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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, January 22, 2011

Trans, Gay Murders Rock Honduras

Trans, Gay Murders Rock Honduras

San Pedro Sula x390 (fair) | ADVOCATE.COM
Three murders in Honduras have raised the number of LGBT deaths in the Central American country to 31 in recent months, a cause for concern among officials at the U.S. Embassy.

"The protection of Honduran law extends to all its citizens regardless of sexual orientation and the Lobo Administration has repeatedly expressed its commitment to defend the rights of all Honduran citizens," read a statement from the embassy. "It is in this regard that we call upon Honduran law enforcement authorities to vigorously investigate these crimes, bring to justice the perpetrators, and take all necessary steps to protect LGBT persons, who are among the most vulnerable to violence and abuse in Honduras."

Those killed recently include a 23-year-old transgender woman known as Lorenza, according to Gay City News in New York. She was found dead in Comayag├╝ela in December, with bloody rocks near her body, indicating she may have been stoned to death as well as set on fire. Condoms were also found near her body, leading to speculation that she was also raped.
Gay City News blames the murders on a government-backed campaign to target gay people.

According to the National Resistance Front's website, which has been keeping tabs on the murders, police have been minimally invested in solving the cases.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Canada Rules Dire Straits Song Offensive

Canada Rules Dire Straits Song Offensive

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has ruled that "Money for Nothing," the 1985 Dire Straits song with the famous animation video, is too offensive for broadcast in the country.

DireStraitsx390 (Screengrab) |
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has ruled that “Money for Nothing,” the hit 1980s song by rock group Dire Straits, is too offensive for broadcast because its uses the word “fa**ot.”
The Vancouver Sunreports, “The ruling, released Wednesday, responded to a complaint submitted to St. John's radio station CHOZ-FM over a Feb. 1 airing of an unedited version of the song, which mentions the word three times.”
The 1985 song, told from the perspective of a working-class man who marvels at the apparent charmed life of rockers on that new invention MTV, is perhaps even better known for its animated music video, which heralded the dawn of the music video era. The video for the song was the first played on MTV Europe.
In its ruling the Canadian council said that social attitudes had changed about the word “fa**ot” from 1985 to 2010, the time of the complaint last year.
“The council concluded that ‘fa**t,’ when used to describe a homosexual man, is a word ‘that, even if entirely or marginally acceptable in earlier days, is no longer so,’” reported the Sun.

U.K. Public Servants: Come Out

U.K. Public Servants: Come Out

Teachers, nurses, and police officers in the U.K. may be asked to disclose their sexual orientation, gender identity, and other personal details as part of an “equality drive” meant to promote diversity among public servants and the people they serve.
The Daily Mail reports on the plan from Liberal Democrat equalities minister Lynne Featherstone to comply with the Equality Act. Public sector organizations will be asked to consider sending “diversity monitoring forms” to staff members as part of the compliance procedures.
“From April, public bodies will be subject to the Equality Act – passed by Labour but taken up enthusiastically by the Coalition – which will force them to consider the impact of everything they do on the diversity of the people they serve or employ,” reports the Mail.
The proposed questionnaires from Featherstone would ask employees about their sexuality, whether they have had gender reassignment surgery, and their race and religion, the Mail reports.
Critics charged the plan would result in excess bureaucracy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Teenage Iranian faces execution over withdrawn sodomy 'confession'

Teenage Iranian faces execution over withdrawn sodomy 'confession'

A 19-year-old Iranian man is facing execution on charges of attempted sodomy – even though the allegation was withdrawn by the accuser, according to reports.
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
11 January 2011
iran flag A 19-year-old Iranian man is facing execution on charges of attempted sodomy – even though the allegation was withdrawn by the accuser, according to reports.

The teen, Ehsan, was 17-years-old when he was arrested in Shiraz after a man pressed charges of attempted rape against him and two other youths.

The Fourth Branch of the Criminal Court of Fars province, in Shiraz, found him guilty of lavat and sentenced him to death by hanging. Ehsan has since withdrawn his 'confession', saying that it was extracted under torture.

The execution of Ehsan is opposed by a coalition of Muslim organisations from across the world: the Association of British Muslims, Faith Matters, Muslims for Progressive Values, USA and Canada, Canadian Muslim Union, Members of The Royal Order of Noor of Buayan, Canadian Council of Muslim Women.

“We appeal to the Supreme Leader and Chief Justice of Iran to show mercy by revoking the death sentence and releasing Ehsan. The evidence against Ehsan is weak. The accuser has withdrawn his allegations.

