Homosexuality refers to sexual behavior with or an attraction to people of the same sex (Dyre, 2002). It also refers to a type of sexual orientation. As a sexual orientation homosexuality refers to an enduring pattern or disposition to experience sexual, affectionate or romantic attractions primarily to the people of the same kind (Paul, 2005). In a narrow sense, gay refers to male homosexuality, but it is often used in broader terms, especially in medial headlines to refer to homosexuality in general.
In many cultures the gay people are frequently subjected to prejudice and discrimination as well as stereotyping (Van der Meer, et al. , 2004). Gay men are seen as effeminate and fashionable, often identified with a lisp or a female tone and act (Dyre, 2002). They are stereotyped as being promiscuous and unsuccessful in enduring romantic relationships. Gay men are also alleged as having pedophilia tendencies and more likely to commit child sexual abuse (Young, et al. , 2005).
Homosexuality has at times been used as a scapegoat by the governments facing problems (Legal Times, 2005). Gays have faced employment discrimination worldwide. Employment discrimination refers to discriminatory practices such as biasness in hiring, promotions, job assignments, terminations and compensations as well as various types of harassments. The main way in which gays are discriminated against in work places is through prejudice (Van der Meer, et al. , 2004). There is no proof that gays are less capable of carrying out any profession as compared to heterosexual persons.
The main reasons for dismissing gays as cited by the employers are due to medical reasons (on the report of a medical ground that they are declared to be homosexual and therefore assumed to be ill), fear of corruption (homosexuals are widely seen as uncontrolled persons who make sexual advancement at any time towards someone who is near) actual or imagined, pressure from clients, or from other staff, presumed inadequacy at work (based on the prejudice that homosexuals are unreliable and inefficient) and the fear that they might be HIV-positive (Herdt, et al. , 2003).
There are far more reported cases of gay discrimination in Britain than in any other country on the globe (Dyre, 2002). This is probably because most of these cases are based on discriminatory provisions in British penal law. Under these provisions only homosexual men can be convicted of committing the crime of ‘gross indecency’ which suggests something terrible but it is no more than a minor offense, usually attracting a fine of a few pounds (Herdt, et al. , 2003). Homosexuals are not allowed to have sexual relations in their work places (Herdt, et al. , 2003).