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LGBT rights opposition

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Title: LGBT rights opposition  
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Subject: Homophobia, LGBT, Transphobia, Heterosexism, Eric Rudolph
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LGBT rights opposition

LGBT rights opposition is the opposition to some proposed or actual legal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Organizations influential in LGBT rights opposition frequently oppose the enactment of laws making same-sex marriage legal, the passage of anti-discrimination laws aimed at curtailing anti-LGBT discrimination, including in employment and housing, the passage of anti-bullying laws to protect LGBT minors, laws decriminalizing same-gender relationships, and other LGBT rights related laws. These groups are often religious or socially conservative in nature.

Such opposition can be motivated by religion, moral beliefs, homophobia, transphobia, bigotry,[1] animosity,[2] political ideologies, or other reasons.

Other laws that LGBT rights opponents may be opposed to include civil unions or partnerships, adoption by same-sex couples, LGBT parenting, military service, access to assisted reproductive technology, and access to sex reassignment surgery and hormone replacement therapy for transgender individuals.


  • History 1
  • Public opinion 2
  • Religious reasons for opposition 3
    • Christian opposition 3.1
    • Islamic opposition 3.2
    • Indian and East Asian religious opposition 3.3
    • Scientologist opposition 3.4
  • Health 4
  • Opposition in different countries 5
    • United States 5.1
      • History 5.1.1
      • U.S. public opinion 5.1.2
      • United States Armed Forces 5.1.3
      • Boy Scouts of America 5.1.4
    • United Kingdom 5.2
    • Russia 5.3
    • Belarus 5.4
    • India 5.5
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8


Students organised by the Nazi party parade in front of the Institute for Sexual Research in Berlin on 6 May 1933, before pillaging it and confiscating its books and photos for burning.

The first organized gay rights movement arose in the late nineteenth century in Germany.[3]

In the 1920s and into the early 1930s, there were LGBT communities in cities like Berlin; German-Jewish sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld was one of the most notable spokespeople for LGBT rights at this time. When the Nazi party came to power in 1933, one of the party's first acts was to burn down Hirschfeld's Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, where many prominent Nazis had been treated for perceived sexual problems.[4] Initially tolerant to the homosexuality of Ernst Röhm and his followers, many gay men were purged from the Nazi Party following the Night of the Long Knives and the Section 175 Laws began to be enforced again, with gay men interned in concentration camps by 1938.[note 1]

Under Nazi rule in Germany, the dismantling of rights for LGBT individuals was approached in two ways. By strengthening and re-enforcing existing laws that had fallen into disuse, male homosexuality was effectively re-criminalised; homosexuality was treated as a medical disorder, but at a social level rather than individual level intended to reduce the incidence of homosexuality. The treatment was a program of eugenics, starting with sterilisation, then a system of working people to death in forced labour camps, and eventually refined by medical scientists to include euthanasia. The driving force was the elimination of perceived degeneracy at various levels – genetic, social, identity and practice, and the elimination of such genetic material in society. Lifton wrote about this in his book The Nazi Doctors:[5]

[...] sexology and defense of homosexuality [...] were aspects of "sexual degeneration, a breakdown of the family and loss of all that is decent," and ultimately the destruction of the German Volk. [...] medicine was to join in the great national healing mission, and the advance image of what Nazi doctors were actually to become: the healer turned killer. [...] Sterilization policies were always associated with the therapeutic and regenerative principles of the biomedical vision: with the "purification of the national body" and the "eradication of morbid hereditary dispositions." Sterilization was considered part of "negative eugenics" [...][6]

It is argued that the numbers of gay people who perished in the Holocaust was quite low in comparison to other Holocaust victims, and confined to Germany itself, based on estimates that of 50,000 gay people who came before the courts, between 5,000 and 15,000[7][8][9] ended up in concentration camps. However, many of those who came before the courts were directed (or volunteered) to undergo sterilisation/castration; they would be included with others who, in line with the historic shift in German society (that started with Westphal, and developed through Krafft-Ebing to Magnus Hirschfeld, of homosexuality being seen as having a neurological, endocrinological and/or genetic basis), were treated for homosexuality as a medical rather than criminal matter. Those treated by psychiatrists and thereby included in the T4 project to eliminate people with alleged medical disorders would not be reflected in the rates of those dealt with as criminals.

