Violence Against LGBT People

Violence Against LGBT People

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people frequently face violence motivated by their sexuality or gender identity. Violence may be executed by the state, as in laws prescribing corporal punishment for homosexual acts (see homosexuality laws), or by individuals engaging in intimidation, mobbing, assault, or lynching (see gay bashing, trans bashing). Violence targeted at people because of their perceived sexuality can be psychological or physical and can extend to murder. These actions may be motivated by homophobia or transphobia, and may be influenced by cultural, religious, or political mores and biases.

In the modern Western world, where homosexual acts have been legal in almost all countries since at least the 1940s, violence against LGBT people is often qualified as a hate crime, motivated by homophobia, and is often connected with either religious or extremist political ideologies which condemn homosexuality and relate it to being weak, ill, feminine, or morally wrong. However, many countries outside the Western world, particularly where the dominant religion is Islam and in Africa and the Middle East, are currently very dangerous for LGBT people because of discrimination against homosexuals which influences both discriminatory legislation and physical violence. In Europe, the European Union's Employment Equality Framework Directive and Charter of Fundamental Rights offer some protection against sexuality-based discrimination.

Historically, state-sanctioned persecution of homosexuals was mostly limited to male homosexuality, termed "sodomy". During the medieval and early modern period, the penalty for sodomy was usually death. During the modern period (19th to early 20th century) in the Western world, the penalty was usually a fine or imprisonment. As of 2009, there remain 80 countries worldwide where homosexual acts remain illegal (notably throughout the Middle East, South Asia and in most of Africa, but also in much of the Caribbean and Oceania) including five that carry the death penalty.

Read more about Violence Against LGBT People:  State-sanctioned Violence, Criminal Assault

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