In a staunch reversal from the prior administration, Barack Obama will sign a nonbinding United Nations declaration decriminalizing homosexuality. The U.S. had previously refused to sign the declaration when the U.N. General Assembly considered it in December –- the only major Western nation to do so
Sixty-six of the 192 United Nations member countries signed the resolution, but 70 members outlaw homosexuality and it carries the death penalty in seven nations.
Columbia University’s Law School’s “Gender and Sexuality” blog notes the significance of the declaration and of U.S. support, while The National Review’s “Corner” blog argues that Obama’s decision is inconsistent with past Democratic statements against imposing Western values on foreign countries.
The “Diary of a Gay Kenyan” blog asks if Kenya should decriminalize homosexuality and receives varying responses from commenters:
“KenyaLuv” says: I don’t think we should decriminalize it, that would just be sending a message that it is okay to engage in such activities.
“Anonymous” says: I am Kenyan and straight, and I STRONGLY believe that we should decriminalize it! I dont understand why there’s a law against homosexuality…Lets concentrate on important matters people…there are people starving, children being raped, homeless people, people in war-torn countries….
Another country outlawing male homosexuality is Uganda. An anonymous gay blogger in the country describes his experience:
Being gay, anywhere, is tough. Being gay in a country as homophobic as Uganda is tougher. I know, in large part because I don’t talk about something that I have not experienced. The blood, and sweat, the lies and untruths, they all have been mine. Having come to accept what I am, to understand the mountains of hurt I did myself before, the freedom of self acceptance and self respect, self affirmation; that freedom is particularly sweet.
An American blogger at the “SGL Universe” [same-gender loving] blog argues for a direct effort to curb rampant homophobic violence in Jamaica — boycotting Jamaican products.
I am in full support of an economic boycott of Jamaica. If the Jamaican government refuses to listen to activists and the SGL population in their own country, maybe they will listen when the coffers are bare. In no way do I plan to take a cruise or a vacation to Jamaica and I can’t see why any SGL person would even consider the trip. Our people are being beat in the streets and “targeted for shooting!” Come on man! Participating in a boycott is the least we can do to help.
The “MutantFrog” blog compares compares gay politics in Taiwan and Japan, writing that while discrimination is rare, homosexuality is still quite taboo.
Blogger “Ajlaan” comments on the situation of homosexuals in Pakistan, where gay sex between men is criminal and the maximum sentence is life in prison:
Just the other day, I was talking to some friends of mine and I was surprised to hear one of them say that homosexuality is a western phenomenon and emphasizing that it does not exist in our part of the world. Maybe they feel that it’s a product of the freedom that exists in that society… that allows people to cross all sorts of boundaries. And maybe that is why they feel it is okay to make fun of people who might be or act gay. Allow me to make a clarification at this point. There are gay people everywhere and in no way is their existence a recent phenomenon. It would be wrong to suggest that the number of homosexuals in Pakistan is lesser than that in America. The percentage remains more or less the same. It is just that here they don’t come out of the closet. Instead, their interaction takes place through social networks. The internet has made it easier for homosexuals to increase their social networks.
Though laws against homosexuality are common in the Middle East, a recent march in Lebanon was billed as the “first gay rights protest in the Arab world” by the “Queerty” blog. Watch a video below:
Meanwhile, Foreign Policy says Latin America is “becoming gayer.” Read what a Worldfocus contributing blogger had to say about gay tourism: Latin American countries compete for “pink dollar.”
See more Worldfocus coverage on Homosexuality Around the World.