UN organization calls for decriminalization of same-sex relationships

More than 60 countries and jurisdictions criminalize homosexuality.
Gay pride parade in Brazil.
Posted at 12:33 PM, Jun 06, 2023

The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS is calling for countries to end the criminalization of same-sex relationships. 

UNAIDS released a statement in honor of Pride Month, saying governments should repeal the "discriminatory laws and policies."

More than 60 countries and jurisdictions criminalize homosexuality, according to the nonprofit organization Human Dignity Trust.

In May, Uganda's president signed anti-gay legislation into law, which calls for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality." According to The Associated Press, "aggravated homosexuality" includes the act of sex involving people infected with HIV. 

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Sen. Ted Cruz calls Uganda homosexuality law 'horrific' and 'wrong'

Cruz made the remarks on Twitter after the president of Uganda signed legislation in a crackdown on LGBTQ people in the African nation.


UNAIDS was launched in an effort to end the stigma around HIV and AIDS.

"When marginalized communities are criminalized or stigmatized, their vulnerability to HIV infection increases, and their access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support services is obstructed," the organization said.

In May, Brazil was the latest country to the organization's action plan to eliminate HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

"By joining this initiative, Brazil reaffirms its commitment to defending human rights, promoting social inclusion, and eliminating barriers to access prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing response to HIV," said Luisa Cabal, regional director of UNAIDS in Latin America.

With the addition of Brazil, UNAIDS said 35 countries are officially part of the cause.