In the seemingly modern world, there are some countries where there is a constant or periodic violation of the rights of sexual minorities by society and the state, and the LGBT-community lives under a threat of violence, intimidation and punishment, including the lawful one.
Such states can be divided into three groups:
- Countries, in which the LGBT community is completely forbidden, criminal prosecution of LGBT people is present and there is a danger to their lives;
- Countries, in which the LGBT community is constantly harassed, but there is no threat of criminal prosecution;
- Countries, in which there is no penalty from the state, homophobia is public or individual in nature, and rights are violated selectively.
The first type of these persecuting countries traditionally includes Muslim states, where the repressions against minorities are constant and extraordinarily cruel. The legislation of such countries established a serious criminal penalty for gays, and the perverted social and religious morality not only condemns “non-traditional” sexual relationships, but also condones the physical and psychological harassment of citizens, including murder, torture and lynching. Islamization, that has become very popular in the already Islamic countries, aggravated the deplorable situation with the rights of the LGBT community in these countries, and the hypocritical usage of religion as a cover finds substantial support in its poorly educated adherents trying to live by the wild principles of prehistoric caliphates and times of wandering on camels in the deserts.
But it’s not only the Islamic states that are terrorising the LGBT community. Such attitudes towards sexual minorities are also stated in a number of Christian countries in Africa, overcrowded India, Sri Lanka, and some states in the Caribbean Ocean. The situation here is slightly different, and the reason is not really the backwardness of society, poor education and culture, but the British colonial heritage, which has remained unchanged in the legislation of these countries for a century.
As a separate group are the former Soviet republics, the main population of which are Muslims. In these countries, there’s a degradation of human rights, with the increasing influence of religion on social and particularly family relations. A return to the social practices of the X-XII centuries.
In the countries of the first group, homophobia is sponsored and supported by the state, institutions of which are not simply aimed at suppressing the natural rights to private sexual life, but at the physical extermination of the LGBT community.
Uganda is one of the most homophobic countries in the world. There are more than 44 million people living in this African country, while, according to various sources, the LGBT community numbers vary from 0.5 million to 0.8 million people. About 85% of the population are Christians (mostly Catholics and Anglicans), about 14% are Muslims. In Uganda, all types of sexual relations except for vaginal are prohibited under the threat of criminal punishment. Even oral sex between a man and a woman has been banned. All this was hypocritically called a crime “against nature”.
Not only the LGBT people themselves, but also journalists and human rights defenders who protect the victims of violence, are subject to arrests, attacks and harassments here. The newspapers publish names and personal information of gays and lesbians, inciting extremists to violence, and the rejection of same-sex relationships, according to polls, is supported by more than 90% of the population. Ugandan society’s homophobia is actively used by local politicians that declare same-sex relationships as “non-African” and “imported to Africa by the white people”.
It’s worth mentioning that the discriminatory legislation regarding LGBT, that was planned for adoption in Uganda in 2014, wasn’t adopted under pressure from the world community. The new law proposed the introduction of the death sentence for same-sex relationships.
There are 13 states where the death punishment for gays is fixed by law: Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria (12 provinces), Somali, Afghanistan, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Brunei.
Legislative prohibition of same-sex relationships is present in 72 countries (including the 13 mentioned above): Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoro Islands, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenia, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Palestine, India, Indonesia (several provinces), Lebanon, Malaysia, Myanmar, Maldives, Oman, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkmenia, Uzbekistan, Belize, Jamaica, Antigua, Dominican Republic and a number of small (island) states of America and Oceania*.
The authorities of several countries of the second group, proclaim non-interference in the sexual life of the citizens, however, they constantly cultivate a rejection of “unconventional” sexual relations in society and sow outright hostility that provokes violence. Here, at the legislative level there are prohibitions of the so-called “propaganda” of non-traditional sexual relations, and under the cover of this vague concept, the authorities constantly persecute members of the LGBT community, their defenders and supporters. No problems of gays and lesbians are recognised in these countries, same-sex relationships are declared a “disease”, a deviation from the “norm” and a challenge to “ethics and morality”.
Let’s highlight Russia among this group of repressive countries. At first and very superficial glance, it seems that violations of the rights of the LGBT community in this country are insignificant and implicit in nature. But that’s a dangerous delusion. All the state’s power and its propaganda mechanism is used to fight gays and lesbians.
