LGBT rights in Uzbekistan

LGBT rights in Uzbekistan
  • Male: illegal
  • Female: not criminalised[1][2]
PenaltyUp to 3 years in jail[1]
Gender identityNo
Discrimination protectionsNone
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsNo recognition of same-sex unions

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Uzbekistan face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity between men is illegal in Uzbekistan. The punishment is up to three years in prison.[1] Uzbekistan is one of just three post-Soviet states in which male homosexual activity remains criminalised, along with Turkmenistan and Chechnya.[3]

Serious societal discrimination and abuse is directed towards LGBT persons, which includes mob violence, harassment, entrapment for the purpose of blackmail, and threats and use of violence. Despite the incidence of violence and intimidation, LGBT persons generally do not report these crimes to authorities for fear of further victimisation at their hands. There are reports of extortion by police, intimidation, arbitrary detention, assaults and other mistreatment of victims who have sought police assistance. Human rights violations by police also include torture, and severe beatings in detention. Vigilante attacks and mob violence, and other hate crimes, including murders, are targeted at LGBT individuals.[4]

The Uzbek government has dismissed the need for action to protect sexual minorities, with one official declaring that even if same-sex sexual activities were decriminalised, LGBT persons could not be kept safe. Community attitudes that fuel such anti-LGBT activity stem from the Uzbek "mentality", with their "religion, culture, and traditions" making "gay men and women" unacceptable in the country, according to the spokesperson.[2]

Legality of same-sex sexual activity

Consensual same-sex sexual activity between men is criminalised by Article 120 of Uzbek's criminal code (1994), laws inherited from the Soviet era:[1][5][6]

Besoqolbozlik, that is, voluntary sexual intercourse of two male individuals – shall be punished with imprisonment up to three years.

— § 120, Uzbek Penal Code 1994 (revised 2001)

Morality laws

Article 130 covers the distribution of pornographic materials. This provision and was strengthened in 2012:[7][8][relevant?]

Production with a purpose of demonstration and dissemination of, as well as demonstration and dissemination of obscene objects to persons under twenty-one of age committed after imposing of administrative penalty for the same actions – shall be punished with fine from one hundred to two hundreds minimal monthly wages or correctional labor up to three years.

— § 130, Uzbek Penal Code 1994 (amended 2001)

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal
  • No Illegal for males (Penalty: Up to 3 years in prison)
  • Yes Legal for females[1][2]
Equal age of consent No
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays, lesbians and bisexuals allowed to serve openly in the military No
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSM allowed to donate blood No
Conversion therapy banned No

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e ILGA (December 2020). State-Sponsored Homophobia: 2020 global legislation overview update (PDF) (Report). p. 139. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 December 2020. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (2021). "Section 6. Discrimination and Societal Abuses". 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Uzbekistan (Report). United States Department of State. The law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual conduct between men. Conviction is punishable by up to three years imprisonment. The law does not criminalize consensual same-sex sexual conduct between women.
  3. ^ Mole, Richard C. M. (2018). "Introduction to "Soviet and Post-Soviet Sexualities"". Slavic Review. 77 (1): 1–5. doi:10.1017/slr.2018.7. ISSN 0037-6779.
  4. ^ "Uzbekistan: Gay Men Face Abuse, Prison". Human Rights Watch. 23 March 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  5. ^ Penal Code 1994 (amended 2001), archived from the original on 18 January 2017, retrieved 25 March 2010 – via
  6. ^ "Ch 4: Sexual Crimes". Article 120—Besoqolbozlik, Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan (1994); No. 2012-XII of September 22, 1994 (PDF). Tashkent: The Supreme Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan. pp. 37–38. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  7. ^ "Ch 5: Crimes against family, youth and morality". Article 130—Production and Dissemination of Obscene Objects, Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan (1994); No. 2012-XII of 29 August 2001 (PDF). Tashkent: The Supreme Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan. pp. 39–40. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  8. ^ "Uzbekistan strengthens law to fight pornography". (in Russian and English).
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