Info

f1c760b8fb3c36d26f49dfb7c78d02bf

(Image source: ILGA)

ASSESSING GAY ASIA

While gay-rights activists celebrate gains in much of the world, their setbacks have been equally far-flung, and often sweeping in scope.

Globally, the contrasts are striking. Sixteen countries have legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, including Canada, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and New Zealand as well as 10 European nations, and gay marriage is legal in parts of the United States and Mexico. Yet at least 76 countries retain laws criminalizing gay sex, including five where it’s punishable by death.

Here’s a look at Asia where the gay-rights movement remains embattled or marginalized.

The world’s largest continent, Asia is a mixed bag when it comes to gay issues, due to vast differences in culture, religion and history. Though no Asian nation yet allows gay marriage, Thailand has a government-sponsored campaign to attract gay tourists, while China, Vietnam and Taiwan, among others, are increasingly accepting of gays and lesbians.

However, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Pakistan outlaw gay sex and, for the moment, so does India, following the recent decision of its high court to revive a ban on gay sex that had been quashed by a lower court in 2009. The high court said it’s up to lawmakers, not judges, to change the law.

Amid the legal wrangling, gays and lesbians have gained a degree of acceptance in parts of India, especially in big cities where gay-pride parades are now a fixture. Many bars have gay nights, and some high-profile Bollywood films have dealt with gay issues.

In most of the country, however, being gay is seen as shameful, and many gays remain closeted.

In majority-Muslim Malaysia, the government has shown no interest in promoting gay rights. Sodomy is punishable by 20 years in prison and whipping with a rattan cane, and censorship rules forbid the production and screening of films that might be considered supportive of gay rights.

In heavily Muslim Indonesia, gay sex is not criminalized, and many young, urban Indonesians are relatively tolerant of homosexuality, but most citizens consider it unacceptable.

o-BLACK-MAN-HANDCUFFS-facebookAcross most of the Middle East, homosexual relations are taboo, though not all nations choose to prosecute homosexuals and punishments vary.

The pervasiveness of religion in everyday life, along with strict cultural norms, plays a major factor in how Middle Eastern societies view homosexuality. The common Arabic word used to refer to gays is derogatory and its actual meaning translates as “abnormal” or “queer.”

Same-sex relations are punishable by death in the Muslim-majority nations of Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen.

In Yemen, more than 30 people suspected of being of gay were killed by unidentified assailants in the past two years, many in southern provinces where al-Qaida is active. Iraq also has experienced a surge of killings of gays.

In Egypt, consensual same-sex relations are not explicitly prohibited, but other laws — those prohibiting “debauchery” or “shameless public acts” — have been used to imprison gay men.

Public acceptance of gays in Israel and Lebanon is higher than the rest of the region. Lebanon and Israel promote gay tourism, and Lebanon has translated nearly a dozen English books about homosexuality into Arabic.

Among most Palestinians, homosexuality is generally disdained, and gays tend to be secretive about their social lives. In the West Bank, a 1951 Jordanian law banning homosexual acts remains in effect, as does a ban in Gaza passed by British authorities in 1936.

In Israel, by contrast, gays serve openly in the military and in parliament, and many popular artists and entertainers are gay.

Assessing the region as a whole, activists take heart from modest changes — even it’s simply the inclusion of gay rights in broader discussions about human rights in the Middle East.

Source: Associated Press

—-

LGBT Rights in Asia

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Asia are limited in comparison to many other areas of the world. Same-sex sexual activity is outlawed in at least twenty Asian countries. While at least nine countries allow same-sex people to serve in the military, only Israel provides a wider range of LGBT rights – include same-sex relationship recognition.

In the Islamic regimes of Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, homosexual activity is punished with the death penalty. The legal punishment for sodomy has varied among juristic schools: some prescribe capital punishment; while other prescribe a milder discretionary punishment such as imprisonment. In some relatively secular Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia, Jordan and Turkey this is not the case.

