What is political homophobia?
Political homophobia refers to ways used by government figures, religions, institutions, and business organizations to discriminate against individuals systematically basing on their sexual orientation. Homophobic people develop negative feelings and perceptions towards sexual minorities such as lesbians, gay people, bisexuals, and the transgender (LGBT) people among others. According to the lecture notes by Bosia (presentation October 3, 2009), state homophobia is the summation of tools and strategies in policies and mobilizations used to invoke sexual minorities as persecution targets, and opprobrium objects by the state’s top authoritative figures (Bosia 70).
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The topic about homosexuality has been, and is still of interest globally. Many nations across the globe have embraced policies and language about homophobia. In his presentation Bosia (October 3, 2009) strongly believes that other than personal beliefs, past traditions, and the emergence of LGBT demands, there are other reasons that make the state actors adopt homophobic policies and language (Bosia 77).
Why do some countries adopt homophobic policies and language?
There are several reasons that make countries adopt homophobic policies and language. The lecture notes discuss three reasons namely domestic challenges in a country, pressure from foreign countries or competitors, and economic dislocation or downturn (Bosia 70). Some countries for instance, those dominated by Christians and Muslims are against homosexual practices, and hence face a lot of domestic challenges (Whitaker par. 3-6). Many cases of people stoned to death are common in countries dominated by homophobic people. This has led to protests from the anti-homophobic and homophobic groups.
The anti-homophobic groups demand that the rights of the sexual minorities be respected, and the homophobic groups protest against homosexual practices. This leads to conflicts between the two groups. Considering that the sexual minorities are few in all countries across the world, they get punished both emotionally and physically by the homophobic people. Some stone them to death, as was the case of the 3 Yemen men in Paris, France. The three Yemen Men got punished because of having homosexual intimacy practices. To avoid such cases of brutality and violence, governments intervene to avoid further conflicts. This is one of the fundamental reasons why countries adopt homophobic policies and language to affirm their authority.
Pressure from competitors or allies is also instrumental for countries to adopt homophobic policies and language. Considering that some countries depend on foreign aid or support from their allies (homophobic countries), the state actors can be forced to adopt homophobic policies and language in their countries. Failure to adopt such policies may lead to termination of good relations and support when in need. Most of the underdeveloped countries for instance, African countries face such challenges considering that they need support to improve the living standards of their citizens (Awondo, Peter & Graeme145). The state actors introduce public discussions or topics of sexual differentiation whereby condemning and prosecuting are improvisational strategies of homophobia.
The state actors’ cultural beliefs are also instrumental to countries adopting homophobic policies and language. Some countries particularly in Asia are homophobic, and they view homosexual practices as a Western gay culture (Peterson 742). Culturally, the citizens of these countries are homophobic, and they condemn homosexual practices. They argue that they never existed before colonization. Adopting homophobic policies and language in countries like North Korea, Jamaica, China, and Uganda among others may not encounter opposition from the citizens. The sexual minorities in such countries feel isolated and rarely identify themselves because of the fear of isolation. The state actors of these countries always campaign against LGBT rights.
Awondo, Patrick, Peter Geschiere, and Graeme Reid. Homophobic Africa? Toward A More Nuanced View. African Studies Review 55.3 (2012): 145-168. Print.
Bosia, Michael J. AIDS and Postcolonial Politics: Acting Up on Science and Immigration in France. French Politics, Culture & Society 27:1 (2009): 69-90. Print.
Peterson, David. Neoliberal Homophobic Discourse: Heteronormative Human Capital and the Exclusion of Queer Citizens. Journal of Homosexuality 58.6/7 (2011): 742-757. Print.
Whitaker, Brian. Pink Planet. 19 July 2007. Web. https://www.newstatesman.com/life-and-society/2007/07/gay-rights-iraq-homosexuality