Laws affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people vary greatly by country or territory—everything from legal recognition of same-sex marriage or other types of partnerships, to the death penalty as punishment for same-sex romantic/sexual activity or identity.
In Persia homosexuality and homoerotic expressions were tolerated in numerous public places, from monasteries and seminaries to taverns, military camps, bathhouses, and coffee houses. The two most commonly documented forms were commercial sex with transgender young males or males enacting transgender roles exemplified by the köçeks and Sufi spiritual practices in which the practitioner admired the form of a beautiful boy in order to enter ecstatic states and glimpse the beauty of God.In the early Safavid era (1501–1723), male houses of prostitution (amrad khane) were legally recognized and paid taxes. Middle Assyrian Law Codes dating 1075 BC states: "If a man have intercourse with his brother-in-arms, they shall turn him into a eunuch." Acceptable same-sex partners were males excluded from legal protections as citizens: slaves, male prostitutes, and the infames, entertainers or others who might be technically free but whose lifestyles set them outside the law."Homosexual" and "heterosexual" were thus not categories of Roman sexuality, and no words exist in Latin that would precisely translate these concepts.Following up on the report, the UN Human Rights Commission urged all countries which had not yet done so to enact laws protecting basic LGBT rights.In book XIII of his Deipnosophists, the Roman Greek rhetorician and grammarian Athenaeus, repeating assertions made by Diodorus Siculus in the 1st century BC (Bibliotheca historica ), wrote that Celtic women were beautiful but that the men preferred to sleep together.
Diodorus went further, stating that "the young men will offer themselves to strangers and are insulted if the offer is refused".
Rankin argues that the ultimate source of these assertions is likely to be Poseidonius and speculates that these authors may be recording male "bonding rituals".
There are several instances in ancient Indian epic poetry of same sex depictions and unions by gods and goddesses.
There are several stories depicting love between those of the same sex, especially among kings and queens.
Kamasutra, the ancient Indian treatise on love talks about feelings for same sexes. Lord Vishnu as Mohini and Lord Shiva as Ardhanarishwara (which means half woman).
The ancient Law of Moses (the Torah) forbids men lying with men (intercourse) in Leviticus 18 and gives a story of attempted homosexual rape in Genesis in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities being soon destroyed after that. In Deuteronomy 22:5, cross-dressing is condemned as being "abominable". 1492), wrote poems replete with homoerotic allusions.