NewsIraq enacts harsh law against LGBTQ+ community, sparking global outcry

Iraq enacts harsh law against LGBTQ+ community, sparking global outcry

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Images source: © Getty Images | 2004 Getty Images, Wathiq Khuzaie

5:31 AM EDT, April 28, 2024

On Saturday, the Iraqi Parliament enacted a law imposing prison sentences of 10 to 15 years for homosexual and transgender relationships, citing the preservation of religious values as its rationale. This legislation has drawn criticism from the U.S. State Department and various human rights advocates.

In addition to targeting homosexual relationships, the new statute forbids any efforts to promote homosexuality within Iraq, setting a penalty of up to 7 years in prison for such actions.

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The law also bars "on-demand biological gender changes," imposing a 3-year jail term for medical professionals or others involved in facilitating these procedures.

Initially suggesting the death penalty for homosexual acts, this law modifies the 1988 Anti-Prostitution Act's stipulations. It gained approval from 170 of the 329 deputies present at the vote.

The U.S. State Department has condemned the law, labeling it in a statement on Saturday as a menace to human rights and freedoms and a potential hindrance to Iraq's economic diversification and its capacity to attract international investment.

Amnesty International has also spoken out against the legislation, declaring it a violation of basic human rights and highlighting the precarious situation of sexual minorities in Iraq, who must conceal their identities and face persecution daily.

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