Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It has been defined as contempt, prejudice, aversion, hatred or antipathy, may be based on irrational fear, and is often related to religious beliefs.
Homophobia is observable in critical and hostile behavior such as discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientations that are non-heterosexual. Recognized types of homophobia include institutionalized homophobia, e.g. religious homophobia and state-sponsored homophobia, and internalized homophobia, experienced by people who have same-sex attractions, regardless of how they identify.
Negative attitudes toward identifiable LGBT groups have similar yet specific names: lesbophobia is the intersection of homophobia and sexism directed against lesbians, biphobia targets bisexuality and bisexual people, and transphobia targets transgender and transsexual people and gender variance or gender role nonconformity. According to 2010 Hate Crimes Statistics released by the FBI National Press Office, 19.3 percent of hate crimes across the United States "were motivated by a sexual orientation bias." Moreover, in a Southern Poverty Law Center 2010 Intelligence Report extrapolating data from fourteen years (1995–2008), which had complete data available at the time, of the FBI's national hate crime statistics found that LGBT people were "far more likely than any other minority group in the United States to be victimized by violent hate crime."
The term homophobia and its usage have been criticized by several sources as unwarrantedly pejorative.
Although sexual attitudes tracing back to Ancient Greece (8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity (ca. 600 AD)) have been termed homophobia by scholars, the term itself is relatively new, and an intolerance towards homosexuality and homosexuals grew during the Middle Ages, especially by adherents of Islam and Christianity.
Coined by George Weinberg, a psychologist, in the 1960s, the term homophobia is a blend of (1) the word homosexual, itself a mix of neo-classical morphemes, and (2) phobia from the Greek φόβος, phóbos, meaning "fear", "morbid fear" or "aversion". Weinberg is credited as the first person to have used the term in speech. The word homophobia first appeared in print in an article written for the May 23, 1969, edition of the American pornographic magazine Screw, in which the word was used to refer to heterosexual men's fear that others might think they are gay.
Conceptualizing anti-LGBT prejudice as a social problem worthy of scholarly attention was not new. A 1969 article in Time described examples of negative attitudes toward homosexuality as "homophobia", including "a mixture of revulsion and apprehension" which some called homosexual panic. In 1971, Kenneth Smith used homophobia as a personality profile to describe the psychological aversion to homosexuality. Weinberg also used it this way in his 1972 book Society and the Healthy Homosexual, published one year before the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. Weinberg's term became an important tool for gay and lesbian activists, advocates, and their allies. He describes the concept as a medical phobia:
[A] phobia about homosexuals.... It was a fear of homosexuals which seemed to be associated with a fear of contagion, a fear of reducing the things one fought for — home and family. It was a religious fear and it had led to great brutality as fear always does.
Homophobia manifests in different forms, and a number of different types have been postulated, among which are internalized homophobia, social homophobia, emotional homophobia, rationalized homophobia, and others. There were also ideas to classify homophobia, racism, and sexism as an intolerant personality disorder.
In 1992, the American Psychiatric Association, recognizing the power of the stigma against homosexuality, issued the following statement, reaffirmed by the Board of Trustees, July 2011: "Whereas homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) calls on all international health organizations, psychiatric organizations, and individual psychiatrists in other countries to urge the repeal in their own countries of legislation that penalizes homosexual acts by consenting adults in private. Further, APA calls on these organizations and individuals to do all that is possible to decrease the stigma related to homosexuality wherever and whenever it may occur."
Many world religions contain anti-homosexual teachings, while other religions have varying degrees of ambivalence, neutrality, or incorporate teachings that regard homosexuals as third gender. Even within some religions which generally discourage homosexuality, there are also people who view homosexuality positively, and some religious denominations bless or conduct same-sex marriages. There also exist so-called Queer religions, dedicated to serving the spiritual needs of LGBTQI persons. Queer theology seeks to provide a counterpoint to religious homophobia. In 2015, attorney and author Roberta Kaplan stated that Kim Davis "is the clearest example of someone who wants to use a religious liberty argument to discriminate [against same-sex couples]."
The Bible, especially the Old Testament, contains some passages commonly interpreted as condemning homosexuality or same-gender sexual relations. Leviticus 18:22, says "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is also commonly seen as a condemnation of homosexuality. Christians and Jews who oppose homosexuality often cite such passages; historical context and interpretation is more complicated. Scholarly debate over the interpretation of these passages has focused on placing them in proper historical context, for instance pointing out that Sodom's sins are historically interpreted as being other than homosexuality, and on the translation of rare or unusual words in the passages in question. In Religion Dispatches magazine, Candace Chellew-Hodge argues that the six or so verses that are often cited to condemn LGBT people are referring instead to "abusive sex". She states that the Bible has no condemnation for "loving, committed, gay and lesbian relationships" and that Jesus was silent on the subject.
