State-sponsored homophobia includes the criminalization and penalization of homosexuality, hate speech from government figures, and other forms of discrimination, violence, persecution of LGBT people.In medieval Europe, homosexuality was considered sodomy and was punishable by death.Negative attitudes toward identifiable LGBT groups have similar yet specific names: lesbophobia is the intersection of homophobia and sexism directed against lesbians, biphobia targets bisexuality and bisexual people, and transphobia targets transgender and transsexual people and gender variance or gender role nonconformity.
Queer theology seeks to provide a counterpoint to religious homophobia.
The Bible, especially the Old Testament, contains some passages commonly interpreted as condemning homosexuality or same-gender sexual relations.
The legal situation in the United Arab Emirates, however, is unclear.
In 2009, the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) published a report entitled State Sponsored Homophobia 2009, which is based on research carried out by Daniel Ottosson at Södertörn University College, Stockholm, Sweden.
Conceptualizing anti-LGBT prejudice as a social problem worthy of scholarly attention was not new.
A 1969 article in Time described examples of negative attitudes toward homosexuality as "homophobia", including "a mixture of revulsion and apprehension" which some called homosexual panic. It was a fear of homosexuals which seemed to be associated with a fear of contagion, a fear of reducing the things one fought for — home and family.
Recognized types of homophobia include institutionalized homophobia, e.g.
religious homophobia and state-sponsored homophobia, and internalized homophobia, experienced by people who have same-sex attractions, regardless of how they identify.
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Scholarly debate over the interpretation of these passages has focused on placing them in proper historical context, for instance pointing out that Sodom's sins are historically interpreted as being other than homosexuality, and on the translation of rare or unusual words in the passages in question.