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 Homophobia

Homophobia is the hatred or fear of homosexuals - that is, lesbians and gay men - sometimes leading to acts of violence and expressions of hostility. Homophobia is not confined to any one segment of society, and can be found in people from all walks of life. Organized hate groups have viciously attacked homosexuals and have used especially violent language in attempting to persecute and intimidate them.

  Holocaust Denial
-- The Rainbow Flag:
Symbol of pride for the
gay and lesbian community.

Discrimination against homosexuals comes in many forms. At times homophobic beliefs lead people toward prejudiced actions at work, at schools, at clubs and in many other areas as well. Prejudiced views directed at homosexuals often stem from the perception that homosexual activity is immoral. Homophobia makes some people think that they are superior to homosexuals. In fact, studies show that anti-gay bias is far more accepted among large numbers of Americans than is bias against other minorities.

Many researchers claim that homosexuals still find themselves the target of bias within institutions like churches and professional organizations. Many church and religious groups maintain that homosexual behavior is a sin and runs counter to the will of God as expressed in certain Biblical passages. Up until 1980, many psychiatrists still looked upon homosexuality as a mental disorder. Today, medical professionals believe that homosexuality is not an illness, mental disorder or emotional problem.

Homophobia is most dangerous when it serves as the justification for violent action against homosexuals. In recent years attacks on homosexuals have risen. While the violent crime rate in many areas continues to drop, anti-gay crime is moving in the other direction. What is most disturbing is the cruelty and viciousness of many of these attacks.

The severity of many of these crimes helps to show the strong hatred that homophobia can create.

Many conservative religious leaders have, at some point, spoken out against the gay community and warned of the danger they supposedly pose to America. 700 Club television host Pat Robertson said that, "Many of those people involved in Adolf Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals - the two things seem to go together." Former Congressman William Dannemeyer also compared homosexuals to Nazis when he wrote that "the homosexual blitzkrieg has been better planned than Hitler's…" Clearly, it is ridiculous to compare homosexuals in America to Germany's Nazi government which believed in warfare and mass murder as a means for taking over the world.

Apart from these views, many violent extremist groups also hold homophobic beliefs. The neo-Nazi National Alliance has allegedly been involved in anti-gay violence, while racist skinheads around the country have attacked and beaten homosexuals.




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