HomeForeignNew Iraq Law Bans Same-Sex Couples, Transgender

New Iraq Law Bans Same-Sex Couples, Transgender

Iraq’s parliament has passed a bill that criminalises same-sex relationships with jail terms of between 10 and 15 years.

Transgender people could also be sent to prison for between one and three years under the new law.

Supporters of the changes say they will help to uphold religious values in the country.

Rights groups say they are a further black mark on Iraq’s record of violations against LGBT people.

Those who promote homosexuality or prostitution, doctors who perform gender reassignment surgery, men who “intentionally” act like women and those who engage in “wife swapping” will also face prison terms under the new legislation.

A previous draft of the bill – an amendment to an anti-prostitution law that was passed in the late 1980s – had proposed capital punishment for same-sex relationships.

However, this was amended after facing opposition from the US and other Western countries.

MP Amir al-Maamouri told Shafaq News on Saturday that the new law was “a significant step in combating sexual deviancy given the infiltration of unique cases contradicting Islamic and societal values”.

Passing the bill had been postponed until after Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani’s visit to the US earlier this month, according to lawmaker Raed al-Maliki, who advanced the amendments.

“We didn’t want to impact the visit,” Mr al-Maliki told the AFP news agency, adding that it was “an internal matter and we do not accept any interference in Iraqi affairs”.



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