Clause And Effect AntiHomosexual Laws Essay Research

Clause And Effect: Anti-Homosexual Laws Essay, Research Paper

?In Edinburgh, a homosexual man is four

times more likely to be attacked than a heterosexual man.?

This fact has been iterated so much by

the media over the past few weeks that it would be a challenge to find

one Scot who could not quote it accurately. One would think that this alarming

statistic could be greatly improved if people were educated from an early

age in the aspects of homosexuality, and taught, even if not to agree with

it, at least to be tolerating towards it. Why, then, is there such an opposition

to the repealing of Section 28 of the Local Government Act, a clause which

prohibits the ?promotion of homosexuality?, thereby increasing homophobic

prejudice, legitimising the bullying of homosexual and bisexual school

pupils, and encouraging hate crimes against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals?

Currently, there is a great deal of controversy concerning whether or not

this law should be repealed. Is it that this law protects children or encourages

ignorance and prejudice?

Section 28 was invented in 1986 by the

Conservative Party. The actual wording of Section 28 is as follows:

A local authority shall not:

(1) intentionally promote homosexuality

or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality

(2) promote the teaching in any maintained

school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.

Those in favour of Section 28 would argue

that educating children in matters of homosexuality is morally wrong. They

believe that children are extremely susceptible to what they see and hear

around them, and that hearing from teachers about homosexuality would encourage

them to try it for themselves. Claims have been made that children could

be ?turned? gay in this way. This would certainly be backed up by the unfortunate

Jamie Bulger murder, where two young boys admitting to killing two-year-old

Jamie after watching a violent film on television. If the media did not

make an impression on people?s minds, advertising companies would go out

of business. Another argument is that school pupils learn many things from

their teachers, that is the reason that they go to school, so could learning

about homosexuality not teach them to be gay?

Firstly, the media can not be blamed for

individuals eradicating the blame for their own actions. Religious programming

on television has not caused a nationwide surge of Christianity. It is

true that advertisements on television and in magazines can have a strong

influence on the things we do and by, but how many adverts have you seen

where a gay man or woman appears on the screen and says in a voice reminiscent

of the child-catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, ?Come on kids, it?s

great. Why don?t you try it? You might like it.? This would be the so-called

?promotion? of homosexuality, something completely separate from giving

a child a well-balanced education in all areas of modern society?s sexual


As for banning the promotion of sexuality

in schools, I cannot see that there ever has been any, or that there ever

would be any reason to ?promote? it. If a child is going to grow up to

be an informed individual, they need to be taught all aspects of modern

life, including homosexuality as well as heterosexuality. At the moment

the government could be accused of the ?promotion of heterosexuality,?

which has not been successful in preventing those who are born gay from

continuing to be so. One would think that this would work exactly the same

way when reversed; Why should receiving information about homosexuality

convert someone who is inherently ?straight? into a raving homosexual?

In spite of the introduction of Section

28, there still exists a thriving gay community, which shows that someone

will be who they want to be, whether they are having other people?s beliefs

shoved down their throat or not. Surely the government should be able to

deduce from this that gays and lesbians who have been brought up in a ?straight?

society have not altered their ways of life because of pressure, therefore

heterosexuals are not likely to want to turn gay simply because they know

that this way of life exists.

Over the past few years, bullying and crimes

against people who are different in any way has been a huge problem. The

government claims to want to solve this problem, yet enforces bigoted rules

like Clause 28 upon us. It is a widely known fact that people are afraid

of things they are unfamiliar with. Yet it has been proved in the past

that hate crimes and bullying can be reduced and/or prevented by educating

people about the subject they are afraid of, such as courses available

for those with severe arachnophobia. These courses teach people all about

spiders and eventually encourage people to actually deal with them by picking

them up, safely disposing of them etc. If a similar course could be invented

to teach homophobics that there really was nothing to scared of, perhaps

Section 28 would never have had to be introduced. This is why it is vital

to include homosexuality in sex education at school.

From 1939 to 1945 Adolf Hitler executed

millions of Jews because they were ?different? and he could not learn to

tolerate them. Perhaps the existence of Clause 28 is showing us that we

have not progressed at all in our thinking over the past 60 years. Hate

is a horrible, destructive thing, whereas love is looked upon as something

sacred and pure. Does it really matter who a person loves? I would have

thought that it was far better for any two people to feel affection for

each other than to encourage bigotry and hate crimes through ignorance

and discrimination.


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