Homophobia knows no religion: Examples of anti-LGBT violence outside radical Islam

Published June 15th, 2016 - 17:13 GMT

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Sunday morning’s attack on a popular LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida rocked world headlines. Pundits quickly categorized it as a uniquely Islamic incident, casting the late shooter's religion as the defining characteristic of the crime. Gunman Omar Mateen’s Muslim heritage and possible link to Daesh clearly color this story, but to view the shooting through the single lens of Islamophia is to ignore a long history of  Christiain, Jewish, and Islam-inspired violence against the LGBT community that is ever-present today. 

LGBT individuals face hatred from nearly every religion, tradition, culture, and society on Earth. Despite victories big and small for the community and a greater global understanding of non-traditional relationships, the road ahead is long as progressives tackle this issue against a rainbow of haters who are not taking the battles for gay rights lying down.

Is homophobia the preserve of Islam alone? Think again. Continue reading below »

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In 2015, Yissai Schlissle, an Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jew, stabbed six at the Jerusalem Pride Parade, killing a 16 year old girl in the process. He had been released from prison six weeks prior to the incident, having just completed a ten year prison sentence - for stabbing three people at the 2005 Jerusalem Pride Parade.
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Image 1 of 12:  1 / 12In 2015, Yissai Schlissle, an Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jew, stabbed six at the Jerusalem Pride Parade, killing a 16 year old girl in the process. He had been released from prison six weeks prior to the incident, having just completed a ten year prison sentence - for stabbing three people at the 2005 Jerusalem Pride Parade.

Enlarge
While Schlisse was serving his decade-long prison sentence, Israel’s LGBT community witnessed another deadly attack in 2009. This time, an unknown shooter targeted a LGBT youth center in Tel Aviv, killing two and injuring 15 - nearly all minors. One Ultra-Orthodox Jewish suspect was apprehended, but released due to insufficient evidence.
Reduce

Image 2 of 12:  2 / 12While Schlisse was serving his decade-long prison sentence, Israel’s LGBT community witnessed another deadly attack in 2009. This time, an unknown shooter targeted a LGBT youth center in Tel Aviv, killing two and injuring 15 - nearly all minors. One Ultra-Orthodox Jewish suspect was apprehended, but released due to insufficient evidence.

Enlarge
In 2000, Ronald Gay, self-described “soldier of the Lord”, walked into a LGBT bar in Roanoke, Virginia and shot seven people, killing one. Gay grew up in Canada before joining the US Marine Corps, where he was mocked for his last name. The mocking, plus a recent divorce and twisted view of Christianity was enough to lead Mr. Gay to violence.
Reduce

Image 3 of 12:  3 / 12In 2000, Ronald Gay, self-described “soldier of the Lord”, walked into a LGBT bar in Roanoke, Virginia and shot seven people, killing one. Gay grew up in Canada before joining the US Marine Corps, where he was mocked for his last name. The mocking, plus a recent divorce and twisted view of Christianity was enough to lead Mr. Gay to violence.

Enlarge
Ronald Gay’s “soldier of the Lord” ideology is not unique, nor is America’s history with homophobia. In 1998, 21 year old Matthew Shepard was beaten, tortured, and left for dead by two classmates in Laramie, Wisconsin for being gay. The publicity surrounding Shepard’s death helped make homophobia a mainstream issue.
Reduce

Image 4 of 12:  4 / 12Ronald Gay’s “soldier of the Lord” ideology is not unique, nor is America’s history with homophobia. In 1998, 21 year old Matthew Shepard was beaten, tortured, and left for dead by two classmates in Laramie, Wisconsin for being gay. The publicity surrounding Shepard’s death helped make homophobia a mainstream issue.

