Same-sex relationships are now banned in fewer countries, and more states than ever have anti-LGBT+ hate crime legislation, but violence against LGBT+ is still common the world over.

Sexual activity between members of the same sex is a crime in 72 countries, down from 92 in 2006. Same-sex marriage is now legal in 23 countries, while 43 nations have laws against hate crimes relating to race and sexual orientation.

The findings are the result of research by The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

One of the authors of the report, Aengus Carroll, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation: “(Anti-LGBT+) hate crimes are being really noticed in the world. So protections for people who … are hurt on the basis of sexual orientation are increasing.”

Credit: ILGA

Although the report notes these advances, there are still places in the world where being openly gay could result in death. There are eight countries in the world, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Sudan, where gay sex could result in the death penalty.

“There’s nowhere in the world at the moment where I would say that LGBT people would feel super safe. Absolutely none,” said Carroll.

The report also addresses the ongoing situation in Chechnya, where horrifying accounts of brutality and killings have emerged over the last month, after Novaya Gazeta reported that over 100 gay and bisexual men aged 16-50 had been detained by authorities over the last few months.

Renato Sabbadini, ILGA’s executive director, said: “The ongoing case of Chechnya offers us the most recent, horrific example of such abuses.

“Survivors have expressed fears that the social media accounts of men perceived to be gay or bisexual are being hacked and used to identify and contact others who have not yet been arrested.”

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