Homosexuality: The countries where it is illegal to be gay
Gay Rights and the Constitution
I briefly wondered if I had wandered into the wrong conference. Yet surveying the various panel discussions left me confused. Gay people were once policed as criminal subversives, depicted in the popular culture as deviants, and pathologized by the medical establishment as mentally ill. Now most of America views homosexuality as benign.
A crackdown on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Cameroon has resulted in the arrest or assault by security forces of dozens of people this year, according to Human Rights Watch. In the most recent incident, two transgender Cameroonians have been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of "attempted homosexuality". There are 69 countries that have laws that criminalise homosexuality , and nearly half of these are in Africa.
The issue: Does the Constitution protect homosexual conduct? What limitations does the Constitution place on ability of states to treat people differently because of their sexual orientation? The Court first considered the matter in the case of Bowers v Hardwick , a challenge to a Georgia law authorizing criminal penalties for persons found guilty of sodomy. Although the Georgia law applied both to heterosexual and homosexual sodomy, the Supreme Court chose to consider only the constitutionality of applying the law to homosexual sodomy. Michael Hardwick, who sought to enjoin enforcement of the Georgia law, had been charged with sodomy after a police officer discovered him in bed with another man.