marriage equality ruling, making Bermuda the first place in the world to repeal marriage equality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.