Male homosexuals are generally more despised and discriminated against than lesbians, as they are thought to constitute a greater threat to society. Forms of discrimination can range from social stigma to death, and commonly include discrimination in employment or social benefits and in civil rights. Discriminatory behaviour generally stems from fear, ignorance or religious dogma.
Discrimination is particularly prevalent in Anglo-American culture, though there is a current movement to counter this. Homosexuality is fairly widely accepted in Arab and most Asian countries, although highly stigmatized in China. Many Western countries have decriminalized homosexuality between consenting adults, some modelled after an international covenant drafted by the UN. However, most homosexual affairs are still conducted clandestinely and may be accompanied by a guilt complex, while surface appearances are kept up.
People in countries of the former USSR, especially Russian, are notoriously homophobic since they have been conditioned since the 1930s to regard homosexuality as deviant and criminal behaviour. This situation is even worse in the provinces. Homosexuality was only decriminalized in Russia in 1993, although those serving sentences for homosexuality were not immediately released.
An Amnesty International reported in 1997 that men and women around the world are being harassed, abducted, tortured, imprisoned and even murdered for their sexual orientation. Colombian death squads target and kill hundreds of gay men and transvestites in an activity called 'social cleansing'. Gay men and women also face prosecution in up to 60 countries, including Nigeria, Romania and India. In Iran, homosexuality is punished by the death penalty by public stoning.
Homosexuals are born with their sexual orientations. They are entitled to enjoy the same human rights (including the right to found a family) as every other human being.
Homosexuality cannot lead to procreation and as such is both antisocial and hedonistic. When a homosexual couple is formed it rarely lasts. In one study, homosexual couples were found to last an average of three years and, for men, the average number of partners is 16 per year. Homosexuals are more vulnerable to blackmail and therefore should not be given positions of responsibility. Homosexuals in positions to influence and directly contact children set an abnormal example. Homosexuals are potential paedophiles, for, having gone beyond one moral and social barrier, they are ready to go beyond another. Full equality for homosexuals and heterosexuals is incompatible with the protection of the family. Sexual relations between men are an important factor in spreading sexually transmitted diseases; homosexuals account for 70% of recent cases of syphilis in England because of the large number of indiscriminate partners. And because they have heterosexual relations they contaminate their female partners. By far the largest numbers of AIDS carriers in the developed world are homosexual men. Leaving aside moral and religious reasons, homosexuals should be discriminated against for the sake of the larger society.