After the

  1. ^ "Homosexuality and Religion". Lillian Ladele contined [ 
  2. ^ Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996).
  3. ^ "Archive for Sexology". 
  4. ^ "not ten percent of those men who, in 1933, took the fate of Germany into their hands, were sexually normal" LUDWIG L. LENZ, The Memoirs of a Sexologist (New York: 1954) pp. 429, cited by Erwin Haeberle in "Swastika, Pink Triangle, and Yellow Star – The Destruction of Sexology and the Persecution of Homosexuals in Nazi Germany" The Journal of Sex Research, vol. 17, no. 3 (August 1981), pp. 270–287,
  5. ^ Lifton, Robert (1986). "The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide". Basic Books. 
  6. ^ "Lifton' Nazi Doctors p.42". 
  7. ^ "Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945". Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Homosexuals - Holocaust Teacher Resource Center". Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Non-Jewish Victims of the Holocaust: 5 Million Often Forgotten". 1 September 1939. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Michael Klarman: From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage. Oxford University Press, 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Milestones in the Gay Rights Movement". Houghton Miffin Company. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  12. ^ "'"1957: Homosexuality 'should not be a crime. BBC. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  13. ^ Jerome Himmelstein, p. 97; Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Religious Right, p.49–50, Sara Diamond, South End Press, Boston, MA
  14. ^ Murray, Stephen O., Homosexualities, University of Chicago 2000
  15. ^ "WORLD PUBLICS WELCOME GLOBAL TRADE – BUT NOT IMMIGRATION" (PDF). The Pew Global Attitudes Project. 4 October 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  16. ^ "CNN Poll: Americans' attitudes toward gay community changing". 6 June 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
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  19. ^ "Teaching about Procreation and Chastity: Homosexuality", The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints. Home & Family.
  20. ^ Shafran, Rabbi Avi. "Jewish Law: Marital Problems". Jewish Law Commentary: Examining Halacha, Jewish Issues, and Secular Law.
  21. ^ "Islam and Homosexuality", Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance (2005).
  22. ^ "What the Bible says and means about homosexuality". Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  23. ^ "WORLD DAY AGAINST DEATH PENALTY". ILGA Files. 10 October 2007. Archived from the original on 29 October 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "Homosexuality and Islam". Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  25. ^ Reid, Tim (12 January 2002). "Kandahar Comes Out of the Closet". Archived from the original on 11 September 2004. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  26. ^ "Where is it illegal to be gay?". BBC News. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  27. ^ Dahir, Mubarak (December 2002). "Is Beheading Really the Punishment for Homosexuality in Saudi Arabia?". Archived from the original on 6 January 2003. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  28. ^ "Homosexuality and Religion". 
  29. ^ Farmer, Ben (13 January 2011). "'"Paedophilia 'culturally accepted in south Afghanistan. (Kabul: The Daily Telegraph). Retrieved 6 July 2015. American social scientists employed to help troops understand the local culture reported that homosexual sex was widespread among the Pashtun ethnic group in southern Afghanistan. Strict separation of men and women, coupled with poverty and the significant expense of getting married, contributed to young men turning to each other for sexual companionship. 
  30. ^ "Helem English - !EXIST". 
  31. ^ Wise Teacher, Wise Student: Tibetan Approaches to a Healthy Relationship, Alexander Berzin
  32. ^ World Tibet Network News (1 July 1993). "A Lesson on Life, Happiness; Anyone Can Achieve It, Says Dalai Lama to Seattle Crowd". Archived from the original on 4 August 2004. 
  33. ^ "Sikhism: beliefs about love and sex". BBC GCSE Bitesize. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  34. ^ "Homosexuality and Sikhism". GayLaxy. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  35. ^ World Sikh group against gay marriage bill, CBC News, Tuesday, 29 March 2005.
