LGBT rights in Tajikistan

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Tajikistan (orthographic projection).svg
StatusLegal since 1998[1]
Gender identityTransgender people can change legal gender following surgery
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsNo

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Tajikistan face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Tajikistan, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to heterosexual married couples.[1]

LGBT people tend to face frequent discrimination, harassment and violence from the authorities and the Muslim-majority public.[2]

Legality of same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Both male and female same-sex sexual activity have been legal in Tajikistan since 1998.[1] The age of consent is 16, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.[3]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Tajikistan does not recognize same-sex unions.

Gender identity and expression[edit]

Transgender people "face a lot of stigma and discrimination" in Tajikistan.[4]

Under Tajik law, transgender people may change their legal gender on their passport if they provide a medical statement that they have undergone sex reassignment surgery. In practice, however, the lack of awareness, coupled with corruption and bureaucracy, means the process can be far more difficult. As of 2014, they have only been two gender change operations in Tajikistan; the first in 2001 and the second in January 2014.[4]

Living conditions[edit]

Even though the law does not prohibit same-sex sexual activity, the actual situation in the country is not favourable for LGBT people. This is mostly due to local religion and beliefs, as well as outside influence. Harassment from police and the public is common.[5][6][7] In 2017, the authorities drew up an "official list" of LGBT citizens following two state operations named "Morality" and "Purge".[2][8]

Public opinion[edit]

Islamic religious leaders have significant influence on the position of Tajik society on LGBT topics.[9] The Supreme Mufti of Tajikistan Saidmukarram Abdulkodirzoda has publicly condemned same-sex relations, calling them a "disaster". In addition, he condemned countries that have legalized same-sex marriages, and spoke out against human rights activists and laws to protect LGBT people from discrimination.[9][10][11]

A number of Tajik psychologists and doctors consider homosexuality to be a form of addiction comparable to drug addiction and alcoholism, and provide "cure methods".[12][13] These are considered pseudoscience by the World Health Organisation, however. There are several reported cases of disrespectful treatment to LGBT-patients by medical staff.[14]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Since 1998)
Equal age of consent Yes (Since 1998)
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
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military No
Right to change legal gender Yes (Requires surgery)[15]
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSM allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c State-sponsored Homophobia A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults Archived 11 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b "Tajikistan authorities draw up list of gay and lesbian citizens". The Guardian. 17 October 2017.
  3. ^ National Laws – Legislation of Interpol member states on sexual offences against children – Tajikistan
  4. ^ a b Transgender in Tajikistan
  5. ^ Leach, Anna. "Tajikistan rife with homophobia". Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  6. ^ Sodiqov, Alexander. "Tajikistan Remains 'Hell for Gays'".
  7. ^ "UPR Submission on Sexual Rights in Tajikistan" (PDF). October 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  8. ^ "There's a rising global tide of crackdown on LGBT communities". The Washington Post. 20 October 2017.
  9. ^ a b Би-би-си, Анора Саркорова Русская служба; Душанбе. "Двойная жизнь таджикских геев и лесбиянок". BBC News Русская служба (in Russian). Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  10. ^ Би-би-си, Анора Саркорова Русская служба; Душанбе. "Таджикский муфтий осудил геев во время проповеди". BBC News Русская служба (in Russian). Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Верховный муфтий Таджикистана осудил гомосексуализм". 10 February 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Tajikistan: LGBT Community Stuck in the Shadows". Eurasianet. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  13. ^ "A Closeted Life For Tajik Sexual Minorities". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Eid Hr – A blog about all sorts of discrimination towards minorities". Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  15. ^ Masci, David (11 February 2014). "Gay rights in Russia and the former Soviet republics". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 11 December 2016.