56 pct of world's countries allow LGBT groups to register without threat of arrest, says report
Registration is formally possible in Singapore, but the report noted that attempts by civil society groups to apply for authorization are frequently blocked.
Just 56 percent of the world's countries allow LGBT groups to organize without the threat of arrest or state harassment, further marginalizing gay organizations from mainstream society, according to a report published on Tuesday.
"This is a way of hindering and trying to stop any kind of progress or push for equality that LGBT groups want to do," Maria Sjödin, deputy executive director of OutRight, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The survey found that in 30 countries, including Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Somalia, it was impossible to find any officially registered LGBT organizations at all.
Denying citizens the right to organize is a "way for governments to make it so hard that I guess they hope that people will just give up," Sjödin added.
In countries such as Nigeria, homosexuality is illegal, making the process of applying even more problematic.
"It is impossible to get an office space and you cannot ask for donations publicly as you are not a legal entity."
Budding gay activists instead register under more generic umbrella titles, such as women's or human rights groups, Chong said. But the consequences for countries that outlaw civil society groups altogether could be harsh, she added.
"We are talking about suicide, depression and substance abuse – and violence. It's always there, but just not seen and not in the public eye," she said.
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