The statement is a prime example of the homophobia that is institutionally present in the Church of England. Homophobia is personal or institutional prejudice against lesbian, gay and bisexual people rooted in a conscious or unconscious irrational fear of, aversion to, dislike of or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals (see dictionary definitions at the end).
- The leaders of Anglican Mainstream, Andrew Symes, Lisa Nolland and Alan Craig, don’t believe anyone is gay – that’s homophobic.
- They accuse Stonewall of being unscientific because the leaders of Anglican Mainstream don’t believe that being gay is something innate which people are born with – that’s a homophobic attitude.
- They don’t think being gay is equivalent to a racial characteristic – that’s homophobic.
- They believe that repeated research efforts have failed to demonstrate any biological or genetic cause of homosexual orientation – that’s homophobic.
- They believe that many youngsters who self-identified as gay in their teens shed the label and the identity later on. Describing lesbian and gay identity as a label is homophobic.
- They accuse Stonewall of being discriminatory because it only addresses LGB&T issues – that’s homophobic (and astonishing from a Christian organization that is obsessed with homosexuality).
- Anglican Mainstream says that children’s lack of psychological and cognitive maturity makes them vulnerable to ideological and sexual manipulation. The statement implies that Stonewall manipulates children ideologically and sexually – it’s a disgraceful statement and deeply homophobic.
- They are very concerned that Stonewall’s schools programme, which involves teaching children to regard different sexualities positively, may tacitly open a door to young people for sexual experimentation which is potentially unsafe. People do indeed have a range of sexualities and children can become aware of their sexual identity at a younbg age – Mainstream’s concern is homophobic.
- They claim that Stonewall is anti-Jesus because Jesus was against all forms of sex outside heterosexual marriage, and that included homosexuality – that’s untrue – and homophobic.
- They accuse Stonewall of being bigoted, having a history of inhibiting freedom of speech by persecuting those who disagree with its views. This because the former Bishop of Winchester, Michael Scott-Joynt, was among those nominated as Bigot of the Year in 2009 – Stonewall does not persecute people and does not try to inhibit freedom of speech – the accusation is homophobic.
Anglican Mainstream thinks it can defend itself against accusations of being homophobic by agreeing that in today’s society people should be free to identify themselves as gay if they so wish, without fear of harassment.
They would like people who share their concern to write to bishops. I hope many people will do so, and bring Anglican Mainstream’s prejudice against LGB&T people to their attention. The Church of England doesn’t yet properly understand how homophobia works. When they come to discuss the Pilling report, we will expect the College and House of Bishops to educate themselves about the nature of homophobia and where it exists in the Church of England.
John M Hughes of Heaton Mersey, Stockport, in a letter to the Church of England Newspaper some weeks ago, told me that I used the word homophobia as a ‘gay weasel-word’ without precise definition or aetiology. He wanted me to inform him of the nature of this ‘illness/disease’ called ‘homophobia’ (cf.claustrophobia, agoraphobia) and what it is that he is supposed to be afraid of, if labelled ‘homophobic’ (cf.anorexic, arachnophobic).
irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals
an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people.
a fear or dislike of gay people
intense hatred or fear of homosexuals or homosexuality
hatred and fear of homsexuals