Amnesty Says Gay Abuse Rampant
Associated Press, June 22, 2001
By Katherine Roth
NEW YORKHomosexuals, bisexuals and transgender
people are tortured and mistreated in at least 30 countries, including the
United States, Amnesty International said in a report issued Friday.
It said same-sex relations are illegal in 70 nations and 17 U.S. states.
The human rights group said government inaction and occasional provocation
drive the violence.
"There is an overriding tolerance of abuse because of the social
stigma attached to homosexuality and (because of) defined gender norms,"
said William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA.
The report documented alleged cases of torture and mistreatment in Uganda,
Pakistan, Argentina, Russia and the United States.
Among them were cases in which people were antagonized while in custody,
physically and sexually assaulted, subjected to unnecessary medical or
psychiatric treatment and forced to flee their countries because of
persecution based on their sexual identity.
The report noted that homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender peoplewhom it defined as those with a compelling sense that their sexual identity
does not conform to their bodiesare frequently subjected to torture and
abuse by state agents in police stations and prisons.
It said many countriesand U.S. statesconsider same-sex relations
a crime and that in some countries these types of relations are punishable by
the death penalty.
Anti-sodomy laws exist in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina,
Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia, as well as Puerto Rico, it
To stop torture and mistreatment based on sexual identity, the group urged
the repeal of such laws and said forced medical "treatments"
designed to "cure" homosexuality should be banned.
It also called for the protection of refugees fleeing torture based on
sexual identity, and government prohibition of all types of discrimination
based on sexual identity.
On the Net: http://www.amnesty.org