Hatred, condemnation and calls for violence against sexual minorities are present at the fertile roots of Russian society. A voluntary choice of thousands of men and women is declared a contagious disease, and homophobic propaganda extends even to young children. Handling public opinion bears disappointing fruit.
Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Issues of Family, Women and Children, a certain madam Pletneva stated on TV Channel One that homosexuals are sick people and should be treated. She also advocated criminal punishment for homosexuals.
«Homophobia in Russia… is increasing in the Putin era. This is due to the general degradation of the public consciousness, the growing social anomie that occurred under the influence of actively revived Soviet and even more archaic models…», — noted Igor Kochetkov, sociologist, in 2014.
At the same time, the authorities do not really conceal their policies and attitudes towards the LGBT community. Back in 2012, Putin’s Foreign Affairs Minister Lavrov said that Russia has a right to protect its people from the homosexuals. How and why the LGBT people plan to attack these “people” and why these very people need protection from the state, Mr. Lavrov didn’t bother to explain. While fighting the sexual minorities, the authorities are indifferent to the revival of religious fundamentalism and fanaticism, with the appearance of overtly fascist communities in Russia. But if these groups and movements support the policies pursued by the Putin regime, especially the ones related to the use of violence against the LGBT community and, more widely, against any opposition, then such organizations will find full support from the state. A great example is the semi-military formations of Cossacks, various groups of instigators and force supporters of the regimes like SERB, Sorok Sorokov, NOD and others. Considering that the members of these groups include criminal and semi-criminal individuals, representatives of the least educated part of the society, often of low social status, lacking moral and other values, the likelihood of serious violence coming from them rises. Special agencies and Russian police are the curators of these groups.
The most active and consistent persecutor of the LGBT community is the Russian Orthodox Church, and the growing clericalization in the Russian Federation gives the Church complete freedom in actions to incite hatred towards sexual minorities.
The situation with the rights of the LGBT community changed for the worse after the adoption of the so-called “law against the propaganda of homosexuality” in 2013, which allowed the overtly police repressions against sexual minorities, which we often observe in the independent enclave in the territory of the Russian Federation – Chechnya. This repressive law contributed to the increasing censorship in the media provided an opportunity for the administrative and criminal prosecution of non-governmental organizations associated with the LGBT community.
So far, the main part of the legislation covering the rights and freedoms of citizens is clearly discriminatory against sexual minorities in nature. This applies to such fundamental legal documents as the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, Family Code, Criminal Procedure and Criminal Executive Codes.
The European Committee against Racism and Intolerance noted in its report the absence of legislation against discrimination of the LGBT people, as well as the widespread presence of homophobic statements by politicians, public and religious figures of all levels in public discourse. It’s noted that homophobic statements remain completely unpunished.
The second group of countries include: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Capo Verde, Seychelles, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Kirgizia and Russia.
At last, there are countries where LGBT people may face hostile attitudes from the part of society or individuals, refusal to hire, education or governmental service. It’s worth mentioning that the legislation of these countries is not discriminatory, however, the customs and prejudices that exist in these countries are a part of the system, and they can and will cause violations of the LGBT rights.
Particularly, in Ukraine, in the areas where the influence of the church is strong, sexual minorities become objects of aggressive behavior of certain groups and individuals that are exposed to homophobic propaganda of the clergy. At the household level, there is a persistent rejection of same-sex relationships.
A strong social rejection of the LGBT people is present in Armenia, where more than 55% of the population (for 2015) consider same-sex relationships unacceptable. From time to time, aggressive groups of citizens attack gay clubs and bars, and these fascist thugs accuse gay people of fascism propaganda. Most likely, this is due to the example of neighboring Russia, where everything that doesn’t suit the regime and its adherents is considered a priori fascist. A significant role in the oppression of the LGBT community is played by the Armenian Church. The authorities are indifferent to the attacks and hatred. A similar situation is evidenced in Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan and several other countries.
The third group of countries include: Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Turkey (in the countryside).
Of course, violation of the LGBT rights or hatred towards this group of people exists in the absolute majority of countries around the world, including the ones where the rights of sexual minorities are well-protected by law and there is a long-term public practice of tolerance. In these countries, violations are not systematic in nature, which significantly distinguishes them from the states that we divided into three groups above. In those countries, hatred, and violation of the LGBT rights are systematic, that is, inclusive and permanent; and, moreover, in some of those countries, it is even the official policy of the authorities.