As of December 10th, 2018, 76 Crimes determined that 74 countries worldwide still prohibit same-sex relations and do not recognize gay marriages, and two countries- although they do not illegalize homosexuality – repeatedly enforce homophobic propaganda; Russia and Lithuania.

Many of these countries are located in what the west views to be the more conservative and traditional regions of the world such as Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Many of these countries are either former colonies of European and American powers or follow religious law which blatantly outlaws homosexual acts. Palestine and the Cook Islands are territories with anti-gay laws which are not recognized as autonomous states.

Certain countries had their anti-LGBTQIA+ laws imposed by colonial powers and are only now freeing themselves of the imperial legislature which will take years to rectify. It is likely that same-sex couples will take years to assimilate into society, and may never be accepted by the most conservative groups in communities.

Majority of the countries which have criminalized being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community participate in state-sponsored homophobia, which involves public broadcasts of anti-gay propaganda.

While certain countries allow for gay sexual activity, they do not recognize same-sex unions and marriages, and oftentimes forbid same-sex couples from adopting children.

Of the 74 countries, only a few seem to be geared towards changing these oppressive laws. Many seem to be content with their repression and despotism.

America identifies as a country which has decriminalized homosexuality, yet 13 of the most conservative states have anti-LGBTQIA+ legislature in place. Likewise, Russia claims to have legalized same-sex unions, but Chechnya’s police force is actively involved in imprisoning individuals who they believe to be gay or bisexual.

And the question remains: when will oppressive leaders and lawmakers realize that one cannot be persecuted for one’s identity?