Until 2003 the legislation of Armenia followed the corresponding Section 121 from the Former Soviet Union, which only specifically criminalized anal intercourse between men. Lesbian and non-penetrative gay sex between consenting adults was not explicitly mentioned in the law as being a criminal offence.
The specific article of the penal code was 116, dating back to 1936, and the maximum penalty was 5 years. There were 7 prosecutions in 1996 and 4 in 1997 under this law (Amnesty International 1999 Report on Armenia); and 4 in 1999 (Opinion of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Council of Europe on the accession of Armenia - Doc. 8756 - 6 June 2000).