Saturday, 16 February 2008

Homophobia: report it now!

According to the newly published God, Gays and the Church, 'homophobia' is a "Pejorative term which may be applied to people who exhibit an entire range of negative attitudes to same-sex attraction, and also to those who experience and act upon it. The view that same-sex sexual behaviour is sinful is considered homophobic in certain realms."

Already in this country there is such a thing as 'homophobic crime', with homophobic 'incidents' being defined as anything anyone perceives to be homophobic (eg here).

Now the London Underground is featuring a poster campaign, organized by the Gay Men's Partnership and the Home Office, encouraging people to report not just 'homophobic crime', but 'homophobia'.

The definition of 'homophobia' is uncertain, but is rapidly being extended to include attitudes to homosexuality, not just actions.

How long can it be before more Christians find themselves facing police interviews, cautions and even prosecution on the basis of expressed beliefs about same-sex relationships? And what does this say about our once much-vaunted freedom of speech and belief?

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1 comment:

David said...

I would define homophobia as words or actions motivated by fear or hatred of homosexuals. Attitudes covers both thoughts and their expression but Jesus did say something about the relationship between what comes out of the mouth and what is in the heart. The poster does make it clear it is about hate crimes, albeit in smaller letters and I can't see a problem with the Southampton definition. The real distincion is between irrational fear or hatred and rational or principled criticism.

David Hey
West Yorkshire