What are some examples of latent homosexuality


Hans-Joachim Mengel

To person

Hans-Joachim Mengel, born in 1947, is professor in the Politics and Social Sciences department at the Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science and head of the "Center for the Study of Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation" (CSDSO) at the Free University of Berlin.

In many countries around the world, love between same-sex partners is severely punished. The freedom to live out one's sexual orientation is by no means a human right - but it is an issue on the international agenda.

On the occasion of the 57th anniversary of the International Declaration of Human Rights, gays and lesbians in Manila are calling for an end to discrimination against homosexuality. (& copy AP)


The right to pursue happiness, "the pursuit of happiness", is one of the most fundamental rights of every human being on this earth. It is indisputable that happiness also includes sexuality that is as fulfilled as possible, although it is accepted that people can also find happiness in voluntarily chosen sexual abstinence, for example for religious reasons. Forcing people to renounce and reject their own natural sexual identity is unacceptable.

For the vast majority of the world's population, lived and fulfilled sexuality is part of a happy life. But to this day, the international human rights debate has paid little attention to this. The more clearly formulated rights in international conventions are formations and specifications of what happiness should be. But we do not find in these concrete human rights the right to sexual fulfillment, which is based on the freedom and protection of sexual identity of every human being.

On the contrary, in currently 76 countries around the world, a certain sexual identity that does not correspond to the majority identity, homosexuality, is prosecuted with criminal sanctions. In seven countries, the fulfillment of this sexual identity, which no one can choose according to reliable scientific knowledge, is even punished with death, for example by hanging or stoning. It is astonishing that such an act of persecution and discrimination has received little attention from actors in the political as well as in the scientific field of the international community for decades. To this day, strong actors in the world community try to prevent any debate about it. Instead of following the maxim already formulated by the English legal philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), according to which political actors should strive for "the greatest good for the greatest number of people", they overthrow countless people through laws that criminalize homosexuality , to misfortune.

It is high time to change this unworthy situation that hundreds of millions of people can only perceive their pursuit of happiness hidden, always threatened by blackmail and persecution, often only at risk to life and limb. There are innumerable those who have resigned themselves to not living out their sexuality in the face of severe criminal penalties. There are innumerable people who cannot withstand this pressure and who commit suicide in view of the denial of their right to sexual happiness. Mankind has managed to abolish slavery, to promote the position of women and their equality. It must be possible to free millions of people from the misery of fear and persecution - with a percentage of homosexual people based on science of around five to ten percent of the population, the problem affects around 350 to 700 million people globally. To ignore their fate and deny them the right to pursue a happy life with fulfilled sexuality is shameful.

The aim of all efforts for universal protection of human rights was and is to remove the individual from the arbitrary grasp of the state and to show the states mandatory limits by means of universally valid human rights - limits that are not used as minimum standards under any pretext, in particular under the pretext of preserving cultural diversity , may be injured. A world in which women are humiliated solely on the basis of their gender, under the pretext of cultural-religious identity and diversity, for example through circumcision, must just as little be tolerated as one in which people are discriminated, persecuted or killed solely on the basis of their homosexual orientation.

What is frightening about the current situation is that persecution, discrimination and ostracism do not take place in hidden form, but that these are carried out openly and more or less aggressively by religious communities, governments and individuals. Those who step up to the use of physical violence often rely on the tacit legitimation of those who outlaw homosexual behavior but treat those affected with pity and forgiveness. As long as this legitimation background works, it is extremely difficult to relax the aggressive persecution and discrimination situation of homosexuals worldwide. Developments in the strongly Catholic Latin American countries, where the situation for homosexuals has fundamentally improved against the resistance of the Church, show that it is possible. Some of these countries are at the forefront of the movement within the United Nations (UN) to outlaw the discrimination and persecution of homosexuals around the world.