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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.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Same-Sex Kissing Common In UK Male Students

Fancy A Snog? Same-Sex Kissing Common In UK Male Students
By Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
27 October 2010 06:28 pm ET

Taken From LiveScience com

Forget homophobia. A new study finds that same-sex lip-locks among straight men are the norm in British universities and high schools.

The trend reflects a move toward a "nicer, softer" ideal of masculinity, study researcher Eric Anderson told LiveScience. Anderson, a sociologist at Bath University in England, reported the findings online Oct. 22 in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

"The mean, gruff, homophobic macho man of the 1980s is dead," Anderson said.

Based on in-depth interviews of 145 British university and high-school students, Anderson and his colleagues discovered that 89 percent had kissed a male heterosexual friend on the lips at some point. A total of 37 percent had engaged in "sustained" kissing with another man, Anderson said. The men all identified as straight, and they didn't see the kisses as sexual.

"These men have lost their homophobia," Anderson said. "They're no longer afraid to be thought gay by their behaviors, and they enjoy intimacy with their friends, just the same as women."

A recent trend

The trend toward male same-sex smooches has skyrocketed in recent years, Anderson said. It began on the professional soccer field, where players often share exuberate kisses after goals. That made kissing between men acceptable for college and high-school players, Anderson said. Then the players took the same behaviors to nights out in pubs, spreading the trend to non-athletes.

Despite stereotypes of the homophobic jock, athletes were more likely to have kissed another man than non-athletes. Just over 80 percent of non-athletes had kissed a man, compared with 95 percent of athletes. [Related: Sex Quiz: Myths, Taboos and Bizarre Facts]

Of the guys in the study who hadn't shared a same-sex kiss, all found the practice acceptable. One student who had never kissed another lad joked with the researchers that when he told his friends about the study, they'd probably ensure that his classification changed. That night, Anderson received a text from the student reading, "I'm in the majority now."

Affection, not sex

Again contrary to stoic male stereotypes, the men in the study reported that they kissed their friends out of affection. One remembered kissing a friend after a meaningful holiday trip. Others compared it to shaking hands.

"I don't want to give the impression that it's like, 'Oh, I love you, mwah,'" Anderson said. "It's like, 'John! Rawr!' More exuberance."

Even extended kisses weren't viewed as sexual, the researchers found. One student recalled kissing his male friend in order to convince two girls to kiss each other, but most of the men interviewed kissed each other for fun.

These longer kisses are often photographed and posted on Facebook and social-networking sites, Anderson said. While they often happen in the context of a night of drinking, the men aren't ashamed of or questioning their sexuality. Nor are they mocking gay behavior, Anderson said. In fact, the practice has made it easier for gay men to display their affection publically.

"It's opened up the same space for gay men to kiss," he said. "Sometimes you see two men kissing and you don't know whether they're straight or gay."

Changing norms

The United Kingdom is less homophobic as a whole than the United States, Anderson said, but Americans should expect acceptance of men kissing on our shores soon enough. Research on American college soccer players suggests that 20 percent of those men have kissed another man, which is a harbinger of the trend, Anderson said.

It's not yet known how the trend of men kissing extends to non-University segments of the British population. Anderson plans to extend the research to minority men and low-income men who aren't in college.

Growing acceptance of same-sex kissing doesn't mean that homophobia is gone, just that masculine ideals are changing, Anderson said. His theory, put forth in his book, "Inclusive Masculinity: The Changing Nature of Masculinities" (Routledge, 2009), is that in times of homophobia, men police their behavior to avoid being seen as gay. When homophobia fades, men can relax and explore behaviors that don't jive with the traditional masculine ideal.

"Decrease in homophobia has positive effects for heterosexual men as well," Anderson said.

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