Enlarge
Evangelical missionaries spread more than Christianity's core message of redemption. In 2009, American pastor Scott Lively led a religious mission to Uganda, where they stoked anti-gay sentiment in the central African country, culminating with a viral video of a Ugandan pastor accusing homosexuals of eating each other's feces.
Reduce

Image 5 of 12:  5 / 12Evangelical missionaries spread more than Christianity's core message of redemption. In 2009, American pastor Scott Lively led a religious mission to Uganda, where they stoked anti-gay sentiment in the central African country, culminating with a viral video of a Ugandan pastor accusing homosexuals of eating each other's feces.

Enlarge
Toxic anti-gay sentiment in Uganda led to the 2011 murder of prominent Ugandan LGBT rights activist David Kato and passage of an infamous 2014 bill which punished homosexuality with death. The bill was written into law, but deeply strained relations with Western governments. It was rescinded that same year.
Reduce

Image 6 of 12:  6 / 12Toxic anti-gay sentiment in Uganda led to the 2011 murder of prominent Ugandan LGBT rights activist David Kato and passage of an infamous 2014 bill which punished homosexuality with death. The bill was written into law, but deeply strained relations with Western governments. It was rescinded that same year.

Enlarge
Russia has provoked international outcry for its anti-gay legislation in recent years. Isolated attacks on LGBT persons are common, one of the most publicized being the beating, torture, and burning of a gay man in Moscow in 2013. The two perpetrators were handed a maximum sentence of 12 years each.
Reduce

Image 7 of 12:  7 / 12Russia has provoked international outcry for its anti-gay legislation in recent years. Isolated attacks on LGBT persons are common, one of the most publicized being the beating, torture, and burning of a gay man in Moscow in 2013. The two perpetrators were handed a maximum sentence of 12 years each.

Enlarge
Public backlash against the gay community reached a peak in 2014 when Moscow’s largest LGBT club was forced to close, citing a wave of hate crimes targeting its patrons.  The most egregious included a “poisonous gas” attack, multiple shootings and stabbings, and a coordinated attack by over 100 men to vandalize the club.
Reduce

Image 8 of 12:  8 / 12Public backlash against the gay community reached a peak in 2014 when Moscow’s largest LGBT club was forced to close, citing a wave of hate crimes targeting its patrons. The most egregious included a “poisonous gas” attack, multiple shootings and stabbings, and a coordinated attack by over 100 men to vandalize the club.

Enlarge
Religion is often seen as as the prime source of homophobia, but secular states are guilty as well. Mao Zedong of Communist China allegedly believed in castrating “sexual deviants”. Though China legalized homosexuality in 1997 and finally declassified it as a mental disorder in 2001, bizarre cases of anti-gay violence continue to pop up.
Reduce

Image 9 of 12:  9 / 12Religion is often seen as as the prime source of homophobia, but secular states are guilty as well. Mao Zedong of Communist China allegedly believed in castrating “sexual deviants”. Though China legalized homosexuality in 1997 and finally declassified it as a mental disorder in 2001, bizarre cases of anti-gay violence continue to pop up.

Enlarge
Recently, a gay man in China announced he’s suing a mental hospital for drugging and beating him to “cure” his homosexuality on orders from his family. A court recently ruled that such “therapies” are medically unsound, but they continue in some Chinese hospitals.
Reduce

Image 10 of 12:  10 / 12Recently, a gay man in China announced he’s suing a mental hospital for drugging and beating him to “cure” his homosexuality on orders from his family. A court recently ruled that such “therapies” are medically unsound, but they continue in some Chinese hospitals.

Enlarge
Finally, activists in India - where in 2013 the Supreme Court reinstated a ban on homosexuality -  accused PM Narendra Modi of hypocrisy when he expressed his “shock” at the Orlando attack. Activists say the 2013 recriminalization of homosexuality led to a sharp increase in anti-gay hate crimes in India.
Reduce

Image 11 of 12:  11 / 12Finally, activists in India - where in 2013 the Supreme Court reinstated a ban on homosexuality - accused PM Narendra Modi of hypocrisy when he expressed his “shock” at the Orlando attack. Activists say the 2013 recriminalization of homosexuality led to a sharp increase in anti-gay hate crimes in India.

