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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.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Singapore's Sodomy Laws Challenged

Singapore sodomy law challenge
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Singapore’s colonial-era sodomy laws are to face a High Court challenge to their constitutionality.
Section 377A of the Singaporean Penal Code states, “Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.”
The challenge to Section 377A has been launched by Tan Eng Hong, a man charged with having consensual oral sex with another man after an alleged incident in a shopping centre toilet earlier this year.
“The continuance of Section 377A on the statute book operates to brutalise a vulnerable minority segment of the citizenry for no fault on its point,” Tan’s lawyer wrote to the court.
“A section of society has been thus criminalised and stigmatised to a point where individuals are forced to deny the core of their identity and vital dimensions of their personality.”
Since former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew made a statement in support of tolerance for homosexuals in 2007, Singapore’s Government has repeatedly stated it would decriminalise homosexuality without delivering.
In 2007 the Government legalised anal and oral sex between heterosexuals but left gay men out.
Singapore’s peak GLBT lobby group People Like Us noted that Singapore already had legislation that could be used to police indecent behaviour in its Miscellaneous Offences Act which did not discriminate on the basis of a person’s sex or sexuality.
“That said, People Like Us do not condone sex in public spaces where conflict with other members of society can occur. At no time do we say that these should not be prosecutable offences,” the group said in a statement.
Similar court challenges led to the repeal of colonial-era sodomy laws in Nepal and India in 2007 and 2009.

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