Islamic Republic of Iran

At a glance

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



Iran’s penal code bans all sexual activity outside of marriage. The death penalty can be applied for same-sex relations. The law is actively enforced and generates persistent hostile treatment of LGBTIQ people in Iran.

Iran is formally accepting of transgender people who have undergone gender confirmation surgery; however, transgender Iranians are still subject to violence, discrimination, social rejection, and harassment.

Iran has strict censorship laws, which are used to ban LGBTIQ related media and communication, including online. Hate speech by politicians and influential religious leaders against LGBTIQ people is common. Portrayal in the media is overwhelmingly derogatory and negative. LGBITQ identities are seen as un-Islamic and immoral. Due to these commonly held beliefs, LGBTIQ individuals are subjected to harassment, violence, discrimination, and family rejection.