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
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
" 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.