Gay couples welcome to only one African country, plus 72 others they shouldn’t visit

FILE: A lesbian couple hold hands during the annual Gay Pride rally in Tel Aviv

Same-sex couples who chose to travel to Africa and other countries across the world risk safety threats, criminal charges, time spent languishing in foreign prisons or even the death penalty.

This is because many countries continue to treat homosexuality as a crime especially in Africa and the Middle East.

Australia shares increasingly tolerant attitudes towards homosexuality, but it’s not an attitude shared by 72 other countries and territories across the world where identifying as gay can be downright dangerous.

A world map, identifying danger zones and national attitudes towards homosexuality, has been released to give LGBTI travellers a safety guide when heading overseas.

Same-sex relationships are criminalised in 72 countries and territories worldwide, dozens of which can enforce jail time and eight can even apply the death penalty.

Bali is an Aussie holiday hot-spot, and Indonesia’s proposal for a total ban on gay sex puts same-sex visitors increasingly at risk as the country continues to treat homosexuality as a crime with sex-same marriage remaining illegal.

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In Africa, gay couples can feel completely safe in only one country, South Africa. That is the only country on the African continent that allows same-sex marriage.

A world map, identifying countries and territories according to how tolerant national attitudes were towards LBGTI couples, was released by Travel Insurance Direct.

The map is shaded from red – illegal or intolerant attitudes towards homosexuality – to purple -countries where same-sex marriage has been legalised.

South Africa is the only African country where same-sex marriage is allowed

The countries identified as the biggest danger zones for LGBTI travellers where homosexuality is criminalised and outlawed are shaded in red on the map.

These include large parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and includes Australia’s nearest neighbour, Papua New Guinea.

In these areas, same-sex acts can result in imprisonment. In Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, homosexuality is punishable by death under sharia law.

The same applies in parts of Somalia and northern Nigeria.

Countries shaded in orange, which include travel destinations such as Vietnam and Madagascar, do not outlaw against homosexuality but are considered intolerant towards LGBTI travellers.

Same-sex relations are criminalised under laws covering sodomy, buggery and ‘acts against nature’.

‘They have never enacted legislation specifically outlawing it,’ Phil Sylvester a travel expert from Travel Insurance Direct told

Mr Sylvester described the legal situation as ‘not officially illegal’.

“[Travellers can] expect discrimination, prejudice and harsh treatment by officials and society as a whole. For lack of an official law these places would be marked red, too,” he said.

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