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Nearly 3 billion people live in countries with anti-gay laws

For International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, new research reveals countries with anti-gay laws outrank countries with same-sex marriage by seven times
Nearly three billion people live in countries with homophobic laws.

Nearly three billion people live in countries where being gay is punishable with imprisonment, lashes or even death.

The International Lesbian and Gay Association have revealed 2.79 billion people live in countries where being gay is a crime.

This is seven times as many that live in countries with same-sex marriage.

But progress is being made.

More than 1.3 billion people live in countries with some form of legal protection against discrimination against LGBTI people, while 780 million people live in countries with same-sex marriage or civil unions.

More than a billion people live in countries barring workplace discrimination against LGBTs.

Renato Sabbadini, the executive director of ILGA, said more work still needs to be done.

‘Mapping the legal situation, albeit important and very informative in terms of measuring advances or regressions, constitutes only part of the picture,’ he said.

‘It is becoming more and more important to find the human and financial resources to start a mapping exercise in relation to violence based on [perceived] sexual orientation and gender identity, as the fact that a country adopts progressive legislation is not necessarily a guarantee of the fact that the lives of LGBTI people living in it will improve or cease to experience discrimination and violence.’

Andre Banks, the executive director of All Out, said the research highlighted the difficulties faced by gay people across the world.

He said: ‘As a lesbian, gay or trans person, there is nowhere you can go on the planet to be treated equally under the law. It is unfair and it is untenable.

‘But, the laws don't tell the whole story. Everywhere you go, there are millions of people who reject the notion that your ability to live openly and free from torture and discrimination should be an accident of your birth.

‘All Out is channelling millions into a global movement speaking out for love and equality.

‘We know that when more of us speak out, our friends and families and eventually our governments will join us. That's what will fuel the change in our cultures and our laws to protect every person, no matter where we are, who we are, or who we love.’

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