While LGBT acceptance is growing in enlightened countries and in the hearts and minds of people of goodwill, there are negative reactions. Some of these reactions are so overboard in their violence and extreme hatred that three universities have launched studies to understand such extreme behaviour.
Three educational institutions have been investing the role that both parenting and sexual orientation play in the formation of intense hatred towards homosexuals: University of Rochester (USA), University of Essex (UK) and University of California (USA).
Here are some of their findings.
a) Psychological Testing:
Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same-sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves This may be attributed to controlling parents who do not allow a child to develop an awareness of who they are and when a child finds out he/she may be a homosexual, there is a feeling of poor self-acceptance. It is the poor acceptance and denial often results in individuals engaging in aggressive verbal or physically violence behaviour towards homosexuals. Homosexuals pose a threat because they are a reminder of the internal conflict within.
b) Homophobic Use of Media Often Backfires
Individuals in the media, Church or politics that lash out viciously and relentlessly at homosexuals often suffer from public exposure. In the USA, Ted Haggard, evangelical preacher who opposed gay marriage was exposed in a gay sex scandal in 2006. In politics, Glenn Murphy, Jr. former chairman of the Young Republican National Federation and a vocal opponent of gay marriage, was accused of sexually assaulting a twenty-two year old man in 2007. Exodus, a Christian Ministry, closed after twenty years of failure to change the sexual orientation of homosexuals.
Those individuals who are known publicly to be homophobes in the extreme have to ask themselves, “Why?” The why is a call to deep self-reflection.
c) Dangerous Homophobia and the Law:
Regardless of what the underlying reason for homophobia may be, a country’s law must safeguard gays and lesbians. No religion or culture has the right to take away basic human rights. The United Nations’ Charter of Rights and Freedoms must be enforced in countries that deny homosexual rights. Dangerous people, like the Rev. Scott Lively and Rev Rick Warren, gave homophobic workshops in Uganda that resulted in a “Hang the Gays” bill being introduced in the Ugandan Parliament. Now, Uganda gays have brought a “Crimes Against Humanity” law suit against Lively in Massachusetts, USA. The editor of the Rolling Stone Newspaper that used the “Hang the Gays” headline and published pictures of homosexuals is also being brought to justice. In one of those pictures was a gay activist, David Kato. He was murdered in his home and robbery was ruled out by the police. A homophobic minister in Uganda is also being brought to justice for scriptural quotes that are inciting violence towards gays.
d) Taking Responsibility
Politicians, church authorities and the media must be just and tolerant to gays and lesbians. Educational institutions must advocate kindness and tolerance for all people. Parents need to get on board. Most countries have public announcements and anti-bullying campaigns. All of us must advocate for justice for all. paula.