  36. ^ "Discussions on Dharma". Hinduism Today. October 2004. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  37. ^ "Hinduism: beliefs about love and sex". BBC GCSE Bitesize. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  38. ^ "The sexual pervert (and by this term Dianetics, to be brief, includes any and all forms of deviation in Dynamic II [i.e. sexuality] such as homosexuality, lesbianism, sexual sadism, etc., and all down the catalog of  
  39. ^ Hubbard (1975). Science of Survival. Church of Scientology of California. pp. 88–90. cantonment, away from society, any 1.1 individual who might be connected with government, the military, or essential industry; since here are people who, regardless of any record of their family's loyalty, are potential traitors, the very mode of operation of their insanity being betrayal. In this level is the slime of society, the sex criminals, the political subversives, the people whose apparently rational activities are yet but the devious writhings of secret hate."
  40. ^ "About Scientology".  
  41. ^ Gallagher, Eugene V.; Ashcraft, Michael (2006). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT/London, UK, Vol. 1, pp. 263–264
  42. ^ a b Meads, C; Pennant, M; McManus, J; Bayliss, S (2009). "A systematic review of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health in the West Midlands region of the UK compared to published UK research". Unit of Public Health, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, West Midlands Health Technology Assessment Group. 
  43. ^ Rates and predictors of mental illness in gay men, lesbians and bisexual men and women, British Journal of Psychiatry, (2004) 185: 479–485
  44. ^ Rivers, I (2001). "The bullying of sexual minorities at school: Its nature and long-term correlates.". Educational and Child Psychology (18(1)): 32–46. 
  45. ^ Rivers, I (2004). "Recollections of Bullying at School and Their Long-Term Implications for Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals". Crisis (25(4)): 169–175. 
  46. ^ Wilton, Tamsin (2000). "Sexualities in health and social care: a textbook". Open University Press.  
  47. ^ "Daily Xtra" (PDF). 
  48. ^ Cuordileone, K. A. "'Politics in an Age of Anxiety': Cold War Political Culture and the Crisis in American Masculinity, 1949–1960" The Journal of American History 87 (2) (2000): 515–545
  49. ^ Von Hoffman, Nicholas, Citizen Cohn Doubleday, 1988, pp 130
  50. ^ "Who's Gay? What's Straight? - Employment Of Homosexuals And Other Sex Perverts In Government (1950) - Assault On Gay America - FRONTLINE - PBS". 
  51. ^ Von Hoffman, Nicholas, Citizen Cohn Doubleday, 1988
  52. ^ Bryant, Anita; Green, Bob (1978). At Any Cost. Grand Rapids, Michigan, US: Fleming H. Revell.  
  53. ^ "25 POINTS OF AMERICAN NATIONAL SOCIALISM". National Socialist Movement. Retrieved 3 September 2014. Only members of the nation may be citizens of the state. Only those of pure White blood, whatever their creed, may be members of the nation. Non-citizens may live in America only as guests and must be subject to laws for aliens. Accordingly, no Jew or homosexual may be a member of the nation. 
  54. ^ a b c d Gallup, Inc. "Tolerance for Gay Rights at High-Water Mark". 
  55. ^ Kludt, Tom (18 March 2013). "Poll:New High Of 58 Percent Support Same-Sex Marriage". Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  56. ^ "Gay marriage support hits new high in Post-ABC poll". 18 March 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  57. ^ "Poll: Gay-marriage support at record high". 23 April 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  58. ^ Studies finding that heterosexual men usually exhibit more hostile attitudes toward gay men and lesbians than heterosexual women:
    • Herek, G. M. (1994). Assessing heterosexuals’ attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. In "B. Greene and G.M. Herek (Eds.) Psychological perspectives on lesbian and gay issues: Vol. 1 Lesbian and gay psychology: Theory, research, and clinical applications." Thousands Oaks, Ca: Sage.
    • Kite, M.E. (1984). Sex differences in attitudes toward homosexuals: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Homosexuality, 10 (1–2), 69–81.
    • Morin, S., & Garfinkle, E. (1978). Male homophobia. Journal of Social Issues, 34 (1), 29–47.
    • Thompson, E., Grisanti, C., & Pleck, J. (1985). Attitudes toward the male role and their correlates. Sex Roles, 13 (7/8), 413–427.
    For other correlates, see:
    • Larson et al. (1980) Heterosexuals' Attitudes Toward Homosexuality, The Journal of Sex Research, 16, 245–257
    • Herek, G. (1988), Heterosexuals' Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men, Journal of Sex Research, 25, 451–477
    • Kite, M.E., & Deaux, K., 1986. Attitudes toward homosexuality: Assessment and behavioral consequences. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 7, 137–162
