Universal Declaration of Human RightsArticle 1. What is sexual orientation? Sexual orientation is an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual or affectional attraction to another person. It can be distinguished from other aspects of sexuality including biological sex, gender identity the psychological sense of being male or female and the social gender role adherence to cultural norms for feminine and "Sexual orientation discrimination articles of race" behavior.
Sexual orientation exists along a continuum that ranges from exclusive homosexuality to exclusive heterosexuality and includes various forms of bisexuality. Bisexual persons can experience sexual, emotional and affectional attraction to both their own sex and the opposite sex. Persons with a homosexual orientation are sometimes referred to as gay both men and women or as lesbian women only. Sexual orientation is different from sexual behavior because it refers to feelings and self-concept.
Persons may or may not express their sexual orientation in their behaviors.
The word homosexual is usually avoided because of its negative connotations relating to the way it has been used in the past. Sexual orientation is a relatively recent notion in human rights law and practice and one of the controversial ones in politics. Prejudices, negative stereotypes and discrimination are deeply imbedded in our value system and patterns of behaviour. For many public officials and opinion-makers the expression of homophobic prejudice remains both legitimate and respectable - in a manner that would be unacceptable for any other minority.
The main principles guiding the rights approach on sexual orientation relate to equality and non-discrimination. Human rights advocates, lawyers and other activists seek to ensure social justice and guarantee the dignity of lesbians, gays and bisexuals.
Age of consent - age provided by law for engaging in consenting sexual relations. Homophobia - irrational fear of, or hatred against people emotionally and sexually attracted "Sexual orientation discrimination articles of race" persons of the same sex.
If directed against transgender persons it is called transphobia. Transgender identity - refers to a compelling sense that one's gender identity is not in conformity with the psychological characteristics of the sex one is born with.
This may lead some to seek gender reassignment. Lesbians, gays and bisexuals do not claim any 'special' or 'additional rights' but the observance of the same rights as those of heterosexual persons. Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered LGBT persons are denied - either by law or practices - basic civil, political, social and economic rights. The following violations have been documented in all parts of the world:.
Through special criminal provisions or practices on the basis of sexual orientation, in many countries lesbians, gays and bisexuals are denied equality in rights and before the law. Often laws maintain a higher age of consent for same sex relations comparison with opposite sex relations.
The right to non-discrimination and to be free from violence and harassment is usually denied by omitting sexual orientation in Sexual orientation discrimination articles of race laws, constitutional provisions or their enforcement.
The right to life is violated states where the death penalty is applicable for sodomy. The right to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is infringed upon by police practices, in investigations or in the case of lesbians, gays and bisexuals in detention.
The freedom of movement is denied to bi-national couples by not recognizing their same sex relation. The right to a fair trial is often affected by the prejudices of judges and other law enforcement officials. The right to privacy is denied by the existence of ' sodomy laws ' applicable to lesbians, gays and bisexuals, even if the relation is in private between consenting adults. The rights to free expression and free association may either be denied explicitly by law, or lesbians, gays and bisexuals may not enjoy them because of the homophobic climate in which they live.
The practice of religion is usually restricted in the case of lesbians, gays and bisexuals, especially in the case of churches advocating against them. The right to work is the most affected among the economic rights, many lesbians, gays and bisexuals being fired because of their sexual orientation or discriminated in employment policies and practices. The rights to social security, assistance and benefitsand from here - the standard of living - are affected, for example when they have to disclose the identity of their spouse.
The right to physical and mental health is at conflict with discriminatory policies and practices, some physicians' homophobia, the lack of adequate training for health care personnel regarding sexual orientation issues or the general assumption that patients are heterosexuals.
The right to form a family is denied by governments by not-recognizing same sex families and by denying the rights otherwise granted by the state to heterosexual families who have not sought legal recognition, but still enjoy several rights.
Children can also be denied protection against separation from parents based of a parent's sexual orientation. Lesbians, gay and bisexual couples and individuals are not allowed to adopt a childeven in the case of the child of their same sex partner.
Lesbian, gay and bisexual students may not enjoy the right to education because of an unsafe climate created by peers or educators in schools. It becomes a reference point for the LGBT movement worldwide. Dudgeon v UK - Denmark is the first country in the world to give legal recognition to same-sex partnerships - Treaty of Amsterdam enters into force European Union - the first international treaty to explicitly mention and protect sexual orientation.