Egalitarian relationships modeled on the western pattern have become more frequent, though they remain rare. Same-sex intercourse officially carries the death penalty in several Muslim nations: Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Yemen.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (en.wikipedia.org)

Central Asia

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of relationships Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination(Sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
KazakhstanKazakhstan Yes Legal since 1998
No No Emblem-question.svg No
No No
KyrgyzstanKyrgyzstan Yes Legal since 1998
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
TajikistanTajikistan Yes Legal since 1998
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
TurkmenistanTurkmenistan No Male illegal
(Penalty: up to 2 year prison sentence)
Yes Female legal
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
UzbekistanUzbekistan No Male illegal
(Penalty: up to 3 year prison sentence)
Yes Female legal
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No

West Asia

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of relationships Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination(Sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
BahrainBahrain Yes Legal since 1976
No No No No No No
IraqIraq Yes Legal since 2003 No No No No No No
IsraelIsrael Yes Legal since
1963 de facto
1988 de jure
+ UN decl. sign.
Yes Unregistered cohabitation No Cannot be performed in the country, but foreign same-sex marriages are recognize Yes/No step adoptions prohibited
Yes Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination 
Yes
JordanJordan Yes Legal since 1951 No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
KuwaitKuwait No Male illegal
(Penalty: Fines or up to 6 year prison sentence)
Yes Female legal
No No No No No No
LebanonLebanon No Illegal
(Penalty: Up to 6 months in prison)
No No No No No No
OmanOman No Illegal
(Penalty: fines, prison sentence up to 3 years; however, only enforced when dealing with “public scandal”)
No No No No No No
Palestinian territoriesPalestinian territories
(Gaza)
No Male illegal
(Penalty: up to 10 year prison sentence)
Yes Female legal
No No No Emblem-question.svg No No
Palestinian territoriesPalestinian territories
(West Bank)
Yes Legal since 1951
No No Yes
Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
QatarQatar No Male illegal
(Penalty: fines, prison sentence up to 5 years)
Yes Female legal
No No No No No No
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia No Illegal
(Penalty: death or life imprisonment)
No No No No No No
SyriaSyria No Illegal
(Penalty: prison sentence up to 3 years)
No No No No No No
United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates No Illegal
(Penalty: deportation, fines or prison time)
No No No No No No
Yemen Yemen No Illegal
(Penalty: Death)
No No No No No No

South Asia

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of relationships Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination(Sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
AfghanistanAfghanistan No Illegal
(Penalty: Death)
No No No No No No
BangladeshBangladesh No Illegal
(Penalty: 10 years to life)
No No No No No No
BhutanBhutan No Illegal
(Penalty: prison sentence up to 1 year; no cases of penalty actually enforced)
No No No No No No
IndiaIndia Yes Illegal since 1860 Penalties up to life imprisonment. NoNo explicit recognition.
No No explicit recognition.
No No
No No There are no laws to protect from discrimination.
IranIran No Illegal
(Penalty: Death)
No No No No No Yes Legal gender recognition in Iran is legal if accompanied by a medical intervention.
MaldivesMaldives No Up to death Shariah law applies. Whippings, house arrest, deportation, and up to 6 years in jail. Vigilante attacks and executions occur. No No No No
No No
NepalNepal Yes Legal since 2007
+ UN decl. sign.
No No Under consideration No Under consideration Yes Yes Supreme Court ruled discrimination laws apply to homosexuals Yes “Third gender” cards have been issued since September 2007, legally protected class
PakistanPakistan No Illegal
(Penalty: 2 years to life sentence)
No No No No No Yes ‘Third gender’ officially protected from discrimination by Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2010
Sri LankaSri Lanka No Illegal
No No No No
No No