    • Haddock, G., Zanna, M. P., & Esses, V. M. (1993). Assessing the structure of prejudicial attitudes: The case of attitudes toward homosexuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 1105–1118.
    See also: Lewis, Gregory B., Black-White Differences in Attitudes toward Homosexuality and Gay Rights, Public Opinion Quarterly, Volume 67, Number 1, Pp. 59–78
  59. ^ Herek, G.M. (1991). Stigma, prejudice, and violence against lesbians and gay men. In: J. Gonsiorek & J. Weinrich (Eds.), "Homosexuality: Research implications for public policy" (pp. 60–80). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
  60. ^ Kyes, K.B. & Tumbelaka, L. (1994). Comparison of Indonesian and American college students' attitudes toward homosexuality. Psychological Reports, 74, 227–237.
  61. ^ "Study: Military gays don't undermine unit". NBC News (Associated Press). 7 July 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  62. ^ "Out In Force". 
  63. ^ "Boy Scouts". Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  64. ^ The Boy Scouts of America. "Position statements: United Way". Archived from the original on 16 October 2002. 
  65. ^ "Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News -". CNN. 
  66. ^ "Scouting for All: Committed to Scouting, Open to Diversity. Working to end discrimination against gays, atheists, agnostics, other non-theists, and all other groups in the Boy Scouts of America.". 
  67. ^ "Support our scouts act of 2005". 30 December 2005. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  68. ^ "Two-year anniversary of Supreme Court case". 24 June 2002. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  69. ^ "Boy Scouts Of America Practices Discrimination". Freedom From Religion Foundation. Archived from the original on 7 February 2005. Retrieved 9 October 2007. 
  70. ^ "United Way to Continue Aid to Central Jersey Scouts". NY Times. 31 August 2001. Retrieved 3 November 2006. 
  71. ^ ": The Impact of the Boy Scouts of America’s Anti-Gay Discrimination". Archived from the original on 26 June 2006. 
  72. ^ "Scouting for All: Committed to Scouting, Open to Diversity. Working to end discrimination against gays, atheists, agnostics, other non-theists, and all other groups in the Boy Scouts of America.". 
  73. ^ Todd Leopold, CNN (27 July 2015). "Boy Scouts change policy on gay leaders". CNN. 
  74. ^ Local Government Act 1988 (c. 9), section 28. Accessed 18 January 2015 on
  75. ^ Epstein, Debbie; O'Flynn, Sarah; Telford, David (2003). "Silenced Sexualities in Schools and Universities". Trentham Books. 
  76. ^ a b "Speech to Conservative Party Conference, 1987 Oct 9". Margaret Thatcher Foundation. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  77. ^ "Channel 4 - News - Dispatches - Cameron: Toff At The Top". 
  78. ^ Roberts, Scott. "'"Ian McKellen: 'Margaret Thatcher misjudged the future with Section 28.  
  79. ^ "Cameron sorry for Section 28". The Independent. 
  80. ^ Pierce, Andrew. "David Cameron says sorry over Section 28 gay law". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  81. ^ "Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill". House of Commons. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  82. ^ "Gay marriage an important step forward, says PM". BBC. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  83. ^ Ross, Tim (24 December 2010). "Coalition ministers consider gay marriage plans". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  84. ^ Andrew Anthony. "Andrew Anthony meets Nick Griffin - From the Observer - The Observer". the Guardian. 
  85. ^ "1999: Dozens injured in Soho nail bomb". BBC News. 30 April 1999. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  86. ^ "Factbox: British National Party", The Daily Telegraph, 10 January 2006 
  87. ^ a b "Young and Gay in Putin's Russia - Full Length". VICE News. 
  88. ^ Brydum, Sunnivie (28 October 2013). "Putin Promises Gay Olympians Will Be "Comfortable" in Sochi". The Advocate. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  89. ^ Caldwell, Christopher. "Why the west has not boycotted the Sochi Olympics". (The Financial Times). Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  90. ^ "Corporate report: Belarus - Country of Concern". Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government (2010-2015). 16 October 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  91. ^ "Homosexuality in Hinduism". Faithology. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  92. ^ "India's Supreme Court turns the clock back with gay sex ban".  


