In many countries across the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are recurrently subjected to targeted killings, violent assaults, torture, and sexual violence.
Shockingly, in 2014, homosexuality is illegal in 76 countries around the world, and in 10 of these punishable by death or life imprisonment. In recent years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has overseen and promoted a vicious onslaught of state-sponsored homophobic legislation in Russia to distract the public from widespread government corruption and other social ills. It is now illegal in Russia to even say that you are gay, let alone talk positively about homosexuality! Russian LGBT activists have reported a dramatic increase in homophobic attacks since the anti-gay law was introduced, and attackers being protected by the police.
And in other parts of the world, human rights groups are also reporting a trend of worsening human rights violations against LGBT people. In several African countries, parliaments are advocating laws that would further penalise and even execute homosexuals.
On 7 January 2014, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a law that makes gay marriage in Nigeria punishable by up to 14 years in prison. And already, LGBT rights activists are reporting mass arrests and beatings of gay people all over Nigeria. Dozens of gay men have already been arrested in the northern state of Bauchi, after police drew up a list of 168 gay men who are now being hunted down. Within days, an Islamic court in Bauchi put 11 Muslim men on trial accused of being homosexuals, after they were arrested by local residents and handed to the Islamic police force.
The recent anti-gay witch-hunt is being used by political leaders to distract attention from other human rights violations and is seen as a calculated move to divert the focus of political debate in Nigeria from the endemic political corruption and unequal economy.
Across the world, LGBT people are routinely used by corrupt political forces as scapegoats for the social instability of the capitalist system, serving as a functional distraction from misgovernment, economic problems, rising food prices, and political tyranny.
The capitalist class purposely target LGBT people and make use of popular prejudices and ignorance as a means to foster division in the working class and divert attention from class-based issues.