East Asia

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of relationships Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination(Sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
ChinaChina
(People’s Republic of)
Yes Legal since 1997 No No No Emblem-question.svg No Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender
Hong KongHong Kong
(Special administrative region of China)
Yes Legal since 1991
(equal age of consent of 16 for both heterosexual and homosexual sex since 2006)
No No No Emblem-question.svg
The People’s Republic of China is in charge of Hong Kong’s defence affairs. Regardless of sexual orientation, military personnel are not recruited from Hong Kong.
Yes Government employment, goods and services only Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender
JapanJapan Yes Legal since 1880
(was illegal from 1872-1880; before that there were no laws forbidding same sex relationships)
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No Yes
No No nationwide protections, but some cities ban some anti-gay discrimination Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender, but only after sex reassignment surgery and in case that the transsexual has no child under 20 years old
MacauMacau
(Special administrative region of China)
Yes Legal since 1996 No No No Emblem-question.svg
The People’s Republic of China is in charge of Macau’s defence affairs. Regardless of sexual orientation, military personnel are not recruited from Macau.
yes Emblem-question.svg
MongoliaMongolia Yes Legal since 2002 No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
North KoreaNorth Korea Yes Legal
No No No No No Emblem-question.svg Unknown although there are heavily obeyed gender roles for both male and female.
South KoreaSouth Korea Yes Legal
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No Yes Due to conscription, but gays subject to discrimination No Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender

Partially recognized states

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of same-sex relationships Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination(sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
TaiwanTaiwan
(China, Republic of)
Yes Legal No No (Pending law allows civil unions or same-sex marriage) No Yes Due to military draft Yes Bans some anti-gay discrimination (in work and education) Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender, but only after sex reassignment surgery

Southeast Asia

LGBT rights in: Same-sex sexual activity Recognition of relationships Same-sex marriage Same-sex adoption Allows gays to serve openly in military? Anti-discrimination(Sexual orientation) Laws concerning gender identity/expression
BruneiBrunei No Illegal
(Penalty: fine or prison sentence up to 10 years)
No No No No No No
BurmaBurma No Illegal
(Penalty: up to life sentence)
No No No No No No
CambodiaCambodia Yes Legal No No Technically prohibited, though there has been at least one recorded case of a legally registered and recognized same-sex marriage No
Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
East TimorEast Timor Yes Legal since 1975
+ UN decl. sign.
No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
IndonesiaIndonesia Yes Legal except for Muslims in Aceh Province
No No No No
No Emblem-question.svg
LaosLaos Yes Legal No No No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg
MalaysiaMalaysia No Male illegal
(Penalty: fines, prison sentence (2-20 years), or whippings)Yes Female legal
No No No No No No
PhilippinesPhilippines Yes Legal except for Muslims in Marawi City No
No (However, Metropolitan Community Church conducts same-sex Marriage, the New People's Army of the Philippines conducted the country’s first same-sex marriage in 2005, some other Pagan Churches also conduct same-sex marriage. No No Since 2009 Yes No national protections, but Cebu, Quezon City and Albay have anti-discrimination ordinances NoNational bill pending but still not made into law Emblem-question.svg
SingaporeSingapore No Male illegal
(Penalty: up to 2 years prison sentence; no plan to repeal 377A and not enforced since 1999)Yes Female legal
No No No Yes Due to conscription, but gays are not allowed to go to command school or serve in sensitive units. No Yes Transsexuals allowed to change legal gender
ThailandThailand Yes Legal since 1956 No proposed on 2013 No No Yes Since 2005 Yes No
VietnamVietnam Yes Legal
(no laws against homosexuality have ever existed)
No (Proposed) No (Proposed for 2014 No Emblem-question.svg No Emblem-question.svg

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (en.wikipedia.org)

—-

ASIA  GEOGRAPHY

Asia_(orthographic_projection).svg

Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth’s total surface area and comprises 30% of its land area. With approximately 4.3 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world’s current human population. Asia has a high growth rate in the modern era. For instance, during the 20th century, Asia’s population nearly quadrupled.

