Banning homosexuality fosters hate crime and homophobia, says UN report

On Feb 18, 2016 The Guardian reported: Men suspected of same-sex relationships in countries that outlaw them are subjected to examinations which ‘amount to torture’

Prof Mendez, a former Argentinian political prisoner, said countries which outlaw homosexuality are ‘complicit in violence’ against those of the LGBT community.

Criminalising homosexuality amounts to torture in many of the 76 countries where same-sex relationships are outlawed, a United Nations report has declared.

Prof Juan Mendez, the organisation’s special rapporteur on torture, has called for decriminalisation in his latest submission to the UN’s human rights council on the grounds that the bans – which sometimes carry the death penalty – legitimise homophobia and hate crimes.

In one of the strongest denunciations of laws that are enforced in many African, Asian and Middle Eastern states, Mendez, a former Argentinian political prisoner, urges governments to reconsider their statute books.

“A clear link exists between the criminalisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and homophobic and transphobic hate crimes, police abuse, community and family violence and stigmatisation,” his report says.

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“At least 76 states have laws that criminalise consensual relationships between same-sex adults, in breach of the rights to non-discrimination and privacy; in some cases, the death penalty may be imposed.

“Such laws foster a climate in which violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons by both state and non-state actors is condoned and met with impunity.”

The report says that in countries where homosexuality is criminalised “men suspected of same-sex conduct are subject to non-consensual anal examinations intended to obtain physical evidence of homosexuality, a practice that is medically worthless and amounts to torture or ill-treatment”.

The UN special rapporteur’s statement will provide legal support for groups such as the London-based Human Dignity Trust which campaigns to overturn criminalisation and supports appeal cases around the world.

The report by Mendez states: “States are complicit in violence against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons whenever they create and implement discriminatory laws that trap them in abusive circumstances.”

One of its conclusions is that countries “must decriminalise same-sex relationships between consenting adults and repeal all laws that criminalise persons on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or expression”.

Read more at Banning homosexuality fosters hate crime and homophobia, says UN report | World news | The Guardian.

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