LGBT rights in Belarus

LGBT Rights In Belarus

LGBT Rights
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LGBT rights in Belarus

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Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Belarus, but households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.

Same-sex sexual activity was legalised in Belarus in 1994, however lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Belarus are still severely limited.

History of gay rights in Belarus

While a part of the Soviet Union, Belarus used the laws common for all Soviet republics. As such, homosexuality was considered illegal. Sexual relationships between females have never been illegal in Belarus, while those between males were frequently prosecuted. Words such as homosexuality or gay were not present in any old Soviet code and the Soviet juridical system used the term sodomy.

Article 119-1 of the previous Criminal Code of Belarus set out that homosexual men having voluntary sexual contact were to be convicted to prison terms up to five years. In 1989 nearly 50 Belarusian citizens were fired due to their sexual orientation. A special department was set up in the KGB to combat homosexuality. The secret services used blackmail to recruit agents from the gay community. This prevented the possibility of the emergence of any gay organization, or print media designed specifically for sexual minorities. Nonetheless, gay people met in the streets, toilets, railway stations, or gathered in private flats or houses.

In 1992 a newspaper named Sex-AntiAIDS-Plus was founded through help provided by a...
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