Enlarge
Many of these crimes stem from the Indian government itself. A man in Lucknow accused a police officer of beating and raping him in 2013 after discovering he was gay. State anti-gay laws make reporting such violence impossible - and, in most cases, attacks against  the LGBT community go unchecked and unreported.
Reduce

Image 12 of 12:  12 / 12Many of these crimes stem from the Indian government itself. A man in Lucknow accused a police officer of beating and raping him in 2013 after discovering he was gay. State anti-gay laws make reporting such violence impossible - and, in most cases, attacks against the LGBT community go unchecked and unreported.

Enlarge

1

In 2015, Yissai Schlissle, an Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jew, stabbed six at the Jerusalem Pride Parade, killing a 16 year old girl in the process. He had been released from prison six weeks prior to the incident, having just completed a ten year prison sentence - for stabbing three people at the 2005 Jerusalem Pride Parade.

Image 1 of 12In 2015, Yissai Schlissle, an Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jew, stabbed six at the Jerusalem Pride Parade, killing a 16 year old girl in the process. He had been released from prison six weeks prior to the incident, having just completed a ten year prison sentence - for stabbing three people at the 2005 Jerusalem Pride Parade.

2

While Schlisse was serving his decade-long prison sentence, Israel’s LGBT community witnessed another deadly attack in 2009. This time, an unknown shooter targeted a LGBT youth center in Tel Aviv, killing two and injuring 15 - nearly all minors. One Ultra-Orthodox Jewish suspect was apprehended, but released due to insufficient evidence.

Image 2 of 12While Schlisse was serving his decade-long prison sentence, Israel’s LGBT community witnessed another deadly attack in 2009. This time, an unknown shooter targeted a LGBT youth center in Tel Aviv, killing two and injuring 15 - nearly all minors. One Ultra-Orthodox Jewish suspect was apprehended, but released due to insufficient evidence.

3

In 2000, Ronald Gay, self-described “soldier of the Lord”, walked into a LGBT bar in Roanoke, Virginia and shot seven people, killing one. Gay grew up in Canada before joining the US Marine Corps, where he was mocked for his last name. The mocking, plus a recent divorce and twisted view of Christianity was enough to lead Mr. Gay to violence.

Image 3 of 12In 2000, Ronald Gay, self-described “soldier of the Lord”, walked into a LGBT bar in Roanoke, Virginia and shot seven people, killing one. Gay grew up in Canada before joining the US Marine Corps, where he was mocked for his last name. The mocking, plus a recent divorce and twisted view of Christianity was enough to lead Mr. Gay to violence.

4

Ronald Gay’s “soldier of the Lord” ideology is not unique, nor is America’s history with homophobia. In 1998, 21 year old Matthew Shepard was beaten, tortured, and left for dead by two classmates in Laramie, Wisconsin for being gay. The publicity surrounding Shepard’s death helped make homophobia a mainstream issue.

Image 4 of 12Ronald Gay’s “soldier of the Lord” ideology is not unique, nor is America’s history with homophobia. In 1998, 21 year old Matthew Shepard was beaten, tortured, and left for dead by two classmates in Laramie, Wisconsin for being gay. The publicity surrounding Shepard’s death helped make homophobia a mainstream issue.

5

Evangelical missionaries spread more than Christianity's core message of redemption. In 2009, American pastor Scott Lively led a religious mission to Uganda, where they stoked anti-gay sentiment in the central African country, culminating with a viral video of a Ugandan pastor accusing homosexuals of eating each other's feces.

Image 5 of 12Evangelical missionaries spread more than Christianity's core message of redemption. In 2009, American pastor Scott Lively led a religious mission to Uganda, where they stoked anti-gay sentiment in the central African country, culminating with a viral video of a Ugandan pastor accusing homosexuals of eating each other's feces.

