The gay community has made great strides in recent years. There are more anti-discrimination laws being passed, same-sex marriages being recognized and Pride Parades openly celebrating what was once in the closet. Even the Pope seems to be toying with more tolerant attitudes towards homosexuals. However, LGBT acceptance is certainly not a universal mindset. In fact, there are close to 80 countries where homosexuality is officially illegal. In the case of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mauritania, the Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia, homosexual acts are actually punishable by death. Russia has recently been in the spotlight for its anti gay propaganda, so LGBT travelers know to avoid a trip (or at least to be covert about their orientation) there. But there are other holiday hot-spots you might not know have anti gay laws on the books and homophobic sentiment in the streets. Here are 12 popular tourist destinations that are surprisingly anti gay. We’re not necessarily saying don’t go there, but LGBT travelers need to be aware and cautious if they do.
Bob Marley may have sung about One Love, but this laid-back tropical island paradise is one of the least gay friendly tourist destinations in the world. Its laws include one that gives 10 years’ imprisonment for anyone convicted of the “abominable crime of buggery”. Murders and violent acts against homosexuals are on the rise, including the killing of a prominent gay activist this past May. Anti gay lyrics are being spouted by some of the nation’s top reggae stars. In a 2006 Time Magazine headline, Jamaica was declared the “most homophobic place on Earth”. LGBT travelers should only go on there on the QT.