The official teaching of the Catholic Church regarding homosexuality is that same-sex behavior should not be expressed. The Catechism of the Catholic Church States that, "'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.'...They are contrary to the natural law.... Under no circumstances can they be approved."
In some cases, the distinction between religious homophobia and state-sponsored homophobia is not clear, a key example being territories under Islamic authority. All major Islamic sects forbid homosexuality, which is a crime under Sharia Law and treated as such in most Muslim countries. In Afghanistan, for instance, homosexuality carried the death penalty under the Taliban. After their fall, homosexuality was reduced from a capital crime to one that is punished with fines and prison sentences. The legal situation in the United Arab Emirates, however, is unclear.
In 2009, the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) published a report entitled State Sponsored Homophobia 2009, which is based on research carried out by Daniel Ottosson at Södertörn University College, Stockholm, Sweden. This research found that of the 80 countries around the world that continue to consider homosexuality illegal:
In 2001, Al-Muhajiroun, an international organization seeking the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate, issued a fatwa declaring that all members of The Al-Fatiha Foundation (which advances the cause of gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims) were murtadd, or apostates, and condemning them to death. Because of the threat and because they come from conservative societies, many members of the foundation's site still prefer to be anonymous so as to protect their identities while they are continuing a tradition of secrecy.
State-sponsored homophobia includes the criminalization and penalization of homosexuality, hate speech from government figures, and other forms of discrimination, violence, persecution of LGBT people.
In medieval Europe, homosexuality was considered sodomy and it was punishable by death. Persecutions reached their height during the Medieval Inquisitions, when the sects of Cathars and Waldensians were accused of fornication and sodomy, alongside accusations of Satanism. In 1307, accusations of sodomy and homosexuality were major charges leveled during the Trial of the Knights Templar. The theologian Thomas Aquinas was influential in linking condemnations of homosexuality with the idea of natural law, arguing that "special sins are against nature, as, for instance, those that run counter to the intercourse of male and female natural to animals, and so are peculiarly qualified as unnatural vices."
Although bisexuality was accepted as normal human behavior in Ancient China, homophobia became ingrained in the late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China due to interactions with the Christian West, and homosexual behaviour was outlawed in 1740. When Mao Zedong came to power, the government thought of homosexuality as "social disgrace or a form of mental illness", and "[d]uring the cultural revolution (1966–76), people who were homosexual faced their worst period of persecution in Chinese history." Despite there being no law in the communist People's Republic against homosexuality, "police regularly rounded up gays and lesbians." Other laws were used to prosecute homosexual people and they were "charged with hooliganism or disturbing public order."
The Soviet Union under Vladimir Lenin decriminalized homosexuality in 1922, long before many other European countries. The Soviet Communist Party effectively legalized no-fault divorce, abortion and homosexuality, when they abolished all the old Tsarist laws and the initial Soviet criminal code kept these liberal sexual policies in place. Lenin's emancipation was reversed a decade later by Joseph Stalin and homosexuality remained illegal under Article 121 until the Yeltsin era.
Homosexuals were one of the many groups alongside Jews that were murdered during the Holocaust.
Homosexuality is illegal in 74 countries. The North Korean government condemns Western gay culture as a vice caused by the decadence of a capitalist society, and it denounces it as promoting consumerism, classism, and promiscuity. In North Korea, "violating the rules of collective socialist life" can be punished with up to two years' imprisonment. However, according to the North Korean government, "As a country that has embraced science and rationalism, the DPRK recognizes that many individuals are born with homosexuality as a genetic trait and treats them with due respect. Homosexuals in the DPRK have never been subject to repression, as in many capitalist regimes around the world."
Robert Mugabe, the former president of Zimbabwe, has waged a violent campaign against LGBT people, arguing that before colonisation, Zimbabweans did not engage in homosexual acts. His first major public condemnation of homosexuality was in August 1995, during the Zimbabwe International Book Fair. He told an audience: "If you see people parading themselves as lesbians and gays, arrest them and hand them over to the police!" In September 1995, Zimbabwe's parliament introduced legislation banning homosexual acts. In 1997, a court found Canaan Banana, Mugabe's predecessor and the first President of Zimbabwe, guilty of 11 counts of sodomy and indecent assault.
Internalized homophobia refers to negative stereotypes, beliefs, stigma, and prejudice about homosexuality and LGBT people that a person with same-sex attraction turns inward on themselves, whether or not they identify as LGBT. The degree to which someone is affected by these ideas depends on how much and which ideas they have consciously and subconsciously internalized. These negative beliefs can be mitigated with education, life experience and therapy, especially with gay-friendly psychotherapy/analysis. Internalized homophobia also applies to conscious or unconscious behaviors which a person feels the need to promote or conform to cultural expectations of heteronormativity or heterosexism. This can include extreme repression and denial coupled with forced outward displays of heteronormative behavior for the purpose of appearing or attempting to feel "normal" or "accepted." Other expressions of internalized homophobia can also be subtle. Some less overt behaviors may include making assumptions about the gender of a person's romantic partner, or about gender roles. Some researchers also apply this label to LGBT people who support "compromise" policies, such as those that find civil unions acceptable in place of same-sex marriage.