  1. ^ See Persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.
  2. ^ Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 (KJV).
  3. ^ Romans 1:25-28 - these are often considered the only explicit references in the Bible discussing female homosexuality.
  4. ^ See: Cairo 52.


See also

On October 6, 1860, sodomy was legally forbidden in India according to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.[91] This was ruled unconstitutional in 2009 by the Delhi High Court, but reaffirmed on 11 December 2013 by a Supreme Court ruling.[92]



The law passed has been described as taking Russia's LGBT community "from being a stigmatized fringe group to full-blown Occupy Paedophilia), which target gay teens online and meet up with them, posting on YouTube their acts of assault against the LGB teens, which have even resulted in the death of several LGB teens in Russia, which are rarely investigated by the authorities, defining them as "civil movements fighting the sins of society".[87]

Opposition to the LGBT rights movement is very prevalent in Russia, including within the Kremlin. President Vladimir Putin enacted laws in 2012 which criminalised education about LGBT issues, calling it "gay propaganda". It banned telling minors that homosexuality was normal or natural. This meant that many under-16s do not have anywhere to turn to for support, as parents, teachers or psychologists to offer to tell their child, pupil or parent that it's "okay to be gay".[87] This was opposed by some Western nations with many members of the public in the U.S. and Western Europe calling for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. However President Putin assured that all athletes would be respected, regardless of their sexuality[88] and in the event, no boycott occurred.[89]

LGBT activists in Moscow, 2 March 2013


The British National Party has shifted its platform from recriminalization to an extension of section 28-style legislation, i.e. making it illegal to portray homosexuality positively in the media.[84] In 1999, the Admiral Duncan pub, a gay bar in London's Soho, was targeted up as part of a terrorist campaign by a former National Socialist Movement and British National Party (BNP) member, David Copeland; three people were killed, and 70 maimed or injured by a nail bomb detonated in the pub.[85] Following this bombing, Nick Griffin (former leader of the BNP) said: "The TV footage of dozens of 'gay' demonstrators flaunting their perversion in front of the world's journalists showed just why so many ordinary people find these creatures so repulsive."[86]

The largest voice against LGBT equality in the UK currently comes from the Church of England over the issue of gay marriage. Labour passed into law in 2005 the ability for same-sex couples to enter civil-partnerships, but they could not take place in a church or be called a "marriage". The Church of England has taken up opposition to the Coalition Government's plans to extend this to full marriage rights.[83]

In 2013, same-sex marriage was legalised under Cameron's leadership,[81] which Cameron described as "an important step forward" and said that he thought that "it is right that gay people should be able to get married too".[82]

In June 2009, David Cameron, whilst campaigning to be the next Prime Minister, formally apologised for his party introducing the law, stating that it was a mistake and had been offensive to gay people,.[79][80]

However, despite opposition from the Conservatives such as David Cameron,[77] Section 28 was eventually repealed in 2003 by the Labour government under Tony Blair.[78]

In 1988, the British Conservative Party, who were in government at the time, enacted Section 28 which stated that local authorities must not "intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" and that maintained schools should not "promote the teaching [...] of the acceptability of homosexuality", describing families with gay parents as a "pretended family relationship".[74] Research on the effect of suppressing information about sexuality awareness in schools showed a correspondence with increases in the level of homophobic bullying by peers, as well as increased incidence in depression and suicide amongst LGBT people trying to come to terms with their sexuality.[75] In 1987, Thatcher also declared that "hard left education authorities and extremist teachers" were indoctrinating the nation by teaching the younger generation "political slogans", "anti-racist mathematics" and telling their pupils that they have an "inalienable right to be gay", rather than "taught to respect traditional moral values".[76] She then went on to say that "all of those children are being cheated of a sound start in life—yes cheated!"[76]

United Kingdom

In July 2015, the Boy Scouts' executive board voted to end the ban on adult leaders who are openly gay.[73]

In most countries where Boy Scouts organizations exist homosexuality is not regarded as incompatible with scout values, and gay members are not excluded from activities;[72] this includes the United Kingdom, where scouting was founded by Baden-Powell.

