|Penalty||up to 2 years in prison (men only)|
|Recognition of relationships||No recognition of same-sex unions|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Turkmenistan face active discrimination and stigmatization. Turkmenistan is one of the only two post-Soviet states where male homosexual activity remains criminalised, along with Uzbekistan.
Homosexuality is institutionally perceived as a form of mental disorder.
Male homosexuality is explicitly illegal and sodomy — defined as sexual intercourse between men — is punishable for a maximum term of five years under the Turkmen Legal code (Chapter 18; Section 35); prior to the 2019 amendment, the limit was two years under the 1997 code. The investigations are grossly humiliating and involves torture by state and non-state actors, repeat prosecutions can incur a compulsory rehabilitation to psychiatric clinics. The law was however enforced rarely before the ascension of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow to presidency. The Turkmen SSR Code, first adopted in 1927 had far less detailed provisions.
No penal provisions exist for female homosexuality, who along with transsexuals are an invisible category in Turkmen law.
Turkmenistan has consistently rejected pleas to implement anti-discrimination legislation, despite being requested by multiple nations via three Universal Periodic Reviews. In dialogue with various wings of the United Nations, Turkmenistan has justified the discriminatory frameworks by arguing any deviations to be a potential threat to the fabric of Turkmen traditions and society.
In February 2021, the Turkmen Government noted to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights about intentions to "reconsider the reasoning of the article criminalizing consensual same-sex relations" and "study the option of introducing anti-discrimination legislation".
No civil society exists in Turkmenistan, media is entirely owned by the state, and conducting field-surveys is very difficult. All of these renders scarce, the availability of any surveillance data on LGBT rights and allied issues.
In October 2019, a gay doctor was tortured by the state-apparatus for a long span of time, before being temporarily disappeared. In May 2020, multiple well-known figures from the modelling industry were arrested on charges of homosexuality. Turkmen lesbians have been granted asylum in United States of America. Gays have been documented to have sought refuge in European Union.