I have one Azerbaijani visitor to this site: stories4hotbloodedlesbians.com. Naturally, I went on the internet to get its exact location in relationship to Europe and the Russian Republic (which once controlled Azerbaijan. I am thrilled to have this visitor, proving once again that ‘we are everywhere.’
I am posting a very short article (hopefully getting it right) about homosexuality in this country.
In 2000, the parliament lifted a Soviet-era law that criminalized anal intercourse between men, previously punishable by up to seven years in prison. Lesbianism and non-anal sex between men were also specifically mentioned as crimes, and each could carry up to three years in jail. Though Azerbaijan gained its independence in 1991, following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, it took nearly a decade to repeal the old laws, and their demise had less to do with any cultural acceptance of homosexuality than it did with international politics.At the time, Azerbaijan had applied for membership to the Council of Europe, a political and human rights organization. To gain entry the government undertook a series of suggested reforms, including erasing anti-gay laws. Currently, there are no laws prohibiting homosexuality in Azerbaijan.
This is primary a Shite Muslim practicing country, having the largest Shite community outside of Iran. It is a secular country and in Baku, its capital city, the Mosques call the faithful to pray five times in the day. However, tourists have reported not seeing a single woman with any type of veil or head covering. Alcohol is plentiful and widely consumed. Gays and lesbians interviewed say that it is not religious prejudice they fear, but from the culture, where homosexuality is often unknown outside of big cities.
Male gays have a cruising area in the capital city (Baku) that are not dangerous, but many gays and lesbians yearn for more bars to meet each other. There is on night spot 1033 club, but that draws a mixed crowd. Many gays and lesbians use the internet to meet potential partners and friends.
It is my hope and dream that Azerbaijan learns more about European gay life and adapts to its openness. Meanwhile, in you are a Azerbaijan woman, we send our love to you. Be strong, be careful and be happy.
Just found out that Azerbaijan hosted the long running Eurovision Song Contest in May, 2013 and it was a time for homosexuals to protest. Believe it or not, this protest created a diplomatic upheaval between Iran and Azerbaijan regarding homosexuality.
See next blog for more information. And I have found some great Azerbaijan activists.
They need our support.