LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Queer community people with different sexual orientations. LGBTQ community has been discriminated against since a long time. Most of the countries to this day do not recognise or respect them. Unfortunately, they have been subjected to violence and bad behaviour from others who assume they are not natural. Religion and LGBTQ community have always been at loggerheads. Religion could be one of the main reasons why people with different sexual orientations face so many problems. Many mainstream religions have declared homosexuality as a sin. Some even regard it as a disease here http://www.lenderliabilitylawyer.com/.
In the twenty first century, the support for the LGBTQ community increased. This boost the confidence of many gay people who started to come out open and be frank about their orientation. Due to fear of social outcast many people used to spend their whole life hiding their truth and living a false life. With internet and social platforms, these confessions and episodes of the proverbial “Coming out of the closet” further emboldened support. As of today’s major countries have laws that identify LGBTQ community and also have laws to protect them. This freedom is limited to only handful of the countries in the world. Rest of them still do not identify LGBTQ people. There is a long way to go.
In The United Kingdom:
UK is a powerful nation and has strict Christian heritage and influence. And in Christianity same sex relationships are considered a sin. This created a huge tiff and many crimes against homosexuals transpired. There were also anti-homosexuals passed.
Buggery Act, 1533
This law was enacted way before the formation of United Kingdom. This was an English law that prohibited sexual acts with animals and sodomy. Under this act many gay couples especially men were convicted and sentenced to death. This law was patronised by Henry VIII. This is the first ever law to prohibit or ban homosexuality. This law continued up until the year of 1861. Almost sixty years after the formation of UK in 1707. The Buggery act was updated in 1861 and was called as Offences against the Person Act 1861.
Offences against the Person Act 1861
This act was similar to the Buggery Act 1533 in all respects except the capital punishment. The punishment to hang was eradicated. And confinement was placed for the convict. Furthermore, any sexual act pertaining to two males was considered punishable. Surprisingly though there was no definition or declaration of sexual relationship between two females, and hence no punishment as such. The old laws against homosexuality only pertained to male.
This act continued to function in the twentieth century too. There were strict regulations against homosexuality and it was considered against the order the nature. The law enforcers were very diligent regarding this so called offence and by the 1950’s huge number of men were arrested in UK on charges of Homosexuality. This law did not spare anyone, and even reputed scientists, literary figures, mathematicians were arrested. The punishment used to be gruesome and the behaviour met to the convicts was inhumane. Procedures such as castration used to be done on people found to participate in homosexual acts.
This led to an uproar in the common people and it started a huge movement against the government and the inhumane laws. The government sensing people’s resentment decided to hold on existing laws and review them. For this purpose, the UK government set up a committee to research and come up with possible solutions.
The Wolfenden Committee:
This committee was setup on 24 August 1954. The aim of this committee was to research about anti-homosexual laws. The committee came up with a suggestion that homosexual relations should not be termed as a crime as far as it is performed by two adult consenting individuals in their privacy. It also stated that homosexuality was not an illness or a disease that affects individuals as previously propagated by various religions. The committee’s report was not duly accepted or implemented. It took few years and the effort of special groups that were created to acknowledge and implement the committee’s findings.
The Sexual Offences Act, 1967
After huge public outrage and the committee’s report, the sexual offences Act, 1967 was passed that prohibited criminalization of homosexual acts performed between two consenting individuals in their privacy. The age limit provided was a minimum of twenty-one years. This law was a respite, but at the same time it increased penalties for homosexual acts performed in public spaces. This act also didn’t recognise lesbian relationships. It was not as if they were not considered but probably were considered non-existent. Though the de-criminalisation of homosexual acts between males was only done by the year 1980 in Scotland. Later the age limit of twenty-one years was reduced eighteen years, which was further reduced to sixteen years in the year 2001.