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Attitudes and laws on homosexuality

To say that homosexuality is seen differently in different parts of the world is putting it mildly. Cultural and personal attitudes to homosexuality vary widely. Some people, usually for religious or traditional reasons, see same-sex relationships as shameful or sinful. Gays and lesbians can face prejudice and discrimination, hatred and violence.

On the other hand, many people all over the world see homosexuality as just a normal part of life. They think gays and lesbians deserve the same respect as heterosexuals.

In almost 60 percent of countries in the world, being gay is legal. In many of them, it’s widely accepted. Gay and lesbian couples can now get married in the same way as straight couples in a long list of countries in Europe, North and South America and also South Africa and New Zealand. But in some places homosexuality is illegal, and gays, lesbians and bisexuals can face imprisonment.

To read news and updates about gay rights around the world, go to