|LGBT rights worldwide|
|Caused by||Homophobia and transphobia|
|Goals||Increasing legal rights for LGBT people |
Increasing acceptance of LGBT people
Countering internalized homophobia and internalized transphobia
|Methods|| Civil resistance |
|Resulted in||Success at many of the aims|
Legalized same-sex marriage and other LGBT rights in some jursidictions
Continuing widespread homophobia and transphobia
|Same-sex intercourse legal|
|Marriage||Marriage recognized but not performed|
|Civil unions||Limited legal recognition|
|Same-sex unions not recognized||Laws restricting freedom of expression and association|
|Same-sex intercourse illegal|
|Life imprisonment||Death penalty|
|Support||States which supported the LGBT rights declaration in the General Assembly or on the Human Rights Council in 2008 or 2011|
|Oppose||States which supported an opposing declaration in 2008 and continued their opposition in 2011|
|Neither||States which did not support either declaration|
|Subsequent member||South Sudan, which was not a member of the United Nations in 2008|
|Non-member states||States that are not voting members of the United Nations|
Laws affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people vary greatly by country or jurisdiction — encompassing everything from the legal recognition of same-sex marriage to the death penalty for homosexuality.
A lesbian is a homosexual woman. The word lesbian is also used for women in relation to their sexual identity or sexual behavior regardless of sexual orientation, or as an adjective to characterize or associate nouns with female homosexuality or same-sex attraction.
Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term was originally used to mean "carefree", "cheerful", or "bright and showy".
Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex. Some transgender people identify as transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another. Transgender – often shortened as trans – is also an umbrella term: in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex, it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine. Other definitions of transgender also include people who belong to a third gender, or else conceptualize transgender people as a third gender. Infrequently, the term transgender is defined very broadly to include cross-dressers, regardless of their gender identity.
Laws that affect LGBT people include, but are not limited to, the following:
A same-sex relationship is a relationship between persons of the same sex and can take many forms, from romantic and sexual, to non-romantic homosocially-close relationships. The term is primarily associated with gay and lesbian relationships. Same-sex marriage refers to the institutionalized recognition of such relationships in the form of a marriage; civil unions may exist in countries where same-sex marriage does not.
Same-sex marriage is the marriage of two persons of the same sex or gender, entered into in a civil or religious ceremony.
A civil union is a legally recognized arrangement similar to marriage, created primarily as a means to provide recognition in law for same-sex couples. Civil unions grant most or all of the rights of marriage except the title itself. Around the world, developed democracies began establishing civil unions in the late 1990s, often developing them from less formal domestic partnerships, which grant only some of the rights of marriage. In the majority of countries that established these unions in laws, they have since been either supplemented or replaced by same-sex marriage. Civil unions are viewed by LGBT rights campaigners as a "first step" towards establishing same-sex marriage, as civil unions are viewed by supporters of LGBT rights as a "separate but equal" or "second class" status. While civil unions are often established for both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples, in a number of countries they are available to same-sex couples only.
Notably, as of 2018, 25 countries, all of which being developed or developing democracies, recognized same-sex marriage. By contrast, as at 5 April 2019, 14 countries or jurisdictions, all of which are Islamic and ruled by sharia, impose the death penalty for homosexuality. These include Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, parts of Nigeria, parts of Somalia, parts of Syria and parts of Iraq.
Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique, and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative examples of Muhammad.
Sharia, Islamic law or Sharia law is a religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. In Arabic, the term sharīʿah refers to God's immutable divine law and is contrasted with fiqh, which refers to its human scholarly interpretations. The manner of its application in modern times has been a subject of dispute between Muslim fundamentalists and modernists.
The death penalty for homosexuality was historically implemented by a number of countries worldwide. It currently remains a legal punishment in several countries and regions, all of which have sharia-based criminal laws. Being prescribed by the law does not necessarily mean that the penalty is carried out in practice. Gays have also fallen victim to extrajudicial killings by state and non-state actors.