6

Toxic anti-gay sentiment in Uganda led to the 2011 murder of prominent Ugandan LGBT rights activist David Kato and passage of an infamous 2014 bill which punished homosexuality with death. The bill was written into law, but deeply strained relations with Western governments. It was rescinded that same year.

Image 6 of 12Toxic anti-gay sentiment in Uganda led to the 2011 murder of prominent Ugandan LGBT rights activist David Kato and passage of an infamous 2014 bill which punished homosexuality with death. The bill was written into law, but deeply strained relations with Western governments. It was rescinded that same year.

7

Russia has provoked international outcry for its anti-gay legislation in recent years. Isolated attacks on LGBT persons are common, one of the most publicized being the beating, torture, and burning of a gay man in Moscow in 2013. The two perpetrators were handed a maximum sentence of 12 years each.

Image 7 of 12Russia has provoked international outcry for its anti-gay legislation in recent years. Isolated attacks on LGBT persons are common, one of the most publicized being the beating, torture, and burning of a gay man in Moscow in 2013. The two perpetrators were handed a maximum sentence of 12 years each.

8

Public backlash against the gay community reached a peak in 2014 when Moscow’s largest LGBT club was forced to close, citing a wave of hate crimes targeting its patrons.  The most egregious included a “poisonous gas” attack, multiple shootings and stabbings, and a coordinated attack by over 100 men to vandalize the club.

Image 8 of 12Public backlash against the gay community reached a peak in 2014 when Moscow’s largest LGBT club was forced to close, citing a wave of hate crimes targeting its patrons. The most egregious included a “poisonous gas” attack, multiple shootings and stabbings, and a coordinated attack by over 100 men to vandalize the club.

9

Religion is often seen as as the prime source of homophobia, but secular states are guilty as well. Mao Zedong of Communist China allegedly believed in castrating “sexual deviants”. Though China legalized homosexuality in 1997 and finally declassified it as a mental disorder in 2001, bizarre cases of anti-gay violence continue to pop up.

Image 9 of 12Religion is often seen as as the prime source of homophobia, but secular states are guilty as well. Mao Zedong of Communist China allegedly believed in castrating “sexual deviants”. Though China legalized homosexuality in 1997 and finally declassified it as a mental disorder in 2001, bizarre cases of anti-gay violence continue to pop up.

10

Recently, a gay man in China announced he’s suing a mental hospital for drugging and beating him to “cure” his homosexuality on orders from his family. A court recently ruled that such “therapies” are medically unsound, but they continue in some Chinese hospitals.

Image 10 of 12Recently, a gay man in China announced he’s suing a mental hospital for drugging and beating him to “cure” his homosexuality on orders from his family. A court recently ruled that such “therapies” are medically unsound, but they continue in some Chinese hospitals.

11

Finally, activists in India - where in 2013 the Supreme Court reinstated a ban on homosexuality -  accused PM Narendra Modi of hypocrisy when he expressed his “shock” at the Orlando attack. Activists say the 2013 recriminalization of homosexuality led to a sharp increase in anti-gay hate crimes in India.

Image 11 of 12Finally, activists in India - where in 2013 the Supreme Court reinstated a ban on homosexuality - accused PM Narendra Modi of hypocrisy when he expressed his “shock” at the Orlando attack. Activists say the 2013 recriminalization of homosexuality led to a sharp increase in anti-gay hate crimes in India.

12

Many of these crimes stem from the Indian government itself. A man in Lucknow accused a police officer of beating and raping him in 2013 after discovering he was gay. State anti-gay laws make reporting such violence impossible - and, in most cases, attacks against  the LGBT community go unchecked and unreported.

Image 12 of 12Many of these crimes stem from the Indian government itself. A man in Lucknow accused a police officer of beating and raping him in 2013 after discovering he was gay. State anti-gay laws make reporting such violence impossible - and, in most cases, attacks against the LGBT community go unchecked and unreported.

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