IE SOGI refers to the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
Oman has a hereditary monarchy, and power is concentrated in the hands of Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said, who has ruled since 1970. The regime restricts most political rights and civil liberties and imposes criminal penalties for criticism and dissent. Oman’s legal system has a historical basis in British colonial-era laws and a religious basis in Sharia Law. Both the historical context and the existence of Sharia law criminalize same-sex relations and create a particularly restrictive environment for the rights of LGBTIQ people. In 2018, a new Penal Code was instituted containing harsher penalties for crossdressing, consensual same-sex relations, public acts of indecency and the publication of or transmission of words, images, or programs contrary to the public order of morals. Although these codes are not strictly enforced, they are an indication of increased stigmatization and discrimination against LGBTIQ people. Public opinion of LGBTIQ people in Oman is negative. Most Omanis hold conservative religious beliefs, and view LGBITQ identities as un-Islamic and immoral. Consequently, LGBTIQ individuals are subjected to harassment, discrimination, and family rejection. Social norms stigmatize both LGBTIQ people and their families. OutRight was not able to find any LGBTIQ organizations, even informal ones, in Oman.