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Some History of LGBT Related Laws

History of LGBT-Related Laws

Taken From WikiPedia

Throughout history and across cultures, the regulation of sexuality reflects broader cultural norms.

Most of the history of sexuality is unrecorded. Even recorded norms do not always shed full light on actual practices, as it is sometimes the case that historical accounts are written by foreigners with cryptic political agendas.

In the earlier centuries of ancient Rome (particularly during the Roman Republic) and prior to its Christianization, the Lex Scantinia forbade homosexual acts. In later centuries during, men of status were free to have sexual intercourse, heterosexual or homosexual, with anyone of a lower social status, provided that they remained dominant during such interaction. During the reign of Caligula, prostitution was legalized and taxed, and homosexual prostitution was seen openly in conjunction with heterosexual prostitution. The Warren Cup is a rare example of a Roman artefact that depicts homosexuality that was not destroyed by Christian authorities, although it was suppressed. A fresco from the public baths of the once buried city of Pompeii depicts a homosexual and bisexual sex act involving two adult men and one adult woman. The Etruscan civilization left behind the Tomb of the Diver, which depicts homosexual men in the afterlife.

In feudal Japan, homosexuality was recognized, between equals (bi-do), in terms of pederasty (wakashudo), and in terms of prostitution. The Samurai period was one in which homosexuality was seen as particularly positive. In Japan, the younger partner in a pederastic relationship was expected to make the first move; the opposite was true in ancient Greece. Homosexuality was later briefly criminalized due to Westernization.

The berdache two-spirit class in some Native American tribes are examples of ways in which some cultures integrated homosexuals into their society by viewing them, not with the homosexual and heterosexual dichotomy of most of the modern world, but as twin beings, possessing aspects of both sexes.

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.

Similar prohibitions are found across Indo-European cultures in Lex Scantinia in Ancient Rome and nith in protohistoric Germanic culture, or the Middle Assyrian Law Codes dating 1075 BC.

Laws prohibiting homosexuality were also passed in communist China. (The People's Republic of China neither adopted an Abrahamic religion nor was colonized, except for Hong Kong and Macau which were colonized with Victorian era social mores and maintain separate legal system from the rest of the PRC.) Homosexuality was not decriminalized there until 1997. Prior to 1997, homosexual in mainland China was found guilty included in a general definition under the vague vocabulary of hooliganism, there are no specifically anti-homosexual laws.

In modern times eight countries have no official heterosexist discrimination. They are Argentina, Belgium, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, and Spain. This full non-discrimination includes the rights of marriage and adoption. Two additional countries have marriage rights for same-sex couples, namely Portugal and Canada, but in Portugal this right does not include same-sex adoption, and in Canada it varies by jurisdiction (it is legal everywhere except in Nunavut and Yukon). The Canadian Blood Services’ policy indefinitely defers any man who has sex with another man, even once, since 1977. LGBT people in the USA face different laws for certain medical procedures than other groups. For example, gay men have been prohibited from giving blood since 1983, and George W. Bush's FDA guidelines barred them from being sperm donors as of 2005, even though all donated sperm is screened for sexually-transmitted diseases and even the most promiscuous heterosexual men are not barred from donating.

Appreciation to AGM for his contribution.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Iraqi Police Crackdown on Gays Continues With Raid, Arrests at Baghdad Male Beauty Parlour

Iraqi Police Crackdown on Gays Continues With Raid, Arrests at Baghdad Male Beauty Parlour

Activists call for UK and US protests
Taken From UK Gay News

LONDON, July 13, 2010  –  Hard on the heels of an Iraqi police raid on a Kerbala ‘safe house’ for gays, run by the London-based Iraqi LGBT, comes news that there has been another raid – on a Baghdad male beauty parlour, with five men arrested.

Iraqi LGBT reported this evening that five gay mean were seized by “Interior Ministry forces” in the raid on June 25.

The latest raid was on a house used as a business for services such as waxing and massage in the Baghdad district of Karada.

Such services have long been used in a country with a body building tradition.

Iraqi media coverage, which included three days of TV reports, however described the house as used for prostitution, according to Iraqi LGBT.

However, witnesses have told Iraqi LGBT that this was not the case.  Neither waxing nor massage is illegal in Iraq however it is ‘forbidden’ by Shia clerics.

Despite claims to the contrary, homosexuality is illegal  in Iraq, and it is on this basis that the raid happened and the men were arrested, the London group claims.

The house was managed by Sabah and the workers arrested are Ehsan, Samer, Alaha and Mustafa.

Eyewitnesses who were outside the building say Ministry of Interior forces raided at 3pm.  Those on rooftops heard screams for help and saw the men being severely beaten by uniformed men carrying cattle prods.

They say one was taken into custody on a stretcher, Iraqi LGBT reports.

One of the eyewitnesses who spoke with Amnesty International has since disappeared.

Iraqi LGBT has received no information about where the men were taken.  However, previous seizures of gays, lesbians and transgender people have resulted in them being handed to religious militia and their subsequent torture.  Often this is followed by the discovery of their mutilated bodies.

An Iraqi online news site quoted “security sources” in a local newspaper [report in Arabic]saying: “After gathering evidence and information the police issued an order from a judge to raid the house where the house-owner of the shop and a number of gay, mostly college students were caught red-handed, and have confessed openly their shameful work which is contrary to public decency, they were seduced by the devil to commit these acts.”

The newspaper went on to say that forces had “captured a laptop computer and CDs from a pornographic network”.

This evening, Iraqi LGBT is calling on the British and American governments to follow the lead of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and investigate – and condemn – the raids.

However, Iraqi LGBT notes that in her latest speech outlining the American government’s support for oppressed LGBT people throughout the world, made just two days before the latest known raid, , Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to mention Iraq.

Iraqi LGBT is scheduled to meet the British Foreign Office tomorrow (Wednesday) and will press for an investigation and public condemnation by Minister William Hague of this latest attack on their friends by the Iraqi government.

The Foreign Office’s latest Human Rights Report accepts Iraqi government claims that “homosexuality is not a criminal offence in Iraq”.

“It is past time for the British and Americans to publicly condemn what they know are the actions of the Iraqi government,” Ali Hili told UK Gay News this evening.

“Hundreds of lesbians and gays have been killed to near silence by the world,” he said.

“What needs to happen – what can we do – before the world pays any attention, and before people start pressing their leaders to tell the Iraqi government to stop?  What?  We plead for an answer.,” he said in desperation.

“We know why politicians would rather people forgot about what is happening in Iraq.  But Iraqi lesbians, gay men and transgender people particularly feel that they have been forgotten by their fellow LGBT, especially those in power in the West.  Why?”

Over the past five years, Iraqi LGBT has documented 738 deaths of LGBT persons.

Iraqi LGBT is a human rights organisation that was established in September 2005 after the rise of wave of violence against the LGBT community in Iraq.

“We felt it is our responsibility to stand up and start an action to alert the world on this genocide, with members working secretly undercover in Iraq, the UK and other countries,” Mr. Hili said.

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