Iraq debates law on death penalty for same-sex relationships

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09/07/2023

The Iraqi politician who introduced the bill into parliament is absolutely certain: Any behavior that deviates from heterosexuality is a danger to his country. This is why, in mid-August, Raad al-Maliki introduced a bill that would amend Iraq’s “Law on Combatting Prostitution” from 1988 to make same-sex relations a crime, alongside any kind of expression of transgender identity. Should al-Maliki’s bill be passed, same-sex relationships in Iraq would be punishable by death or long prison terms. The bill also pertains to transgender women and sets a penalty of up to three years in jail or a fine of up to €7,100 ($7,700) for anyone who “imitates a woman.” The latter is defined as wearing makeup or women’s clothing or “appearing as a woman” in public.

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