Sunday, October 16, 2011

A World of Inequality .

We all know that homosexuals still live in fear in many countries around the world - prejudice, torture, and execution is common outcomes for homosexual acts. It saddens me to know such a thing because although many homosexuals are mistreated in America it is unheard of when it comes to the idea of executing someone for being gay in this country. Or at least from what I know of.

I recently read an article about three young men in Iran who were hung to death due to homosexual acts. Here is a excerpt of the article:


"... three men were hanged in Iran for the crime of lavat, sexual intercourse between two men. The case is considered extreme even by Iranian standards, because while the death penalty is in place for homosexuality, it is usually enforced only when there is a charge of assault or rape alongside it; the accusations in these three cases were of consensual sex.

In Uganda, politicians have been seeking since 2009 to institute a strikingly nasty piece of legislation: the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality" (being homosexual more than once) and, in a totalitarian touch, penalties for teachers, doctors and even parents who suspected that someone in their care was gay but didn't report them. In Belize, there is a law on the statute books that criminalises homosexuality; a gay rights group in the country, Unibam, has brought a motion challenging the law, and had this reply from the minister of works, Anthony "Boots" Martinez: "My position is that God never placed anything on me for me to look at a man and jump on a man. I'll be clear on it … How would you decriminalise that, I am sorry, but that is law. Not only is the law made by man, that is a law made from the Bible. Why you think God made a man and a woman, man has what woman wants, and woman has what man wants, it's as simple as that. I'll fight tooth and nail to keep that law."

For lesbian and gay people who live in one of the 82 countries where homosexuality is criminalised, the world is not getting better: it is getting significantly, demonstrably worse. The irony – it's actually not an irony, it's a source of great shame, but it is also an unhappy coincidence – is that 40 of these countries are members of the Commonwealth, and this is a British export. Homosexuality was criminalised here in the 1880s, and was therefore part of our legislative package in the age of empire. By the time it was decriminalised in England and Wales in the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 (Scotland followed in 1980 and Northern Ireland in 1982), we no longer had any control over Commonwealth jurisdictions. The repeal came after a report by Lord Wolfenden in 1957; if its findings had only been enacted more swiftly, today unnumbered people across the Commonwealth – at an estimate, more than a million – would be living entirely different lives. Jonathan Cooper, CEO of the Human Dignity Trust, says: "The human misery that criminalisation causes can never be overestimated. The impact on lesbian and gay people growing up, you cannot overestimate what it does to people living under those laws, even if they're not being prosecuted. Just the fact that the rest of society is denied to them, they have no access to it."

That's the bad news. Incredibly, for a story like this, there is also good news. Apart from specific campaigning bodies such as Stonewall and more general human rights agencies such as Amnesty, there is a new crop of organisations trying to tackle this in a different way. This isn't another story about new media taking on old battles, though an awe-inspiring Facebook Campaign, We Are Everywhere, has gained ground since the hangings last week. But two groups in particular are taking the old-fashioned routes of top-level pressure and the rule of law, Kaleidoscope is described by its director, Lance Price, thus: "First, we're being driven by the experience of the people in the countries we're talking about. If you look at any country in the world where there has been progress, it started with a small group of people who had the courage to stand up. It's their struggle, these are their countries. Second, the people involved have been active in politics at a very high level [Price is a former adviser to Tony Blair], or active in the civil service at a very high level. I'm not bragging. But we're working all the time on behalf of people who struggle to have a voice, and we can bring them to the attention of powerful people who do make decisions, in their own countries and here."

Attitudes towards sexuality are in constant flux and have changed considerably throughout history. Religion and politics have almost always dictated where the law stands on such matters, meaning that it is often down to luck whether one's particualr sexual identity is persecuted at any given time. The sooner the world takes a more relaxed approach to sexuality, the sooner we can stop such hatred.

It is quite astonishing to know there is still so much hate throughout this world but I must say I am quite grateful for living in a country like America where people are growing to become more open minded to the idea of gay rights. Although, it took some time and a great fight, at the end the results are all worth it. I just hope that one day the fight for this will be over for all people all over the world.

I advice everyone to read the rest of this article. There are parts of it that has given me some hope that other countries will see change in the not too distant future.

Link : http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/13/gay-rights-world-of-inequality

Peace Love and Rainbows,

Rinagrace

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