UN: Banning homosexuality fosters hate crime and homophobia, says report

Criminalising homosexuality amounts to torture in many of the 76 countries where same-sex relationships are outlawed, a United Nations report has declared. Prof Juan Mendez, the organisation’s special rapporteur on torture, has called for decriminalisation in his latest submission to the UN’s human rights council on the grounds that the bans – which sometimes carry the death penalty – legitimise homophobia and hate crimes.
 
In one of the strongest denunciations of laws that are enforced in many African, Asian and Middle Eastern states, Mendez, a former Argentinian political prisoner, urges governments to reconsider their statute books: “A clear link exists between the criminalisation of LGBT persons and homophobic and transphobic hate crimes, police abuse, community and family violence and stigmatisation,” his report says. 
 
The report says that in countries where homosexuality is criminalised “men suspected of same-sex conduct are subject to non-consensual anal examinations intended to obtain physical evidence of homosexuality, a practice that is medically worthless and amounts to torture or ill-treatment”.

The UN special rapporteur’s statement will provide legal support for groups such as the London-based Human Dignity Trust  which campaigns to overturn criminalisation. Read more via Guardian