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LGBT rights in Chad

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Chad may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal in the country. Before the new penal code took effect in August 2017, homosexual activity between adults had never been criminalised. There is no legal protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

StatusIllegal since 2017[1][2]
PenaltyUp to 3 years imprisonment with fines
Gender identityUnknown
Discrimination protectionsNo[3]
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsNo

Law regarding same-sex sexual activityEdit

Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Chad since 2017. Previous to that there were no restrictions.[4] A bill introduced in 2014 aimed to impose up to 20 years imprisonment for consensual same-sex acts (proposed Article 361bis).[4] However, on 12 December 2016, the National Assembly passed an updated penal code criminalising both male and female same-sex sexual activity by a vote of 111 to 1 (with 4 abstentions), but classing acts between consenting adults as a misdemeanour offence.[5] On 8 May 2017, the new penal code was enacted by the President Idriss Deby.

In supporting the law, the former Prime Minister Delwa Kassiré Coumakoye argued a religious motivation: "Homosexuality is condemned by all religions. We do not have to forgive something that God himself rejects because Westerners have said this or that."[6] His comment was criticized by some LGBT historians who controversially maintain that homophobia was brought to Chad by colonialism, despite the existence of Islamic law in the nation prior to imperial rule. These historians believe that homosexuality was quite commonplace and accepted before the arrival of the Europeans.[7] The US-based Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights called on the President of Chad not to enact the changes to the law, which is linked to a rise in homophobia in Africa in response to the increased visibility and assertiveness of gay lifestyles and politics in Africa, and the engagement of fundamentalist christians. This includes the financing of anti-gay campaigns by American evangelical churches.[8][9]

It became law on 1 August 2017.[2]

Chapter II on "Other offenses against decency" of Title VII (relating to sexual offences) of the Penal Code, provides as follows:

Article 354. Everyone who has sex with persons of the same sex is liable to imprisonment for three months to two years and a fine of between 50,000 and 500,000 francs.[Note 1]

Chapter III on "Offenses of a sexual nature committed against minors" of Title VIII (relating to offenses against the person or the status of the child) of the Penal Code, provides as follows:

Article 360. Anyone who, without violence, maintains a sexual relationship or practices sexual touching on a person of the same sex aged less than eighteen (18) years will be punished with imprisonment of one (1) to three (3) years and a fine of 100,000 to 500,000 francs.[Note 2]

Sexual orientationEdit

Article 350(i) of the Penal Code provides imprisonment of ten to twenty years when the rape is committed because of the sexual orientation of the victim.[1]

Recognition of same sex relationshipsEdit

There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples.

Living conditionsEdit

The U.S. Department of State's 2010 Human Rights Report found that "there were no known lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations. There were few reports of violence or discrimination against LGBT persons, in large part because most such persons were discreet about sexual orientation due to social and cultural strictures against homosexuality."[3]

Summary tableEdit

Same-sex sexual activity legal   (Since 2017) Up to 3 years in prison with fines
Equal age of consent  
Anti-discrimination laws in hate speech and violence  
Anti-discrimination laws in employment  
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services  
Same-sex marriage  
Recognition of same-sex couples  
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples  
Joint adoption by same-sex couples  
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military  
Right to change legal gender  
Access to IVF for lesbians  
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples  
MSMs allowed to donate blood  

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The official text of Article 354 in French (Code Pénal Tchad, page 20):

    Est puni d'un emprisonnement de trois mois à deux ans et d'une amende e 50.000 à 500.000 francs, quiconque a des rapports sexuels avec les personnes de son sexe.

  2. ^ The official text of Article 360 in French:

    Sera puni d'un emprisonnement de un (1) á trois (3) ans et d'une amende de 100.000 à 500.000 francs, quiconque, sans violence, entretient une relation sexuelle ou practique des attouchments de nature sexuelle sur une personne de son sexe âgée de moins de dix-huit (18) ans.


  1. ^ a b "Loi n°001/PR/2017 Portant Code Pénal (Part 1)" (PDF). Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Loi n°001/PR/2017 Portant Code Pénal (Part 2)" (PDF). Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b "CHAD" (PDF).
  4. ^ a b Mendos, Lucas Ramón (2019). State-Sponsored Homophobia (PDF). Geneva: ILGA. p. 316.
  5. ^ "Chad passes law to make gay sex illegal". Gay Star News. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  6. ^ "African Nation Chad Is the 77th Country To Criminalize Homosexuality - Towleroad Gay News". 19 December 2016.
  7. ^ Smith, David (23 February 2014). "Why Africa is a hotbed of homophobia". the Guardian.
  8. ^ Smith, David (22 September 2014). "Chad becomes 37th African state to seek ban on homosexuality". the Guardian.
  9. ^ Project, The GroundTruth (12 June 2015). "Anti-LGBT Groups Making Inroads Across East Africa".

External linksEdit