The BSA receives much of its funding and support from religious groups noted for their opposition to the 4-H club and Girl Scouts of the USA do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

In 2005, the U.S. Congress passed the Support Our Scouts Act of 2005 to exempt the BSA from anti-discrimination laws, to require the Department of Defense to support scouting Jamborees (thus rendering ineffective a Federal Court injunction prohibiting this as an unconstitutional establishment of religion in violation of the First Amendment) and to require state or local governments that receive Community Development Block Grant money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to allow BSA to have meetings in their facilities or on their property.[67]

[66] In 2000 the

The discriminatory, but instead defends their policy saying that, "Tolerance for diversity of values does not require abdication of one's own values".[64]

Boy Scouts of America

Until its repeal in December 2010 by President Barack Obama,[61] the United States Armed Forces' "Don't ask, don't tell" policy required gay men and lesbian women to be discharged from the armed forces if they came out, but did not allow the military to question people about their sexual orientation. Even before it was established, there were advocates for allowing gay people to serve openly in the military. Critics of the policy pointed out that neither unit cohesion nor morale were affected when the UK admitted gay people into the military. A similar comparison has been made to the lack of negative consequences when African-Americans and women were admitted into the military.[62]

United States Armed Forces

Numerous studies have investigated the prevalence of acceptance and disapproval of homosexuality and have consistently found correlations with various demographic, psychological, and social variables. For example, studies (mainly conducted in the United States) have found that heterosexuals with positive attitudes towards homosexuality are more likely to be female, young, non-religious, politically liberal or moderate, and have close personal contact with openly gay men and lesbians.[58] They are also more likely to have positive attitudes towards other minority groups[59] and are less likely to support traditional gender roles.[60]

Public opinion has shifted towards increased acceptance of homosexuality and equal rights for gays and lesbians since the late 1970s. According to the Gallup poll, the percentage of Americans who think that same-sex relations between consenting adults should be legal increased from 43% in 1977 to 59% in 2007.[54] In 1977, 56% of Americans thought that gay people should have equal rights in terms of job opportunities. As of 2007, that number has risen to 89%.[54] In 1982, 34% thought that homosexuality should be considered "an acceptable alternative lifestyle". As of 2007, that number is 54%.[54] In 1997, 27% of Americans thought that same-sex marriages should be legally valid. That number is 46% as of 2007. In 1977, 13% of Americans thought that sexual orientation is "something a person is born with"; as of 2007, that percentage increased to 42%.[54] A poll conducted in 2013 showed a record high of 58% of the Americans supporting legal recognition for same-sex marriage.[55][56] In April 2015, a Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that 61% of Americans supported same-sex marriage and a similar share were against state-by-state legalization.[57]

U.S. public opinion

Some capital punishment for people engaging in sodomy, such as the American National Socialist Movement.[53]

From the late 1970s onwards, some Christian Broadcasting Network, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, the American Family Association and the Christian Coalition have been outspoken against gay rights.

Save Our Children, a widespread campaign to oppose legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The group argued that gay people were "recruiting" or "molesting children" in order to make them gay. Bryant infamously claimed that "As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children," and also claimed that "If gays are granted rights, next we'll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nail biters."[52] The Bryant campaign achieved success in repealing some city anti-discrimination laws, and proposed other citizen initiatives such as a failed California ballot question designed to ban gay people or those who supported gay rights from holding public teaching jobs.

In the 1950s in the [50] McCarthy and Roy Cohn more often used the secrets of closeted gay American politicians as tools for blackmail than did foreign powers.[51]


United States

Opposition in different countries

Some LGBT activists argue that the experience of growing up LGBT contributes to mental health issues in adulthood, and the barriers to accessing appropriate healthcare as adults contribute towards poorer health; they argue that protection of LGBT rights is necessary to minimise the potential development of health problems and ensure access to healthcare resources. In 2009 Canadian LGBT activists filed a complaint alleging that the health issues of GLB Canadians are being neglected by the government, equating it to a violation of the human rights of LGBT people. In the complaint, the activists highlight a life expectancy 20 years less than average for LGB people, with more cases of cancer and HIV and increased rates of suicide, alcoholism and drug use.[47]

A systematic review of research in the UK indicates that there appears to be limited evidence available from which to draw general conclusions about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health because epidemiological studies have not incorporated sexuality as a factor in data collection.[42] The review found that from the research there is in the UK, there are no differences in terms of major health problems between LGBT people and the general population, although LGBT people's general health appears poorer, but with no specific information on common and major diseases, cancers or long-term health.[42] Research points to issues encountered from an early age, such as LGBT people being targeted for bullying, assault, and discrimination, as contributing significantly to depression, suicide and other mental health issues in adulthood.[43] One researcher looked at the long-term consequences of bullying at schools,[44][45] and a social researcher has focused on the way LGBT people can experience discriminatory practices in accessing healthcare, and its effects.[46]


