A lot has been made of the possibility that US born Omar Mateen had been gay himself, and that his relationship with his father, from Afghanistan, had contributed to his personality disorders, leading up to his rampage on an Orlando FL gay club.
Newspapers have called Afghanistan, even post-Taliban, one of the most homophobic countries in the world, despite a subculture in Pashtun that practice homosexuality with very young men (as reported in French sources), behavior that would violate laws against sex with minors in the US. It’s a little surprising, as most of us hear the worst from Iran, North Korea, Nigeria, and Uganda – and Russia with its anti-gay propaganda law.
Surprises on the Newsweek list of shame include Lithuania and Senegal (which Anthony Bourdain covered favorably without mentioning the anit-gay culture).
Extreme homophobia is often associated with the belief that allowing homosexuality will lead to fewer babies and weaken family lineage, an idea very important in poorer regions of the world. The idea seems to drive Russian policy. (Fareed Zakaria interviews Vladimir Putin from St. Petersburg today – more on that later.)