Some studies have shown that people who are homophobic are more likely to have repressed homosexual desires. In 1996, a controlled study of 64 heterosexual men (half said they were homophobic by experience, with self-reported orientation) at the University of Georgia found that men who were found to be homophobic (as measured by the Index of Homophobia) were considerably more likely to experience more erectile responses when exposed to homoerotic images than non-homophobic men. Another study in 2012 arrived at similar results when researchers found that students who came from "the most rigid anti-gay homes" were most likely to reveal repressed homosexual attraction. The researchers said that this explained why some religious leaders who denounce homosexuality are later revealed to have secret homosexual relations. They noted that "these people are at war with themselves and are turning this internal conflict outward." A 2016 eye-tracking study showed that heterosexual men with high negative impulse reactions toward homosexuals gazed for longer periods at homosexual imagery than other heterosexual men. According to Cheval et al. (2016), these findings reinforce the necessity to consider that homophobia might reflect concerns about sexuality in general and not homosexuality in particular.
Researcher Iain R. Williamson, in his 1998 paper "Internalized Homophobia and Health Issues Affecting Lesbians and Gay Men" finds the term homophobia to be "highly problematic" but for reasons of continuity and consistency with the majority of other publications on the issue retains its use rather than using more accurate but obscure terminology. The phrase internalized sexual stigma is sometimes used in place to represent internalized homophobia. An internalized stigma arises when a person believes negative stereotypes about themselves, regardless of where the stereotypes come from. It can also refer to many stereotypes beyond sexuality and gender roles. Internalized homophobia can cause discomfort with and disapproval of one's own sexual orientation. Ego-dystonic sexual orientation or egodystonic homophobia, for instance, is a condition characterized by having a sexual orientation or an attraction that is at odds with one's idealized self-image, causing anxiety and a desire to change one's orientation or become more comfortable with one's sexual orientation. Such a situation may cause extreme repression of homosexual desires. In other cases, a conscious internal struggle may occur for some time, often pitting deeply held religious or social beliefs against strong sexual and emotional desires. This discordance can cause clinical depression, and a higher rate of suicide among LGBT youth (up to 30 percent of non-heterosexual youth attempt suicide) has been attributed to this phenomenon. Psychotherapy, such as gay affirmative psychotherapy, and participation in a sexual-minority affirming group can help resolve the internal conflicts, such as between religious beliefs and sexual identity. Even informal therapies that address understanding and accepting of non-heterosexual orientations can prove effective. Many diagnostic "Internalized Homophobia Scales" can be used to measure a person's discomfort with their sexuality and some can be used by people regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Critics of the scales note that they presume a discomfort with non-heterosexuality which in itself enforces heternormativity.
The fear of being identified as gay can be considered as a form of social homophobia. Theorists including Calvin Thomas and Judith Butler have suggested that homophobia can be rooted in an individual's fear of being identified as gay. Homophobia in men is correlated with insecurity about masculinity. For this reason, homophobia is allegedly rampant in sports, and in the subculture of its supporters that is considered stereotypically male, such as association football and rugby.
These theorists have argued that a person who expresses homophobic thoughts and feelings does so not only to communicate their beliefs about the class of gay people, but also to distance themselves from this class and its social status. Thus, by distancing themselves from gay people, they are reaffirming their role as a heterosexual in a heteronormative culture, thereby attempting to prevent themselves from being labeled and treated as a gay person. This interpretation alludes to the idea that a person may posit violent opposition to "the Other" as a means of establishing their own identity as part of the majority and thus gaining social validation.
Nancy J. Chodorow states that homophobia can be viewed as a method of protection of male masculinity.
Various psychoanalytic theories explain homophobia as a threat to an individual's own same-sex impulses, whether those impulses are imminent or merely hypothetical. This threat causes repression, denial or reaction formation.
Disapproval of homosexuality and of gay people is not evenly distributed throughout society, but is more or less pronounced according to age, ethnicity, geographic location, race, sex, social class, education, partisan identification and religious status. According to UK HIV/AIDS charity AVERT, religious views, lack of homosexual feelings or experiences, and lack of interaction with gay people are strongly associated with such views.
