Laws affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people vary greatly by country or territory- everything from legal recognition of same-sex marriages or other types of partnerships, to the death penalty as punishment for same-sex romantic/sexual activity or identity.
LGBT rights are human rights and civil rights. LGBT rights laws include, but are not limited to, the following: government recognition of same-sex relationships (such as via same-sex marriage or civil unions), LGBT adoption, recognition ofLGBT parenting, anti-bullying legislation and student non-discrimination laws to protect LGBT children and/or students,immigration equality laws, anti-discrimination laws for employment and housing, hate crime laws providing enhanced criminal penalties for prejudice-motivated violence against LGBT people, equal age of consent laws, and laws related to sexual orientation and military service.
Anti-LGBT laws include, but are not limited to, the following: sodomy laws penalizing consensual same-sex sexual activity with fines, jail terms, or the death penalty, anti-'lesbianism' laws, and higher ages of consent for same-sex activity.
In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed its first resolution recognizing LGBT rights, which was followed up with a report from the UN Human Rights Commission documenting violations of the rights of LGBT people, including hate crime, criminalization of homosexuality, and discrimination. Following up on the report, the UN Human Rights Commission urged all countries which had not yet done so to enact laws protecting basic LGBT rights.
Homosexuality in Ancient and Medieval South Asia
Some historical evidence suggests considerable social acceptance of sexual diversity in ancient South Asia: In parts of the subcontinent, for example, centuries-old erotic sculptures depict men and women engaged in a variety of homosexual as well as heterosexual activities; some classical Hindu myths recognize, even affirm, the fluidity of gender as well as sexual identities.
But the written works produced in ancient South Asia, generally speaking, either remain silent on the subject of homosexuality or merely allude to it. For example, the Vedic texts, thought to be nearly 4,000 years old, do not mention homosexuality, whereas Valmiki's Ramayana and Vyasa's Mahabharata- the two great Indian epics- make only fleeting references to it.
The notable exception to this trend, however, is Vatsyayana's The Kama Sutra. Arguably the world's oldest sex manual, it devotes an entire chapter to homosexuality. Here Vatsyayana, a Hindu sage, offers explicitly detailed instructions on how to perform homosexual acts.
Among the medieval texts two explicitly engage homosexual themes: Emperor Babur's autobiographical Tuzuki-i-Babri contains a sentimental recollection of his erotic love for a teenage boy; Dargah Quli Khan's personal diary Muraqqa-e-Delhi: The Moguel Capital in Muhammad Shaw's Time briefly documents his foray into the pederastic circles of Islamic Delhi.
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