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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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In Iraq, discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are widespread, and there is little space for public support of LGBTIQ people. High-level government officials and religious leaders have made public statements against homosexuality as immoral. Although same-sex relations are not currently banned, other laws can be used to target LGBTIQ people, and there have been reports of the death penalty being used against people for engaging in same-sex sexual intimacy. Armed groups have targeted LGBTIQ people with rape, torture, and extrajudicial killings. These acts are often perpetrated with impunity with no recourse for survivors. LGBTIQ people also regularly face violence and rejection from their families. As a result, LGBTIQ people are forced to remain invisible or risk persecution in both public and private spheres. Women who are lesbian, bisexual, queer, and/or transgender remain especially hidden. In September 2022, the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq proposed a bill that would criminalize LGBTIQ activism and the “promotion” of homosexuality, and there have already been reports of LGBTIQ activists being interrogated, threatened, and arrested. 


Global Impact

Sub-Saharan Africa

Outright supports LGBTIQ organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa and works with mainstream human rights organizations to respect human rights and influence positive changes in laws, policies, attitudes and beliefs that cause discrimination against LGBTIQ people.

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United Nations

Our work at the United Nations centers around advocating for the advancement of the rights of LGBTIQ people.

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Our work in Asia promotes acceptance of sexual and gender diversity at all levels of society.

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Middle East and North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa, we partner with local groups in various countries as part of our international solidarity work. We also work with our local partners on different topics through capacity building, advocacy, research and holistic security.

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Europe and Central Asia

Outright International partners with activists to fight for an end to human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in Europe and Central Asia, where most of our work involves emergency responses to harassment, discrimination, violence, and most recently, Russia’s brutal and expanded invasion of Ukraine.

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Our work in the Americas continues to build on the fundamental and positive transformation of human rights protections in recent years. We partner with groups in the Caribbean that focus on ending gender-based violence and eradicating discrimination against trans people.

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Our work in the Pacific aims to increase the visibility of activists, respond to human rights emergencies, and actively bridge local, regional, and international activism to achieve equality and justice.

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Human Rights Research

Since 1990, we have partnered with activists from all over the world to produce hundreds of groundbreaking reports.

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