The anxiety of heterosexual individuals (particularly adolescents whose construction of heterosexual masculinity is based in part on not being seen as gay) that others may identify them as gay has also been identified by Michael Kimmel as an example of homophobia. The taunting of boys seen as eccentric (and who are not usually gay) is said to be endemic in rural and suburban American schools, and has been associated with risk-taking behavior and outbursts of violence (such as a spate of school shootings) by boys seeking revenge or trying to assert their masculinity. Homophobic bullying is also very common in schools in the United Kingdom.
In some cases, the works of authors who merely have the word "Gay" in their name (Gay Talese, Peter Gay) or works about things also contain the name (Enola Gay) have been destroyed because of a perceived pro-homosexual bias.
In the United States, attitudes about people who are homosexual may vary on the basis of partisan identification. Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to have negative attitudes about people who are gay and lesbian, according to surveys conducted by the National Election Studies from 2000 through 2004. This disparity is shown in the graph on the right, which is from a book published in 2008 by Joseph Fried. The tendency of Republicans to view gay and lesbian people negatively could be based on homophobia, religious beliefs, or conservatism with respect to the traditional family.
In a 1998 address, author, activist, and civil rights leader Coretta Scott King stated that "Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood." One study of white adolescent males conducted at the University of Cincinnati by Janet Baker has been used to argue that negative feelings towards gay people are also associated with other discriminatory behaviors. According to the study, hatred of gay people, anti-Semitism, and racism are "likely companions." Baker hypothesized "maybe it's a matter of power and looking down on all you think are at the bottom." A study performed in 2007 in the UK for the charity Stonewall reports that up to 90 percent of the population support anti-discrimination laws protecting gay and lesbian people.
Social constructs and culture can perpetuate homophobic attitudes. Such cultural sources in the black community include:
Sources of homophobia in the white community include:
Professional sports in many countries involves homophobic expressions by star athletes and by fans. Incidents in the United States have included:
There are at least two studies which indicate that homophobia may have a negative economic impact for the countries where it is widespread. In these countries there is a flight of their LGBT populations —with the consequent loss of talent—, as well as an avoidance of LGBT tourism, that leaves the pink money in LGBT-friendlier countries. As an example, LGBT tourists contribute 6,800 million dollars every year to the Spanish economy.
As soon as 2005, an editorial from the New York Times related the politics of don't ask, don't tell in the US Army with the lack of translators from Arabic, and with the delay in the translation of Arabic documents, calculated to be about 120,000 hours at the time. Since 1998, with the introduction of the new policy, about 20 Arabic translators had been expelled from the Army, specifically during the years the US was involved in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
M. V. Lee Badgett, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, presented in March 2014 in a meeting of the World Bank the results of a study about the economical impact of homophobia in India. Only in health expenses, caused by depression, suicide, and HIV treatment, India would have spent additional 23,100 million dollars due to homophobia. On top, there would be costs caused by violence, workplace loss, rejection of the family, and bullying at school, that would result in a lower education level, lower productivity, lower wages, worse health, and a lower life expectancy among the LGBT population. In total, she estimated for 2014 in India a loss of up to 30,800 million dollars, or 1,7 % of the Indian GDP.
The LGBT activist Adebisi Alimi, in a preliminary estimation, has calculated that the economic loss due to homophobia in Nigeria is about 1% of its GDP. Taking into account that in 2015 homosexuality is still illegal in 36 of the 54 African countries, the money loss due to homophobia in the continent could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
Another study regarding socioecological measurement of homophobia and its public health impact for 158 countries was conducted in 2018. It found that the prejudice against gay people has a worldwide economic cost of $119.1 billion. Economical loss in Asia was 88.29 billion dollars due to homophobia, and in Latin America & the Caribbean it was 8.04 billion dollars. Economical cost in East Asia and Middle Asia was 10.85 billion dollars. Economical cost in Middle East and North Africa was 16.92 billion dollars. The researcher suggested that a 1% decrease in the level of homophobia is associated with a 10% increase in the gross domestic product per capita.
Most international human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, condemn laws that make homosexual relations between consenting adults a crime. Since 1994, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has also ruled that such laws violated the right to privacy guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In 2008, the Roman Catholic Church issued a statement which "urges States to do away with criminal penalties against [homosexual persons]." The statement, however, was addressed to reject a resolution by the UN Assembly that would have precisely called for an end of penalties against homosexuals in the world. In March 2010, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a recommendation on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, described by CoE Secretary General as the first legal instrument in the world dealing specifically with one of the most long-lasting and difficult forms of discrimination to combat.
To combat homophobia, the LGBT community uses events such as gay pride parades and political activism (See gay pride). One form of organized resistance to homophobia is the International Day Against Homophobia (or IDAHO), first celebrated May 17, 2005 in related activities in more than 40 countries. The four largest countries of Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia) developed mass media campaigns against homophobia since 2002.
In addition to public expression, legislation has been designed, controversially, to oppose homophobia, as in hate speech, hate crime, and laws against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Successful preventative strategies against homophobic prejudice and bullying in schools have included teaching pupils about historical figures who were gay, or who suffered discrimination because of their sexuality.
