In recent years, the topic of gay rights has caused a great debate and received extensive media coverage focusing on same sex marriage and other issues pertaining to homosexuality. Among the arguments however, several have questioned whether the world is making progress or if gay citizens have been stripped of their basic right to pursue happiness.
The history of gay rights, despite popular belief, is not only extensive but dates back as far as Ancient Egyptian times. Evidence shows that during this time in our world’s history, parts of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt recognized same sex unions to be a legitimate institution.
In fact, one same sex couple that was recognized by the Ancient Egyptian kingdom was buried together in a tomb just as husband and wife were at the time. Marriage was not the only evidence of same sex unions in Ancient Egypt. In addition to the tomb, artifacts depicting same sex relationships have confirmed the existence of such unions.
The acceptance of same sex unions was legal among the Roman community during it's rise and the idea of two men feeling attracted to one another was considered to be a normal thing. The spread of Christianity however, later encouraged the change of thought and as a result, same sex unions were viewed with a negative connotation among Romans.
Today, the world’s view and debate over same sex unions has become so heated that it is difficult to find someone who does not have an opinion on the topic. Opinion and involvement in the topic is not only limited to citizens however. Same sex unions have been discussed among government officials in almost every country and have even resulted in the influence of law.
In places such as the UK, Denmark, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and 13 of the United States, same sex unions have been legalized and couples involved in same sex unions are able to marry freely.
When it comes to same sex unions however, equality as a whole is far from being achieved. In countries like Russia where law on homosexuality is too vague to understand, gay citizens have been imprisoned for simply holding hands and in Iran homosexuality is considered to be so heinous that it is punishable by death.
In countries such as Zimbabwe, government officials have confirmed that homosexuality will never be accepted and President Mugabe has said that gay people are "worse than pigs, goats and birds."
Although gay equality has progressed over the last ten years, it has taken a huge step backward since our ancient ancestors have walked the earth.
From parades held to prevent gay citizens from obtaining their right to join in a same sex union to "gay bashings" threatening the life of any man woman or child who speaks out, it is clear that homosexual citizens will continue to face adversity at every turn, regardless of place of birth.