Discrimination against homosexual people and their health
No evidence shows that sexual minorities pose a threat to society, but they are still subject to widespread discrimination and abuse. Doctors should help, argues Michael King
Homosexual people are easy to hate. Men or women who are drawn emotionally and physically to others of the same sex face discrimination, harassment, and a denial of full human rights in most countries of the world. South Africa seems to be one of very few countries that has introduced full protection from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in addition to a full marriage law for same sex couples.1
Meanwhile, homosexual behaviour is an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment in countries such as India, China, and Nigeria and the death sentence in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Iran. Even in the most liberal of Western countries jokes and slander about gay men, lesbians, and bisexual people abound in the media and ordinary conversation.
Why is this the case? Why, for example, do most Islamic and Christian traditions see homosexuality as a greater threat to human worth and