In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed its first resolution recognizing LGBT rights, following which the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report documenting violations of the rights of LGBT people, including hate crimes, criminalization of homosexual activity, and discrimination. Following the issuance of the report, the United Nations urged all countries which had not yet done so to enact laws protecting basic LGBT rights.
The United Nations Human Rights Council is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world. The UNHRC has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a regional group basis. The 38th session of the UNHRC began June 18, 2018. It ended on July 7, 2018. The headquarters of UNHRC is in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is a department of the Secretariat of the United Nations that works to promote and protect the human rights that are guaranteed under international law and stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. The office was established by the UN General Assembly on 20 December 1993 in the wake of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights.
A hate crime is a prejudice-motivated crime which occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership in a certain social group or race.
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According to Aristotle, although most "belligerent nations" were strongly influenced by their women, the Celts were unusual because their men openly preferred male lovers ( Politics II 1269b).H. D. Rankin in Celts and the Classical World notes that "Athenaeus echoes this comment (603a) and so does Ammianus (30.9). It seems to be the general opinion of antiquity." In book XIII of his Deipnosophists , the Roman Greek rhetorician and grammarian Athenaeus, repeating assertions made by Diodorus Siculus in the 1st century BC ( Bibliotheca historica 5:32), wrote that Celtic women were beautiful but that the men preferred to sleep together. Diodorus went further, stating that "the young men will offer themselves to strangers and are insulted if the offer is refused". Rankin argues that the ultimate source of these assertions is likely to be Poseidonius and speculates that these authors may be recording "some kind of bonding ritual ... which requires abstinence from women at certain times".
Aristotle was a philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, the founder of the Lyceum and the Peripatetic school of philosophy and Aristotelian tradition. Along with his teacher Plato, he is considered the "Father of Western Philosophy". His writings cover many subjects – including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics and government. Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him, and it was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry. As a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion.
Politics is a work of political philosophy by Aristotle, a 4th-century BC Greek philosopher.
Ammianus Marcellinus was a Roman soldier and historian who wrote the penultimate major historical account surviving from antiquity. His work, known as the Res Gestae, chronicled in Latin the history of Rome from the accession of the Emperor Nerva in 96 to the death of Valens at the Battle of Adrianople in 378, although only the sections covering the period 353–378 survive.
Throughout Hindu and Vedic texts, there are many descriptions of saints, demigods, and even the Supreme Lord transcending gender norms and manifesting multiple combinations of sex and gender.There are several instances in ancient Indian epic poetry of same sex depictions and unions by gods and goddesses. There are several stories depicting love between those of the same sex, especially among kings and queens. Kamasutra, the ancient Indian treatise on love talks about feelings for same sexes. Transsexuals are also venerated including Lord Vishnu as Mohini and Lord Shiva as Ardhanarishwara (which means half woman).
Indian epic poetry is the epic poetry written in the Indian subcontinent, traditionally called Kavya. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata, which were originally composed in Sanskrit and later translated into many other Indian languages, and The Five Great Epics of Tamil Literature and Sangam literature are some of the oldest surviving epic poems ever written.
Mohini in Hindu mythology is a goddess and the only female avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. She is portrayed as a ''femme fatale'', an enchantress, who maddens lovers, sometimes leading them to their doom. Mohini is introduced into the Hindu mythology in the narrative epic of the Mahabharata. Here, she appears as a form of Vishnu, acquires the pot of Amrita from the thieving asuras (demons), and gives it back to the devas (gods), helping them retain their immortality.
The ancient Law of Moses (the Torah) forbids men lying with men (intercourse) in Leviticus 18 and gives a story of attempted homosexual rape in Genesis in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities being soon destroyed after that. The death penalty was prescribed. In Deuteronomy 22:5, cross-dressing is condemned as being "abominable".
