The U. S.
Those who consider themselves homosexual today in the U. S. still face prejudice and stereotyping. However, the progress enjoyed by the gay rights movement in political, social and academic fields has pushed for more inclusion of homosexual orientation within all areas of American society.
One of the most contentious issues surrounding homosexuality today is the push for legalizing same-sex marriages. In recent years various state legislatures have either expressed their approval or disapproval of same-sex marriages. The recent developments in California regarding Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment defining legal marriage in the state of California as only between a man and a woman, have brought more political and social attention to the issue of same-sex marriage. Organizations either for or against gay marriage have started lobbying on this issue to state and federal legislatures.
In regard to the status of homosexuals in the army, President Obama honored his campaign promise to discard the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” initiative and thus allow homosexuals to openly enter military forces. You can read more about this issue by visiting our “Homosexual Issues” page.
Most of the developed western world has shown much more tolerance and inclusion of homosexuality within most levels of society. These changes have also entered the developing world as well, although slowly. India has recently decriminalized homosexual behavior. However, throughout most of the Middle East and Africa, countries still criminalize homosexual behavior and some even have life imprisonment as a punishment for displaying such behavior.
When it comes to homosexual identity and military service, most NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) member countries allow openly gay and lesbian individuals to serve in the military. Israel is the only country in the Middle East allowing openly homosexual individuals to join the military.