To some extent the legal obstacles were already covered in all the previous articles I wrote about gay rights and obstacles. The legal obstacles are the same as the issues concerning same-sex marriage-acts, financial benefits for married couples, no discrimination laws, etc. Although there are many discriminate laws against LGBT people around the globe, there are also a positive movement to grant more protection for the gay community. One of these positive movements is the proposed International Human Rights Defence Act that was introduced by Senator Ed Markey and is being debated at this very moment. This act asks for a high-level post at the US Department of State to address violence and discrimination against LGBT members worldwide.
That is but the newest example of a movement trying to destroy the many obstacles in the lives of gay people. Throughout the world countries are debating whether same-sex marriages should be legalised and in many countries it seems as if it is only a question of time before it is legalised.
Unfortunately the opposite is also true. More than 40 % of the member countries of the UN still propagate homophobia and have discriminating laws against the LGBT community. There is still an increase in violent behavior against gay people across the globe. In 2013 both Uganda and Nigeria adopted more discriminating laws against lgbt persons and anybody that support them. Although the US proposed to cut funding to countries with anti-homosexual laws, the US itself still have a long way to go in convincing its own residents of the wrongful nature of homophobia. As an example, most of the US states still doesn’t allow same-sex marriages.
The legal rights of the LGBT community differs considerably from country to country, but while only 14 UN countries allow same-sex marriages it should be clear that there still lies a long walk to freedom before us. As a citizen of South Africa I realise that many people believe we are on the forefront of legal rights and yet the law and people attitudes doesn’t always meet. Many South African politicians, including the current president of South Africa, made public homophobic statements in the past that shows that our race is far from over.
Homophobia isn’t only condoned by most governments in the world, it is written amongst their laws. Even in the 14 gay-free countries laws against discrimination aren’t always followed by the law enforces. As an example there are still many homophobic actions done by law enforcement in South Africa. Complaints about these actions aren’t always taken seriously. It is senseless to have anti-discrimination laws if they aren’t enforced.
It should therefor be clear that there are still a lot of legal obstacles in the lives of gay people in every country worldwide.