In Persia homosexuality and homoerotic expressions were tolerated in numerous public places, from monasteries and seminaries to taverns, military camps, bathhouses, and coffee houses. In the early Safavid era (1501–1723), male houses of prostitution (amrad khane) were legally recognized and paid taxes. Persian poets, such as Sa'di (d. 1291), Hafiz (d. 1389), and Jami (d. 1492), wrote poems replete with homoerotic allusions. The two most commonly documented forms were commercial sex with transgender young males or males enacting transgender roles exemplified by the köçeks and Sufi spiritual practices in which the practitioner admired the form of a beautiful boy in order to enter ecstatic states and glimpse the beauty of God.
In Assyrian society, sex crimes were punished identically whether they were homosexual or heterosexual.An individual faced no punishment for penetrating someone of equal social class, a cult prostitute, or with someone whose gender roles were not considered solidly masculine. Such sexual relations were even seen as good fortune, with an Akkadian tablet, the Šumma ālu , reading, "If a man copulates with his equal from the rear, he becomes the leader among his peers and brothers". However, homosexual relationships with fellow soldiers, slaves, royal attendants, or those where a social better was submissive or penetrated, were treated as bad omens.
Middle Assyrian Law Codes dating 1075 BC has a particularly harsh law for homosexuality in the military, which reads: "If a man have intercourse with his brother-in-arms, they shall turn him into a eunuch."A similar law code reads, "If a seignior lay with his neighbor, when they have prosecuted him (and) convicted him, they shall lie with him (and) turn him into a eunuch". This law code condemns a situation that involves homosexual rape. Any Assyrian male could visit a prostitute or lie with another male, just as long as false rumors or forced sex were not involved with another male.
The "conquest mentality" of the ancient Romans shaped Roman homosexual practices.In the Roman Republic, a citizen's political liberty was defined in part by the right to preserve his body from physical compulsion or use by others; for the male citizen to submit his body to the giving of pleasure was considered servile. As long as a man played the penetrative role, it was socially acceptable and considered natural for him to have same-sex relations, without a perceived loss of his masculinity or social standing. The bodies of citizen youths were strictly off-limits, and the Lex Scantinia imposed penalties on those who committed a sex crime (stuprum) against a freeborn male minor. Acceptable same-sex partners were males excluded from legal protections as citizens: slaves, male prostitutes, and the infames , entertainers or others who might be technically free but whose lifestyles set them outside the law.
"Homosexual" and "heterosexual" were thus not categories of Roman sexuality, and no words exist in Latin that would precisely translate these concepts.A male citizen who willingly performed oral sex or received anal sex was disparaged, but there is only limited evidence of legal penalties against these men, who were presumably "homosexual" in the modern sense. In courtroom and political rhetoric, charges of effeminacy and passive sexual behaviors were directed particularly at "democratic" politicians (populares) such as Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
Roman law addressed the rape of a male citizen as early as the 2nd century BC, when a ruling was issued in a case that may have involved a man of same-sex orientation. It was ruled that even a man who was "disreputable and questionable" had the same right as other citizens not to have his body subjected to forced sex.A law probably dating to the dictatorship of Julius Caesar defined rape as forced sex against "boy, woman, or anyone"; the rapist was subject to execution, a rare penalty in Roman law. A male classified as infamis, such as a prostitute or actor, could not as a matter of law be raped, nor could a slave, who was legally classified as property; the slave's owner, however, could prosecute the rapist for property damage.
In the Roman army of the Republic, sex among fellow soldiers violated the decorum against intercourse with citizens and was subject to harsh penalties, including death,as a violation of military discipline. The Greek historian Polybius (2nd century BC) lists deserters, thieves, perjurers, and "those who in youth have abused their persons" as subject to the fustuarium , clubbing to death. Ancient sources are most concerned with the effects of sexual harassment by officers, but the young soldier who brought an accusation against his superior needed to show that he had not willingly taken the passive role or prostituted himself. Soldiers were free to have relations with their male slaves; the use of a fellow citizen-soldier's body was prohibited, not homosexual behaviors per se. By the late Republic and throughout the Imperial period, there is increasing evidence that men whose lifestyle marked them as "homosexual" in the modern sense served openly.