The boundaries of Asia are culturally determined, as there is no clear geographical separation between it and Europe, which together form one continuous landmass called Eurasia. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal, the Ural River, and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains (or the Kuma–Manych Depression) and the Caspian and Black Seas. It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean.

Given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia – a name dating back to classical antiquity – may actually have more to do with human geography than physical geography. Asia varies greatly across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties and government systems.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (en.wikipedia.org)

Central Asia

Central-Asia-Map

Flag Country Capital Population Area
Flag of Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Astana 15,422,000 2,724,900 km2
Flag of Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan Bishkek 5,317,000 199,900 km2
Flag of Tajikistan Tajikistan Dushanbe 6,736,000 143,100 km2
Flag of Turkmenistan Turkmenistan Ashgabat 4,965,000 488,100 km2
Flag of Uzbekistan Uzbekistan Tashkent 27,372,000 447,400 km2

East Asia

500px-Map_of_East_Asia

Flag Country Capital Population Area
Flag of Japan Japan Tokyo 127,690,000 377,873 km2
Flag of Mongolia Mongolia Ulaanbaatar 2,629,000 1,564,120 km2
Flag of North Korea North Korea Pyongyang (P’yŏngyang) 23,790,000 120,538 km2
Flag of People's Republic of China The People’s Republic of China Beijing 1,324,443,000 9,640,820 km2
Flag of Republic of China The Republic of China Taipei 22,990,000 36,188 km2
Flag of South Korea South Korea Seoul 48,224,000 99,538 km2

South Asia

south_asia_map

Flag Country Capital Population Area
Flag of Afghanistan Afghanistan Kabul 27,145,000 652,090 km2
Flag of Bangladesh Bangladesh Dhaka 158,665,000 143,998 km2
Flag of Bhutan Bhutan Thimphu 658,000 47,000 km2
Flag of India India New Delhi 1,134,260,000 3,287,260 km2
Flag of Maldives Maldives Malé 306,000 298 km2
Flag of Nepal Nepal Kathmandu 28,196,000 147,181 km2
Flag of Pakistan Pakistan Islamabad 163,579,000 796,095 km2
Flag of Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Colombo 19,299,000 65,610 km2

Southeast Asia

679px-Map_of_Southeast_Asia

Flag Country Capital Population Area
Flag of Brunei Brunei Bandar Seri Begawan 390,000 5,765 km2
Flag of Cambodia Cambodia Phnom Penh 14,444,000 181,035 km2
Flag of Indonesia Indonesia Jakarta 231,627,000 1,904,570 km2
Flag of Laos Laos Vientiane 5,859,000 236,800 km2
Flag of Malaysia Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 27,170,000 329,847 km2
Flag of Myanmar Myanmar Naypyidaw 48,798,000 676,578 km2
Flag of Philippines The Philippines Manila 88,574,614 300,000 km2
Flag of Singapore Singapore Singapore 4,588,600 683 km2
Flag of Thailand Thailand Bangkok 63,038,247 513,115 km2
Flag of Vietnam Vietnam Hanoi 87,375,000 331,689 km2

West Asia

west_asia

Flag Country Capital Population Area
Flag of Bahrain Bahrain Manama 760,168 694 km2
Flag of Iran Iran Tehran 71,208,000 1,648,200 km2
Flag of Iraq Iraq Baghdad 28,993,000 438,317 km2
Flag of Israel Israel Jerusalem 7,282,400 22,145 km2
Flag of Jordan Jordan Amman 5,924,000 89,342 km2
Flag of Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait City 2,851,000 17,818 km2
Flag of Lebanon Lebanon Beirut 4,099,000 10,400 km2
Flag of Oman Oman Muscat 2,595,000 309,500 km2
Flag of Qatar Qatar Doha 841,000 11,000 km2
Flag of Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Riyadh 24,735,000 2,149,690 km2
Flag of Syria Syria Damascus 19,929,000 185,180 km2
Flag of United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi 4,380,000 83,600 km2
Flag of Yemen Yemen Sanaá 22,389,000 527,968 km2