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Homosexuality is illegal in Bhutan in the penal code of Bhutan (Art. 213 & 214) and is punishable with a prison sentence from between one month to less than one year.[1]

There are reportedly no known cases of anyone having ever been charged with this petty misdemeanor. Little is known about gay life in Bhutan, as Bhutanese culture does not share the typical western view of heterosexuality and homosexuality. Some people have even called it an openly bisexual society, though this is disputed.[2]

Bhutan Observer, one of the country's main weekly newspapers, has written quite a few articles on LGBT issues and these articles have elicited a lot of interest making them the most commented articles on the papers website.[3] Kuensel the government supported newspaper has referred to gays as being the "Third Gender" in an article discussing HIV programs targeted towards gay men.[4]

The United States Department of State issues this warning to LGBT travelers to Bhutan: "Although there are no laws that explicitly prohibit consensual same-sex sexual activity, laws against “sodomy or any other sexual conduct that is against the order of nature” exist. Under the penal code, a person can be imprisoned for as long as one year for engaging in such acts. One government official noted that prosecution under this law is rare, as criminal intent must be proven by the prosecution. There have been no reported cases of such charges."[5]

Recognition of same-sex couples[edit]

Currently, Bhutan does not provide any form of legal recognition for same-sex couples.

See also[edit]



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  2. Bhutan, Asia
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