Although Roman law did not recognize marriage between men, and in general Romans regarded marriage as a heterosexual union with the primary purpose of producing children, in the early Imperial period some male couples were celebrating traditional marriage rites. Juvenal remarks with disapproval that his friends often attended such ceremonies.The emperor Nero had two marriages to men, once as the bride (with a freedman Pythagoras) and once as the groom. His consort Sporus appeared in public as Nero's wife wearing the regalia that was customary for the Roman empress.
Apart from measures to protect the prerogatives of citizens, the prosecution of homosexuality as a general crime began in the 3rd century of the Christian era when male prostitution was banned by Philip the Arab. By the end of the 4th century, after the Roman Empire had come under Christian rule, passive homosexuality was punishable by burning."Death by sword" was the punishment for a "man coupling like a woman" under the Theodosian Code. Under Justinian, all same-sex acts, passive or active, no matter who the partners, were declared contrary to nature and punishable by death.
E. E. Evans-Pritchard recorded that in the past male Azande warriors in the northern Congo routinely took on young male lovers between the ages of twelve and twenty, who helped with household tasks and participated in intercrural sex with their older husbands. The practice had died out by the early 20th century, after Europeans had gained control of African countries, but was recounted to Evans-Pritchard by the elders to whom he spoke.
In feudal Japan, homosexuality was recognized, between equals (bi-do), in terms of pederasty (wakashudo), and in terms of prostitution. The younger partner in a pederastic relationship often was expected to make the first move; the opposite was true in ancient Greece. In religious circles, same-sex love spread to the warrior (samurai) class, where it was customary for a boy in the wakashū age category to undergo training in the martial arts by apprenticing to a more experienced adult man. The man was permitted, if the boy agreed, to take the boy as his lover until he came of age; this relationship, often formalized in a "brotherhood contract",was expected to be exclusive, with both partners swearing to take no other (male) lovers. The Samurai period was one in which homosexuality was seen as particularly positive. Later when Japanese society became pacified, the middle classes adopted many of the practices of the warrior class.
Anthropologists Stephen Murray and Will Roscoe reported that women in Lesotho engaged in socially sanctioned "long term, erotic relationships" called motsoalle.
In Papua New Guinea, same-sex relationships were an integral part of the culture of certain tribes until the middle of the last century. The Etoro and Marind-anim for example, even viewed heterosexuality as wasteful and celebrated homosexuality instead. They believed that in sharing semen, they are sharing their life force, yet women simply wasted this force any time they didn't get pregnant after sex. In many traditional Melanesian cultures a prepubertal boy would be paired with an older adolescent who would become his mentor and who would "inseminate" him (orally, anally, or topically, depending on the tribe) over a number of years in order for the younger to also reach puberty.
|Laws regarding same-sex sexuality by country or territory|
|LGBT rights at the United Nations|
|Homosexual "propaganda" and "morality" laws by country or territory|
|Decriminalization of same-sex sexual intercourse by country or territory|
|Equalization of age of consent laws for same-sex couples by country or territory|
|Legal status of adoption by same-sex couples by country or territory|
|LGBT service in national militaries by country or territory [ citation needed ]|
|Employment discrimination laws by sexual orientation and/or gender identity by country or territory|
|Anti-discrimination laws covering goods and services by sexual orientation and/or gender identity by country or territory|
|Constitutional discrimination laws by sexual orientation and/or gender identity by country or territory|
|LGBT hate crime laws by country or territory|
|Incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation and gender identity prohibited by country or territory|
|Ban on conversion therapy for minors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by country or territory|
|LGBT immigration equality by country or territory|
|Bans on same-sex unions by country or territory|
|Blood donation policies for men who have sex with men by country or territory|
|Blood donation policies for female sex partners of men who have sex with men by country or territory|
|Laws concerning gender identity-expression by country or territory|
|Legal recognition of non-binary genders and third gender|
|Never been illegal|
|List of countries or territories by LGBT rights in Africa|
Horn of Africa
Indian Ocean states
|List of countries or territories by LGBT rights in the Americas|