Homophobia

Source: ILGA
To raise awareness on the extent of State Sponsored Homophobia in the world, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intesex Association (ILGA) publishes a series of resources including a world report on homophobic laws around the world, maps by region, videos and much more. [see more]
In ancient times (for example, among the Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Egyptians), homosexuality was just another expression of human sexuality, which was not stigmatized or regarded as particularly significant. The modern era and Judeo-Christianity changed this situation, punishing, censuring and banning all expressions of homosexuality.

Today in many countries around the world homosexuality continues to be penalized or discriminated against in law. One aim of the organizations that seek to defend the rights of gays and lesbians is to reform these discriminatory laws, and to get others passed that expressly protect the freedom of sexual orientation and identity (see Choike’s In-depth Report on Sexual diversity and the law). However, activists warn that legislative reforms alone will not put an end to the situations of discrimination and violence that many homosexuals suffer, because they are caused by a generalized homophobia that operates not only through legal channels, but permeates all spheres of society.

Homophobia is a term used to describe hatred and rejection of gays, lesbians and homosexuality. It refers to the fear or refusal of people, organizations, governments and other social actors to confront the reality and specificity of this non-heterosexual sexual orientation.

Homophobia has a direct, and often devastating, effect on the lives of homosexuals, who may suffer discrimination and abuse in their families, at work or in other social spheres. The most extreme form of homophobia is expressed in what are known as 'hate crimes', in which verbal and physical violence, death threats, rape or murder are committed solely on the basis of the victim’s sexual orientation.

These expressions of inter-personal homophobia are often legitimized by the existence of institutional homophobia, which can take different forms: the non-implementation of strategies to educate and raise awareness on issues around sexual diversity; the refusal by state officials to guarantee lesbian and gay victims their right to equality before the law; or direct persecution by state agents, in particular the police, which may include torture and extra-judicial executions.

Homosexuals who suffer extreme forms of persecution, either directly at the hands of the state, or at the hands of individuals or groups, against whom the state refuses to protect them, may be forced to seek asylum in other countries. However, only a select number of countries have national norms recognizing persecution on the basis of sexual orientation as grounds for granting asylum, and no international treaties deal explicitly with this issue.

Gay rights organizations engage in different activities designed to combat homophobia, reverse the impunity enjoyed by both state and private perpetrators of hate crimes, and put an end to persistent discriminatory practices that affect all aspects of homosexuals’ lives. These activities include registering, documenting, publicizing and providing legal support for cases of discrimination and violations of the human rights of sexual minorities, and pressing for the recognition of those rights in international human rights circles.
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UPDATES
Monday, July 05 2010
The state of lesbian and gay rights in the world
(Source: ILGA)
Thursday, January 28 2010
Urgency Required: Gay and Lesbian Rights are Human Rights
(Source: Urgency Required - Hivos)
Thursday, January 07 2010
Pro-transgender development: Challenges posed by religious extremism
(Source: Pambazuka)

Homophobia and discrimination

Latin American reports: breaking the silence

South Africa: homophobia and the rights of lesbians and gays

Human rights violations against sexuality minorities in India

The state of lesbian and gay rights in the world (ILGA)

Pro-transgender development: Challenges posed by religious extremism (Pambazuka)

Campaigning for gay and lesbian human rights (Amnesty International)

Homophobic violence at first Sarajevo queer festival

Heteronormativity in the African women's movement (Engender)

On transgender human rights issues in Africa (Pambazuka)

LGBTI organizing in East Africa: the true test for human rights defenders (Civil Society Building)

Is homosexuality really "UnAfrican"? (Pambazuka)

State repression of sexual minorities

Discrimination: fertile ground for torture

Black homophobia contributes to persecution of GLBT Africans

African leaders hide political woes behind homophobia

Ecuador: pride and prejudice

Oppression of the homosexual community in Afghanistan

Zimbabwe: threats to gay and lesbian rights activists

Thailand declares gay is no longer sick

IGLHRC condemns statements by Gambian president; calls for decriminalization of homosexuality (International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission)

State-sponsored homophobia 2009 (ILGA)

State-Sponsored Homophobia 2008 (ILGA)

African and European LGBT organizations call on all States to fight homophobia and to adopt the Yogyakarta Principles (International Lesbian and Gay Association)

Crises across Africa: gays under government attack in Nigeria, Cameroon and Uganda (Direland)

State-sponsored homophobia: a world survey (International Lesbian and Gay Association)

Human rights failures in Nigeria (Pambazuka)

International human rights mechanisms and homophobia

'The louder we sing': Campaigning for lesbian and gay human rights

UN statement on sexual orientation and gender identity

Homophobia and HIV-AIDS

Off the map: How HIV/AIDS programming is failing same-sex practicing people in Africa (International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC))

Books

Urgency Required: Gay and Lesbian Rights are Human Rights (Urgency Required - Hivos)

SexPolitics - Reports from the Front Lines (Sexuality Policy Watch)

Hate crimes and torture

Crimes of hate, conspiracy of silence: torture and ill-treatment based on sexual identity

Brazil - world champion in the murder of homosexuals

The killing of sistahs (Mamba online)

Prominent lesbian activist murdered in Sierra Leone (Behind the Mask)

Hate crimes against lesbians on the rise (IOL)

Egypt: the Queen Boat case

Background (Gay Egypt)

Documents

Amnesty International

United Nations condemns trials of suspected homosexuals in Egypt

World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) appeals on Egypt

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)

Discrimination in the media

Statement from the Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network

Uruguay: investigate TV discrimination (Human Rights Watch)

Public opinion and homosexuality - homosexuals denounce the media

International advocacy organizations and networks

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)

International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)

Amnesty International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network

The International Lesbian Information Service (ILIS)

African gay issues finally taken to the world (Behind the Mask)

Al Fatiha Foundation

Long fight for justice for homosexuals (IPS)


Choike is a project of the Third World Institute
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