Gay and Lesbian Communities the World Over examines the treatment and status of gays and lesbians in 21 countries around the world. The countries included are Canada, the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Israel, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, South Africa, India, China, Japan, and Australia. The book explores the history of homosexuality dating back to ancient Greece and Rome, as well as attitudes toward gays and lesbians within the world's most prominent religions, the arts, literature, and film. This investigation is unique due to its comprehensive and innovative analysis of a wide range of topics concerning gay and lesbian communities across a large number of countries. The authors report on the rights of gay and lesbian citizens in the countries listed above, as for example the right to marry, adopt, serve in the military, hold certain occupational positions. They also describe the status of gay and lesbian citizens as for example, the legality of homosexuality and sanctioned punishments.
When available, public opinion data are reported on how respondents feel about gays and lesbians in their country as well as their opinions on what rights should be afforded to this group. Data are reported on respondents' opinions on allowing gay marriage, civil unions, adoption, and allowing gays to openly serve in the military. The representative sample of countries in this study will help scholars get a better sense of the status of gays and lesbians across the globe.
Rita J. Simon is professor in the School of Public Affairs and the Washington College of Law at American University. Alison M. Brooks is a graduate research assistant at the National Institute of Justice.