Some argue that anti-LGBT prejudice is immoral and goes above and beyond the effects on that class of people. Warren J. Blumenfeld argues that this emotion gains a dimension beyond itself, as a tool for extreme right-wing conservatives and fundamentalist religious groups and as a restricting factor on gender-relations as to the weight associated with performing each role accordingly. Furthermore, Blumenfeld in particular stated:
"Anti-gay bias causes young people to engage in sexual behavior earlier in order to prove that they are straight. Anti-gay bias contributed significantly to the spread of the AIDS epidemic. Anti-gay bias prevents the ability of schools to create effective honest sexual education programs that would save children's lives and prevent STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)."
Drawing upon research by Arizona State University Professor Elizabeth Segal, University of Memphis professors Robin Lennon-Dearing and Elena Delavega argued in a 2016 article published in the Journal of Homosexuality that homophobia could be reduced through exposure (learning about LGBT experiences), explanation (understanding the different challenges faced by LGBT people), and experience (putting themselves in situations experienced by LGBT people by working alongside LGBT co-workers or volunteering at an LGBT community center).
Researchers have proposed alternative terms to describe prejudice and discrimination against LGBT people. Some of these alternatives show more semantic transparency while others do not include -phobia:
Use of homophobia, homophobic, and homophobe has been criticized as pejorative against LGBT rights opponents. Behavioral scientists William O'Donohue and Christine Caselles stated in 1993 that "as [homophobia] is usually used, [it] makes an illegitimately pejorative evaluation of certain open and debatable value positions, much like the former disease construct of homosexuality" itself, arguing that the term may be used as an ad hominem argument against those who advocate values or positions of which the user does not approve. Philosopher Gary Colwell stated in 1999 that "the boundary of the term 'homophobia' is made so elastic that it can stretch around, not just phobias, but every kind of rational fear as well; and not just around every kind of fear, but also around every critical posture or idea that anyone may have about the practice of homosexuality".
In 2012 the Associated Press Stylebook was revised to advise against using non-clinical words with the suffix -phobia, including homophobia, in "political and social contexts." AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn said the word homophobia suggests a severe mental disorder, and that it could be substituted with "anti-gay" or similar phrasing. The AP's decision was criticized in some media outlets, especially those in the LGBT area, who argued that homophobia did not necessarily have to be interpreted in a strict clinical sense.
The term heterophobia is sometimes used to describe reverse discrimination or negative attitudes towards heterosexual people and opposite-sex relationships. The scientific use of heterophobia in sexology is restricted to few researchers, notably those who question Alfred Kinsey's sex research. To date, the existence or extent of heterophobia is mostly unrecognized by sexologists. Beyond sexology there is no consensus as to the meaning of the term because it is also used to mean "fear of the opposite" such as in Pierre-André Taguieff's The Force of Prejudice: On Racism and Its Doubles (2001).
Referring to the debate on both meaning and use, SUNY lecturer Raymond J. Noonan, in his 1999 presentation to The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) Conference, states:
The term heterophobia is confusing for some people for several reasons. On the one hand, some look at it as just another of the many me-too social constructions that have arisen in the pseudoscience of victimology in recent decades. (Many of us recall John Money’s 1995 criticism of the ascendancy of victimology and its negative impact on sexual science.) Others look at the parallelism between heterophobia and homophobia, and suggest that the former trivializes the latter... For others, it is merely a curiosity or parallel-construction word game. But for others still, it is part of both the recognition and politicization of heterosexuals' cultural interests in contrast to those of gays—particularly where those interests are perceived to clash.
Stephen M. White and Louis R. Franzini introduced the related term heteronegativism to refer to the considerable range of negative feelings that some gay individuals may hold and express toward heterosexuals. This term is preferred to heterophobia because it does not imply extreme or irrational fear.
Because of the complicated interplay among gender identity, gender roles, and sexual identity, transgender people are often assumed to be lesbian or gay (See Overview: Sexism, Heterosexism, and Transgender Oppression). ... Because transgender identity challenges a binary conception of sexuality and gender, educators must clarify their own understanding of these concepts. ... Facilitators must be able to help participants understand the connections among sexism, heterosexism, and transgender oppression and the ways in which gender roles are maintained, in part, through homophobia.
In a culture of homophobia (an irrational fear of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender [GLBT] people), GLBT people often face a heightened risk of violence specific to their sexual identities.
Homophobia is an individual's irrational fear or hate of homosexual people. This may include bisexual or transgender persons, but sometimes the more distinct terms of biphobia or transphobia, respectively, are used.
Fear or hatred of homosexuals and homosexuality.
