People living in Afghanistan face certain unique legal and social challenges. Homosexuality and cross-dressing are considered serious crimes in Afghanistan, possible punishment may include the death penalty. This is usually the case in rural parts of the country where local villagers take the law into their own hands.

When publicly discussed, homosexuality is often linked with prostitution and pedophilia and the level of awareness about sexual orientation or gender identity is limited.


Male to male relationships: Not legal

Punishments for male to male relationships: Imprisonment of less than 10 years

Female to female relationships: Not legal

Marriage and substitutes for marriage: No law

The Afghanistan Law of Marriages (1971) stipulates that a legal marriage must be two Muslim adults of the opposite sex, and that it must meet the rules of Islamic law. While the law does not explicitly address the issue of same-sex couples. Article 41 of the Marriage Law stipulates that where the law is silent on a particular issue, it shall be decided based on the principles of Islamic law. Hence, Afghanistan family law does not recognize same-sex marriages, civil unions or domestic partnerships. Likewise The Afghanistan Law on Marriages Weddings and Circumcision (1949) speaks of marriage as something between a Muslim man and woman and states that marriages must follow Islamic law.

As of 2009, no law exists in Afghanistan to address discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In response to foreign inquiries, the Afghan Social Democratic Party stated that it "favored an international effort to fight the AIDS-HIV pandemic, but that homosexuality and same-sex marriages are opposed by all great religions." No political party or interest group has expressed support for LGBT rights

More on the law of Afghanistan at

Legal incidents and social climate

Despite the negative social attitudes and legal prohibitions of LGBT people in Pakistan, there is an institutionalized form of bisexuality within Afghan culture. This occurs when boys are kidnapped to act as sexual slaves for adult men, typically in a militia, or when an adult man buys sexual favors from young boys with money or gifts. These activities are tolerated within Afghan culture because they are not perceived as being an expression of a LGBT-identity, but rather an expression of male power and dominance; as the boy in these situations is forced to assume the "female" role in the relationship.

LGBT organizations/networks

None found as of July 2012



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