A 2004 article in the St. Petersburg Times reported that the Church defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman.[40] One year later, in response to a query about the Church's position on homosexuality, the Church of Scientology in 2005 stated: "The Church of Scientology does not dictate sexual preferences. Scientology is a practical method of improving conditions in life and works to increase a person's abilities, give higher IQ and better reaction time, greater ability to solve his problems in life – things of this nature."[41]

Scientologist founder [39]

Scientologist opposition

Among the religions that originated in India, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, teachings regarding homosexuality are less clear than among the Abrahamic traditions. Unlike in western religions, homosexuality is rarely discussed. Vasubandhu included homosexuality among sexual practices that were forbidden because of their association with foreigners,[31] and the Dalai Lama has stated that male-female relationships are intended by nature, though without condemning same-sex relationships.[32] Homosexuality is considered to be against the Sikh code of conduct, because it is not mentioned in Sikh scripture and because Sikhs are encouraged to marry, although this matter is not considered very important.[33] In 2005, the Head Cleric of the Akal Takht condemned same-sex marriages,[34][35] Hinduism is diverse, with no supreme governing body, but the majority of swamis opposed the idea of religious same-sex marriage in a 2004 survey, and a minority supported them.[36] There is no mention of homosexuality in the Hindu scriptures and it sometimes a taboo subject, but as Hinduism considers it a religious duty to marry and have children, heterosexual relationships are considered the norm.[37]

Indian and East Asian religious opposition

[30] Most international human rights organizations, such as

In Saudi Arabia, the maximum punishment for homosexuality is public execution, but the government will use other punishments – e.g., fines, jail time, and flagellation – as alternatives, unless it feels that LGBT individuals are challenging state authority by engaging in LGBT social movements.[27] Iran is perhaps the nation to execute the largest number of its citizens for homosexuality. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, the Iranian government has executed more than 4,000 people charged with homosexual acts.[28] Even though homosexuality is widespread amongst the Pashtun ethnic group in southern Afghanistan,[29] after the fall of the Taliban, homosexuality went from a capital crime to one that is punished with fines, prison sentences, and vigilante violence.

It formerly carried the death penalty in Afghanistan under the Taliban.[25] In Egypt, openly gay men have been prosecuted under general public morality laws.[note 4] On the other hand, homosexuality has been legal in Turkey since 1858.[26]

Sodomy is regarded as criminal and forbidden in most Islamic countries, according to Sharia law, and officially carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan and Yemen.[23][24]

Islamic opposition

Passages in the Old Testament that prohibit man "lie with mankind as with womankind"[note 2] and the story of Sodom and Gomorrah have historically been interpreted as condemning sodomy. Several Pauline passages have also been cited against male and female homosexuality.[note 3] Christians who take a conservative position on homosexuality endorse this reading of these passages in the belief that God is against same-sex sexual activity, while Christians who take a liberal position believe that these same passages refer to more specific situations, such as rape or abuse, and not homosexuality.[22] and LGBT 'friendly' churches have arisen in recent years.

Christian opposition

Many forms of religions, including the Eastern faiths and Abrahamic faiths, do not support homosexual sex. Evangelical Christianity,[17] Catholicism,[18] Mormonism,[19] Orthodox Judaism,[20] and Islam,[21] hold the view that homosexual sex is a sin and that its practice and acceptance in society weakens moral standards.

Religious reasons for opposition

However, a 2012 CNN poll showed that a majority number of Americans are in favor of gay rights, such as same-sex marriage.[16]

According to The 2007 Pew Global Attitudes Project, "Throughout Western Europe and much of the Americas, there is widespread tolerance towards homosexuality. However, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Israel stand apart from other wealthy nations on this issue; in each of these countries, fewer than half of those surveyed say homosexuality should be accepted by society. Meanwhile, in most of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, there is less tolerance toward homosexuality."[15]

Societal attitudes towards homosexuality vary greatly in different cultures and different historical periods, as do attitudes toward sexual desire, activity and relationships in general. All cultures have their own norms regarding appropriate and inappropriate sexuality; some sanction same-sex love and sexuality, while others disapprove of such activities.[14]

Public opinion


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