Transgender people subjected to violence, in a range of cultural contexts, frequently report that transphobic violence is expressed in homophobic terms. The tendency to translate violence against a trans person to homophobia reflects the role of gender in attribution of homosexuality as well as the fact that hostility connected to homosexuality is often associated with the perpetrators' prejudices about particular gender practices and their visibility.
Let us recognize where the problem lies – in the dislike and distaste felt by many heterosexuals for homosexuals, a problem we have come to call homophobia.and Gledhill, Ruth (August 7, 2008). "New light on Archbishop of Canterbury's view on homosexuality". The Times. London.
Human Rights Watch calls on Iran to end juvenile executions, after claims that two boys were executed for being gay.
Homan, and organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Iranians in exile, estimates that more than 4,000 gay Iranians have been executed in the country since the Islamic revolution of 1979.
Saudi executions are not systematically reported, and officials deny that the death penalty is applied for same-sex activity alone.
Anti-LGBT rhetoric and anti-gay slogans are themes, catchphrases, and slogans that have been used against homosexuality or other non-heterosexual sexual orientations and to demean lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. They range from the demeaning and pejorative to those expressing negativity on religious, medical, or moral grounds. Some characterize it as hate speech.
The rhetoric generally has an ideological basis in heterosexism, and can be motivated by homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.
The slogans listed here are not just terms of invective but they represent arguments that are commonly used to convey opposition to LGBT rights or to the full acceptance of LGBT people.Education and the LGBT community
In the recent history of the expansion of LGBT rights, the issue of teaching various aspects of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life and existence to younger children has become a heated point of debate, with proponents stating that the teaching of LGBT-affirming topics to children will increase a sense of visibility for LGBT students and reduce incidences of homophobia or closeted behavior for children, while opponents to the pedagogical discussion of LGBT people to students are afraid that such discussions would encourage children to violate or question religiously or ideologically motivated rejections of non-heterosexuality in private settings (or promote a "homosexual agenda"). Much of the religious and/or social conservative aversion to non-heterosexuality and the broaching of the topic to juveniles tends to occur in regions with a historic demographic dominance or majority of adherents to an Abrahamic religion, particularly the majority of denominations of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, while those who were raised in those religions but advocate or take more favorable/nuanced positions on LGBT issues or are LGBT themselves may often be ostracized from more socially conservative congregations over the issue.Faggot (slang)
Faggot, often shortened to fag, is a pejorative term used chiefly in North America primarily to refer to a gay male. Alongside its use to refer to gay men in particular, it may also be used as a pejorative term for a "repellent male" or to refer to women who are lesbian. Its use has spread from the United States to varying extents elsewhere in the English-speaking world through mass culture, including film, music, and the Internet.Heterosexism
Heterosexism is a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships. It can include the presumption that other people are heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the only norm and therefore superior.
Although heterosexism is defined in the online editions of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary as anti-gay discrimination or prejudice "by heterosexual people" and "by heterosexuals", respectively, people of any sexual orientation can hold such attitudes and bias, and can form a part of internalised hatred of one's sexual orientation.Heterosexism as discrimination ranks gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and other sexual minorities as second-class citizens with regard to various legal and civil rights, economic opportunities, and social equality in many of the world's jurisdictions and societies. It is often related to homophobia.Homer's Phobia
"Homer's Phobia" is the fifteenth episode in the eighth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 16, 1997. In the episode, Homer dissociates himself from new family friend John after discovering that John is gay. Homer fears that John will have a negative influence on his son Bart and decides to ensure Bart's heterosexuality by taking him hunting.
It was the first episode written by Ron Hauge and was directed by Mike B. Anderson. George Meyer pitched "Bart the homo" as an initial idea for an episode while show runners Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein were planning an episode involving Lisa "discovering the joys of campy things". Oakley and Weinstein combined the two ideas and they eventually became "Homer's Phobia". Fox censors originally found the episode unsuitable for broadcast because of its controversial subject matter, but this decision was reversed after a turnover in the Fox staff. Filmmaker John Waters guest-starred, providing the voice of the new character, John.
