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Country Overview


At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?


Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?


Legal Gender Recognition Possible?


LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?


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Same-sex relations between men continue to be criminalized in Turkmenistan in a Penal Code left over from the Soviet Union era. Although this law does not explicitly mention transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, law enforcement officials often conflate gender identity with sexual orientation. As such, this law is also used to target transgender women, and the government strongly suppresses civil society space. There have been reports of police physically and verbally attacking LGBTIQ individuals. Police and medical personnel subject people detained for same-sex relations to forced anal examinations, ostensibly to find evidence of “homosexual conduct.” “Homosexuality” is considered a mental disorder; punishment may include placement in a psychiatric institution to be “cured.” Societal opinion of the LGBTIQ community is negative. The media depicts the LGBTIQ community negatively and sensationalizes LGBTIQ issues, contributing to the pervasive anti-LGBTIQ sentiment in Turkmenistan. LGBTIQ people face violence, harassment, and discrimination and are often rejected by their families. 


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