The Stance of Homosexuality in Bhutan

August 26, 2023


Bhutan, a small landlocked country located in the Eastern Himalayas, is known for its rich cultural heritage, majestic scenery, and its unique approach to measuring national happiness. As an increasingly progressive society, it is important to explore and understand the stance of homosexuality in Bhutan.

Historical and Cultural Perspective

Bhutan has a deeply rooted cultural and religious heritage. Buddhism, the predominant religion, plays a significant role in shaping societal norms and values. Historically, Bhutan has been a relatively conservative society with traditional gender roles. Homosexuality, like in many other countries, has been considered taboo and not openly discussed.

The Legal Status of Homosexuality

Currently, Bhutan does not have specific legislation criminalizing homosexuality. However, it is essential to note that Bhutanese law is based on the principles of the Constitution and religious values, which may indirectly impact the LGBTQ+ community.

Social Perception and Acceptance

The social perception and acceptance of homosexuality in Bhutan can be complex and vary across different communities and generations. While traditional views may still prevail in certain areas, urban centers and younger generations are exhibiting more openness and acceptance towards sexual diversity.

Efforts Towards LGBTQ+ Rights

Bhutanese civil society is gradually becoming more vocal about LGBTQ+ rights. Non-governmental organizations and activists are working towards creating awareness, combating discrimination, and fostering inclusivity. The government, too, has begun acknowledging the importance of protecting the rights of all citizens.

The LGBTQ+ Community's Experience

Living as an LGBTQ+ individual in Bhutan can be challenging due to societal pressure, stigma, and the lack of legal protections. Many LGBTQ+ Bhutanese individuals may face discrimination, harassment, or even rejection from their families and communities.

Moving Forward: Opportunities and Challenges

The evolving stance on homosexuality in Bhutan presents both opportunities and challenges. While there is still progress to be made, increasing awareness, education, and dialogue can contribute to promoting acceptance and equality.


Bhutan, like many other countries, is grappling with the issue of homosexuality and the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. By fostering inclusive dialogue, creating safe spaces, and combating discrimination, Bhutan has the potential to embrace a more accepting and inclusive society that respects and protects the rights of all its citizens.

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