"Homer's Phobia" was the show's first episode to revolve entirely around gay themes and received a positive critical response both for its humor and anti-homophobia message. It won four awards, including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) and a GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding TV – Individual Episode".Homophobia in ethnic minority communities
Homophobia in ethnic minority communities refers to any negative prejudice or form of discrimination within the ethnic minority communities worldwide towards people who identify as – or are perceived as being – lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), known as homophobia. This may be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, hatred, irrational fear, and is sometimes related to religious beliefs. While religion can have a positive function in many LGB Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities, it can also play a role in supporting homophobia.Many LGBT ethnic minority persons rely on members of their ethnic group for support in terms of racial matters. However, within these communities, homophobia and transphobia often exists within the context of ethnocultural norms on gender and sexual orientation, with one American researcher claiming that "a common fallacy within communities of color is that gay men or lesbians are perceived as 'defective' men or women who want to be a member of the opposite gender".There is a lot of difficulty regarding how to categorise homosexuality throughout different cultures, In recent times, scholars have argued that Western notions of a gay and/or heterosexual identity only began to emerge in Europe in the mid to late 19th century. Behaviors that today would be widely regarded as homosexual, at least in the West, enjoyed a degree of acceptance in around three quarters of the cultures surveyed in Patterns of Sexual Behavior (1951).Homophobia within ethnic minority communities creates a double bind to those it impacts. Members of these groups experience racial and ethnic discrimination from the larger society that they live in addition to homophobia within their ethnic/racial groups. This discrimination creates the need for a supportive community to undo the psychological damage of discrimination. They find that neither environment tends to their needs as someone who experiences multiple levels of discrimination.Homosexual recruitment
"Homosexual recruitment" and similar derogatory terms are used to describe the belief that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people engage in deliberate attempts to convert otherwise heterosexual people into adopting a "gay lifestyle". This belief has been widely rejected as false by sociologists and psychologists. Allegations of such recruitment have been used in opposition to institutionalized HIV prevention programs, anti-bullying legislation, anti-discrimination laws, in-school discussions of feminism and LGBT rights, and against the establishment of Gay-Straight Alliance school programs. They are seen as part of a larger narrative by opponents of LGBT rights to further the myth of gay people being predators.Homosexuality in modern sports
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other non-heterosexual or non-cisgender (LGBTQ+) athletes have faced intolerance due to heteronormativity within sports culture.
There have been several notable outspoken homosexual athletes, including Sheryl Swoopes, Billie Jean King, and Billy Bean. In the 1980s Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, hosted the first Gay Games in San Francisco. Since then many homosexual sporting organizations have been founded along with sporting events that feature homosexual athletes.While, overall the trend is towards open acceptance, different sports vary in acceptance widely and homosexual athletes still face many challenges. International sports organizations have come under scrutiny for holding competitions in countries where LGBT equality is out of step with their own policies.International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is an observed on May 17 and aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide. By 2016, the commemorations had taken place in 132 countries across the globe.The founders of the International Day Against Homophobia, as it was originally known, established the IDAHO Committee to coordinate grass-roots actions in different countries, to promote the day and to lobby for official recognition on May 17. That date was chosen to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990.LGBT in Islam
The attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their experiences in the Muslim world have been influenced by its religious, legal, social, political and cultural history.
The Quran narrates the story of the "people of Lot" destroyed by the wrath of God because they engaged in lustful carnal acts between men. Homosexual acts are forbidden in traditional Islamic jurisprudence and are liable to different punishments, including the death penalty, depending on the situation and legal school. However, homosexual relationships were generally tolerated in pre-modern Islamic societies, and historical record suggests that these laws were invoked infrequently, mainly in cases of rape or other "exceptionally blatant infringement on public morals". Homoerotic themes were cultivated in poetry and other literary genres written in major languages of the Muslim world from the eighth century into the modern era. The conceptions of homosexuality found in classical Islamic texts resemble the traditions of Graeco-Roman antiquity, rather than modern Western notions of sexual orientation. It was expected that many or most mature men would be sexually attracted to both women and male adolescents (variously defined), and men were expected to wish to play only an active role in homosexual intercourse once they reached adulthood. Public attitudes toward homosexuality in the Ottoman empire and elsewhere in Muslim world underwent a marked change starting from the 19th century under the influence of the sexual notions and norms prevalent in Europe at that time, and homoeroticism began to be regarded as abnormal and shameful. A number of Muslim-majority countries have retained criminal penalties for homosexual acts enacted under colonial rule.In recent times, extreme prejudice against homosexuals persists, both socially and legally, in much of the Islamic world, exacerbated by increasingly conservative attitudes and the rise of Islamist movements. In Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, parts of Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, homosexual activity carries the death penalty or prison sentences. In other countries, such as Algeria, Bangladesh, Chad, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Qatar, Somalia and Syria, it is illegal. Same-sex sexual intercourse is legal in Albania, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Niger, Tajikistan, Turkey, most of Indonesia, and Northern Cyprus. Homosexual relations between females are legal in Kuwait, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, but homosexual acts between males are illegal.Most Muslim-majority countries and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have opposed moves to advance LGBT rights at the United Nations, in the General Assembly or the UNHRC. In May 2016, a group of 51 Muslim states blocked 11 gay and transgender organizations from attending 2016 High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS. However, Albania, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone have signed a UN Declaration supporting LGBT rights. LGBT anti-discrimination laws have been enacted in Albania, Kosovo and Northern Cyprus. There are also several Muslim organizations that support LGBT rights and LGBT Muslims.LGBT rights in Cuba
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Cuba may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents.
