93 nations in the world still legally punish homosexuality. In 7 of these - Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Nigeria, Mauritania - gays and lesbians are punished with the death penalty.
Homosexuality has a long way to go in the United States, but an even tougher, bleaker road to pass through in other parts of the world. Particularly in Africa and the Middle East where the Islamic law is held in extreme rigor, homosexuality is dealt with as an outright crime and is sometimes even punishable by death. Here are the worst forms of government-mandated punishment for simply being homosexual in different parts of the world.
Gays are not only put to death in several countries for their sexual orientation, but are afterward, to add insult to injury, also denied a proper burial.
In 2008, a much-publicized gay wedding in the capital of Senegal and a major international Islamic summit held in Senegal together (at the same time, kind of like CES and that p**n convention every January in Vegas) had so much effect on the government (read: offended the government so much), that the entire country started to crack down on actions deemed un-Islamic.
As you can guess, homosexuality was a no-go.
Homosexuals were targeted and blamed as the cause of difficulties within the country because they were deviating from the Islamic faith. As more and more people sided with this belief, more and more homosexuals were tossed to the wayside. Literally: tossed and left there.
Serigne Mbaye is one example of a recipient of that kind of treatment. After he grew ill and passed away, his children wanted to bury him in his village. However, because of widespread rumors that Mbaye was gay, no cemetery would accept him. His corpse was rejected repeatedly by every cemetery that his children had no choice but to bury him on the side of the road, using their own hands as shovels. In the end, the grave was too shallow and the dirt put over Mbaye's body could not sufficiently cover him.
And get this. When the decomposing body was later discovered, Mbaye's children were arrested and...charged with improperly burying their father. Not ironic, but cruel.
In 2006, Archbishop Peter Akinola of the Church of Nigeria got behind a new law in Nigeria that allows the government to prosecute newspapers that publish information about same-sex unions. He also showed his support for prosecuting religious organizations that permit same-sex unions. Now, this goes a beyond not being able to get married, and not being able to repeat the same benefits as heterosexuals. This means that the government is making a concerted effort to track you down.
With one hand controlling the press and the other monitoring religious faith, Akinola's actions are another example of the most basic freedoms stifled by conservative bigotry.
The Gambia also follows suit with little to no freedom of speech for gay media.
Six journalists were arrested in 2009, including a nursing mother of an eight month old baby, for merely running a press release arguing against President Jammeh (a friendly leader mentioned in the second entry, if friendly means cutting people's heads off).
There are also trails of unresolved murder cases, disappearances and forced dismissals of editors of certain media publications.
Surprisingly, the Nigerian government is a Federal Republic and is actually modeled after the United States.
Though they are nowhere near as liberal as a "democratic country" should be, they are farther along with their People's Democratic Party of Nigeria than the other countries.
Even so, there is absolutely no democratic freedom for homosexuals. Nigerian homosexuals are not even allowed to gather together and petition to the government for what they believe are their rights.
Nigeria is just one of many countries that do not give