Iraq

AT A GLANCE

Same Sex
Relations
Legal?

NO

de facto criminalization

Legal Gender
Recognition
Possible?

NO

LGBTI Orgs
Able to
Register?

NO

Actions Related
to SOGI at
the UN

2016, 2019: Opposed IE SOGI

 

Overview

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 through killing campaigns. LGBTIQ people also regularly face violence and rejection from their families.