Attitudes and acceptance towards LGBT people have evolved significantly, though a culture of machismo and homophobia is quite still present in Cuba. In 2018, the National Assembly voted to legalize same-sex marriage and prohibit all discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, with a constitutional referendum to be held in February 2019. However, same-sex marriage was later removed from the draft Constitution. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal in Cuba.Historically, public antipathy towards LGBT people was high, reflecting regional norms. This has eased since the 1990s. Educational campaigns on LGBT issues are currently implemented by the National Center for Sex Education, headed by Mariela Castro, daughter of former President and current Communist Party First Secretary Raúl Castro. Pride parades in Havana are held every May, to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia. Attendance has grown every year.LGBT rights in Jamaica
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Jamaica, especially men, face legal and social issues not experienced by non-LGBT people. Sodomy and/or buggery are punishable by life imprisonment. On the other hand, sexual behaviour between women is legal.
Jamaica has been described by some human rights groups as the most homophobic country in the world because of the high level of violent crime directed at LGBT people. The United States Department of State said that in 2012, "homophobia was widespread in the country".The government of Jamaica said in 2012 that it "is committed to the equal and fair treatment of its citizens, and affirms that any individual whose rights are alleged to have been infringed has a right to seek redress." The government also claimed that "there is no legal discrimination against persons on the grounds of their sexual orientation" and that it "is opposed to discrimination or violence against persons whatever their sexual orientation."An assistant commissioner of police claimed just before he retired in July 2012 that Jamaica's reputation as homophobic was merely "hype" and that life for LGBT persons was improving. He suggested the real problem was gay-on-gay crime and members of the community cross-dressing in public.Lesbophobia
Lesbophobia (sometimes lesbiphobia) comprises various forms of negativity towards lesbians as individuals, as couples, or as a social group. Based on the categories of sex, sexual orientation, lesbian identity, and gender expression, this negativity encompasses prejudice, discrimination, and abuse, in addition to attitudes and feelings ranging from disdain to hostility. As such, lesbophobia is sexism against women that intersects with homophobia and vice versa.March against Homophobia and Transphobia
The Walk Against Homophobia and Transphobia (Turkish: Homofobi ve Transfobi Karşıtı Yürüyüş) is a LGBT pride parade and LGBT demonstration held annually in Turkey's capital, Ankara. The event first took place in 2003 and now occurs each year on either the last Sunday of June or the first Sunday of July, to mark the end of Ankara pride week.
Participants assemble in Cebeci before marching the entire length of Kızılay. This is a wide pedestrianized boulevard and one of Ankara's most important public spaces, the frequent home of bayram and regional festivals.Philadelphia (film)
Philadelphia is a 1993 American drama film and one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. It was written by Ron Nyswaner, directed by Jonathan Demme and stars Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington.Hanks won the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 66th Academy Awards for his role as Andrew Beckett in the film, while the song "Streets of Philadelphia" by Bruce Springsteen won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Nyswaner was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, but lost to Jane Campion for The Piano.Queer
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or cisgender.
Originally meaning "strange" or "peculiar", queer came to be used pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late 19th century. Beginning in the late 1980s, queer activists, such as the members of Queer Nation, began to reclaim the word as a deliberately provocative and politically radical alternative to the more assimilationist branches of the LGBT community.In the 2000s and on, queer became increasingly used to describe a broad spectrum of non-normative (i.e. anti-heteronormative and anti-homonormative) sexual and gender identities and politics. Academic disciplines such as queer theory and queer studies share a general opposition to binarism, normativity, and a perceived lack of intersectionality, some of them only tangentially connected to the LGBT movement. Queer arts, queer cultural groups, and queer political groups are examples of modern expressions of queer identities.
Critics of the use of the term include members of the LGBT community who associate the term more with its colloquial usage as a derogatory insult, those who wish to dissociate themselves from queer radicalism, those who see it as amorphous and trendy, and those who think the term should apply only to LGBT people - not to any and all sexual minorities - that the former slur can only be reclaimed by those it has historically been used to oppress.Riddle scale
The Riddle scale (also known as Riddle homophobia scale or Riddle scale of homophobia) was a psychometric scale that measured the degree to which a person is or is not homophobic. The scale was frequently used in tolerance education about anti-discriminatory attitudes regarding sexual orientation. It is named after its creator, psychologist Dorothy Riddle.Sexual orientation discrimination
Sexual orientation discrimination (also often referred to as sexualism) is discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or sexual behaviour.Straight ally
An ally or straight ally or heterosexual ally is a heterosexual or cisgender person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBT social movements, and challenges homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Despite this, some people who meet this definition do not identify themselves as allies. An ally believes that LGBTQ people face discrimination and thus are socially and economically disadvantaged. They aim to use their position as heterosexual or cisgender individuals in a society focused on heteronormativity to fight homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.