Fifty years after homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales, 72 other countries and territories worldwide continue to criminalise same-sex relationships, including 45 in which sexual relationships between women are outlawed. There are eight countries in which homosexuality can result in a death penalty, and dozens more in which homosexual acts can result in a prison sentence, according to an annual report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association ILGA. Southern and east Africa, the Middle East and south Asia persist with the most draconian approaches. Western Europe and the western hemisphere are the most tolerant.
Laws affecting lesbian , gay , bisexual , and transgender LGBT people vary greatly by country or jurisdiction — encompassing everything from the legal recognition of same-sex marriage to the death penalty for homosexuality. Notably, as of [update] , 28 countries recognize same-sex marriage. By contrast, 14 countries or jurisdictions impose the death penalty for homosexuality. Following the issuance of the report, the United Nations urged all countries which had not yet done so to enact laws protecting basic LGBT rights. According to Aristotle , although most "belligerent nations" were strongly influenced by their women, the Celts were unusual because their men openly preferred male lovers Politics II b. Rankin in Celts and the Classical World notes that "Athenaeus echoes this comment a and so does Ammianus It seems to be the general opinion of antiquity.
No text has had a greater influence on attitudes toward gay people than the biblical book of Leviticus, which prohibits sex between men. Before Leviticus was composed, outright prohibitions against homosexual sex — whether between men or women — were practically unheard-of in the ancient world. Chapter 18 of Leviticus contains a list of forbidden incestuous acts, followed by prohibitions against sex with a menstruating woman, bestiality and various other sexual acts.
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