Sara Ramirez
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5 Countries Where LGBT Rights Came Under Attack This Year

Russia LGBT Rights

December 10 is the International Human Rights Day. The United Nations recognizes this day as both a celebration of the civil rights inherent to every human, no matter their nationality, and as a reminder of what more we can do to spread equality across the globe.

In that spirit, we’ve pulled together a list of the countries outside the U.S. that have made headlines this year for denying civil rights to LGBTs.  

1. Russia

Apart from allegedly rigging the U.S. election through cyberattacks (no big deal), the Kremlin maintained a hard line on suppressing LGBT rights this year. The country under President Vladimir Putin has continued to enforce a 2013 law against gay “propaganda” that has been broadly interpreted to stop LGBT-friendly rallies or keep out entertainment or products with ties to the gay community. This spring, the country charged Calvin Klein with violating the law when the fashion brand aired a commercial featuring same-sex and gender-fluid couples.

2. Uganda

The African country that narrowly avoided passing a “kill the gays” bill in recent years is still ignoring the basic human rights of its LGBT citizens. This fall, Pride celebrations in the country were raided and organizers were told by police to stop or risk arrests and more violence.

3. Tanzania

According to reports, Tanzania “generally ignored” the issue of LGBT rights until recently. Government ministers have announced plans to end pro-LGBT charities and a ban on personal lubricants. Even more serious, the country wants to cull HIV/AIDS outreach programs that help queer people.

4. Bangladesh

This summer, Xulhaz Mannan, editor of Bangladesh’s only LGBT publication, was dragged out of his house by a mob and hacked to death. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanded swift action, and a suspect with ties to Islamist terror organizations was apprehended.

5. Indonesia

The world’s fifth-most populated country has engaged in a sustained crackdown on LGBT citizens this year. The country, largely influenced by Islamic religious conservatives, has mulled banning gay sex, shutting down access to more than 80 LGBT websites, and arrested gay couples for their social media posts

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