Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

At a glance

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



Under Libya’s Criminal Code, all sexual activity outside of a lawful marriage is prohibited. Same-sex relations are explicitly prohibited by the same law. Currently the law is obsolete, as since the Arab Spring and the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has experienced tremendous political upheaval, lawlessness, and violence. LGBTIQ Libyans have been particularly vulnerable as rival governments, militia groups, and religious extremist groups vie for power throughout the county. In this environment, LGBTIQ people have been subject to arbitrary arrest and execution. Due to the political unrest, there has been little LGBTIQ activism. LGBTIQ identities are stigmatized in Libya and are often framed as “un-Islamic” and “immoral,” leading to social rejection, discrimination, and violence by private individuals and organized groups. For this reason, LGBTIQ Libyans generally remain in the closet and only connect with each other through the internet.