At a glance

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



Zimbabwe’s Criminal Code, Section 73, criminalizes same-sex relations under “sodomy” and “indecent act” clauses. Same-sex marriage is banned by the constitution, and no explicit legal protections exist for LGBTIQ people. The government has carried out a long-lasting campaign against recognition of the human rights of LGBTIQ people. This has given the green light, while the Criminal Code has provided legal cover, for targeting, arrest, extortion and harassment of LGBTIQ people, particularly GBIQ men and transgender women at the hands of police officers and government officials. Violence and harassment at the hands of private individuals is also an issue.

Societal opinion of LGBTIQ people is largely negative and LGBTIQ issues are highly taboo, with the exception of the younger generation in urban areas. LGBTIQ people are often rejected by their family. The media depicts the LGBTIQ community negatively and sensationalizes LGBTIQ issues. Politicians regularly use anti-LGBTIQ hate speech, while religious organizations campaign against the human rights of LGTBIQ people.