At a glance

  • Same-sex relations: de facto criminalization
  • Legal gender recognition: not possible
  • Registration of LGBTIQ organizations: not possible
  • Actions related to SOGI at UN: opposed IE SOGI in 2016 and 2019



Iraq is a conservative religious country, in which LGBTIQ identities are viewed as “un-Islamic” and immoral. Although same-sex relations were decriminalized in 2003, de facto criminalization exists as the country’s public indecency laws are used to target LGBTIQ people. Even though Iraq’s legal system does not defer to the Sharia courts, Sharia law holds symbolic and moral value, and is used by non-State actors, including Sharia judges and militia groups, to target and even execute LGBTIQ people for same-sex relations. ISIS, armed groups, and the Iraqi government have targeted LGBTIQ people for killing campaigns. LGBTIQ people also regularly face violence and rejection from their families.