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While in the global north the debate around human rights for LGBT people is principally focused on marriage equality and trans rights, many jurisdictions in the global south remain burdened with the legacy of colonially imposed anti-sodomy laws. These archaic statutes make it a crime, sometimes punishable by death, for homosexuals to even be intimate in the privacy of their bedrooms. The struggle for a universal human rights standard for LGBT people is complicated by seemingly intractable arguments based in cultural relativism and religious freedom. The effects of this disparity in rights recognition are visible in tragic cases of abuse recorded against LGBTs. This essay highlights the ongoing struggle for securing basic legal protections for LGBTI people globally, as this remains a pressing issue outside of the global north.

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