An introduction to Belarusian attitudes to homosexuality, and what gay travellers can expect in Belarus
Belarus views itself as a tolerant culture. The country’s younger generation are developing a more open and tolerant view of homosexuality.
But many Belarusians retain a more traditional attitude towards homosexuality. You won’t yet find quite the same relaxed attitude to gay and lesbian travellers that you might expect in Western Europe.
Gay couples are therefore advised to avoid public displays of affection, and to book twin rooms rather than doubles.
During Soviet times, homosexuality was punishable by five years in prison. In 1994 the Government decriminalised same-sex partnerships between consenting couples.
Some homophobia and prejudice remain, however, and there is no state support for gay organisations or groups.
The Russian Orthodox Church is influential in Belarus and claims that 68% of the Belarusian people follow its teachings. It takes a strict traditional line on homosexuality.