Violence against LGBT people

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people frequently experience violence directed toward their sexuality or gender identity.[1][2] This violence may be enacted by the state, as in laws prescribing punishment for homosexual acts, or by individuals. It may be psychological or physical and motivated by biphobia, gayphobia, homophobia, lesbophobia, and transphobia. Influencing factors may be cultural, religious,[3][4][5] or political mores and biases.[6]

The homophobic attack on Wilfred de Bruijn [fr] became an issue in the legalization of same-sex marriage in France.

Currently, homosexual acts are legal in almost all Western countries, and in many of these countries violence against LGBT people is classified as a hate crime.[7] Outside the West, many countries are deemed potentially dangerous to their LGBT population due to both discriminatory legislation and threats of violence. These include countries where the dominant religion is Islam, most African countries (except South Africa), most Asian countries (except the LGBT-friendly Asian countries of Israel, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines), and some former-Communist countries such as Russia, Poland (LGBT-free zone), Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.[5] Such violence is often associated with religious condemnation of homosexuality or conservative social attitudes that portray homosexuality as an illness or a character flaw.[3][4]

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.[8] During the modern period (from the 19th century to the mid-20th century) in the Western world, the penalty was usually a fine or imprisonment.

There was a drop in locations where homosexual acts remained illegal from 2009 when there were 80 countries worldwide (notably throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and in most of Africa, but also in some of the Caribbean and Oceania) with five carrying the death penalty[9] to 2016 when 72 countries criminalized consensual sexual acts between adults of the same sex.[10]

Brazil, a country with LGBT rights protections and legal same-sex marriage, is reported by Grupo Gay da Bahia (GGB) to have the world's highest LGBT murder rate, with more than 380 murders in 2017 alone, an increase of 30% compared to 2016. This is usually not considered a hate crime in Brazil but a misinterpretation of skewed data resulting from relatively higher crime rates in the country in general when compared to world averages, rather than the LGBT population being a specific target.[11]

In some countries, 85% of LGBT students experience homophobic and transphobic violence in school, and 45% of transgender students drop out of school.[12]


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