"It is unIslamic to sentence a person to death simply because they are alleged to be homosexual, especially without 100 per cent proof of guilt,” said Paul Salahuddin Armstrong, Co-Director of the Association of British Muslims.

Under Articles 108 to 113 of the Iranian penal code, lavat is proved either if a person confesses four times to having committed sodomy or by the testimony of four righteous men.

Neither of these legal conditions have been met. Ehsan confessed only once and under torture. Four righteous men have not testified that they saw him commit sodomy.

Ehsan denied the charges in court in front of the judges. He mentioned that his confession was made under torture.

Furthermore, the alleged victim dropped all charges against all three boys before the trial. One out of the five judges pronounced him not guilty and asked for his immediate release.

Saghi Ghahraman, chair of the Iranian Queer Organisation, told the Human Rights and Press Director of the Association Of British Muslims, Dan Littauer: “We should urgently ask the Iranian judicial system to show sympathy to a mere minor who has been falsely accused. Either forgive and release him or have another trial and investigate the evidence more thoroughly.”

“Ehsan’s family is terrified of government and security service reprisals if their family name appears in the media, and so is Ehsan’s lawyer. This is why we are not releasing Ehsan’s full name or the name of his lawyer,” said Ghahraman.

“As has happened in several cases in the past, you don't need to be gay or lesbian in Iran to be in danger of execution for homosexuality - a simple, unfounded accusation can be enough to see you sentenced to death,” added Littauer.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gay Marriage Objectors Lose in Canada

Gay Marriage Objectors Lose in Canada

Saskatchewan's Court of Appeal x390 (fair) | ADVOCATE.COM
An appeals court in Canada's Saskatchewan province has ruled that marriage commissioners cannot opt out of performing same-sex nuptials because of religious objections.
The decision is in response to a proposed law, which had two versions: One would allow any marriage commissioner to not perform a same-sex wedding because of his or her religion; the other version would allow commissioners to opt out of performing a same-sex ceremony only if they were commissioners before Canada enacted marriage equality in 2004.
The Monday ruling declared that both versions run contrary to Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"Either of them, if enacted, would violate the equality rights of gay and lesbian individuals," the ruling stated. "This violation would not be reasonable and justifiable within the meaning of s. 1 of the Charter. As a result, if put in place, either option would be unconstitutional and of no force or effect."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Scalia: Constitution Doesn't Protect Women, Gays

Posted on January 03, 2011
Scalia: Constitution Doesn't Protect Women, Gays
By Editors
Antonin Scalia

In an interview, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia says the Constitution doesn't promise protections for women and gays.

California Lawyer asked Scalia the following question: "In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don't think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we've gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both?"

The ultraconservative judge replied that the Constitution doesn't require discrimination against minorities, but that it certainly doesn't prohibit it.

"Nobody ever thought that that's what it meant," Scalia said of the 14th Amendment protecting women. "Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws."

Scalia's responses were met with sharp criticism by some. "In these comments, Justice Scalia says if Congress wants to protect laws that prohibit sex discrimination, that's up to them," Marcia Greenberger, founder of the National Women's Law Center, told The Huffington Post. "But what if they want to pass laws that discriminate?"

Navy Investigates Antigay Sex Vids

Posted on January 02, 2011
Navy Investigates Antigay Sex Vids
By Editors

Capt. Owen Honors

The Navy has launched an investigation into the production of a series of videos containing simulated sex and antigay slurs shown to service members deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

CNN reports the videos were reportedly shown to the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise in 2006 and 2007. Navy spokesman Cmdr. Chris Sims called the videos “clearly inappropriate.”

The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, Va., first published excerpts from the videos and descriptions of their content on Saturday.

According to Time magazine, the man behind the videos is Capt. Owen Honors, who at the time was the executive officer, or second-in-command, of the Enterprise. Honors recently took command of the carrier, which is weeks away from deploying.

In one of the videos, two female Navy sailors stand in a shower stall aboard the aircraft carrier, pretending to wash each other. In other skits, "sailors parade in drag, use anti-gay slurs, and simulate masturbation and a rectal exam. Another scene implies that an officer is having sex in his stateroom with a donkey."

According to Time, Honors is likely to lose command of his carrier before it heads out from Norfolk.

Watch the video posted to the Virginian-Pilot's website and an interview with Pilot editor Meredith Kruse below.

Go to this link to watch the video: