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 – including same- sex relationship recognition.
In Brunei, Iran, Iraq, 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.
As of May 2016. same-sex sexual acts are illegal in 23 countries.
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, Brunei, Iran, and Yemen.]
Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Nepal, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Cyprus (excluding Northern Cyprus) are the most open to the LGBT community in Asia. Japan, Israel, Taiwan and Nepal are the major players in legislation.
In a UN General Assemby declaration for LGBT rights and/or sponsored the Human Rights Council’s 2011 resolution on LGBT rights, state parties were given a chance to express their support or opposition on the topic. Only Armenia, Georgia, Cyprus, Israel, South Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Thailand, and East Timor have expressed their support. State parties who expressed opposition are Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Maldives, North Korea, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Syria, Afghanistan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. Other Asian parties did not show support or opposition.
The first and only LGBT political party in the world, Ladlad, was established in the Philippines in 2003.