Home Secretary Alan Johnson today (March 31) launched Stonewall’s new plain English guide for victims of anti-gay hate crime. Blow the Whistle on Gay Hate explains what homophobic hate crime is, why hate crime should be reported and what to say when reporting it.
Launching the guide this afternoon in central London, Home Secretary Alan Johnson said: ‘Gay people have the same rights as everyone else to live in peace and security. Homophobic incidents have no place in a civilised, decent society. There are no extenuating circumstances.
‘I welcome this excellent plain English guide that encourages gay men and lesbians to report hate crimes. It sends a clear signal that there’s no place in a civilized society for such hatred. Gay people should have the same right as everyone else to justice, to live their lives without fear.'
One in five gay people have been subject to homophobic hate crimes or incidents in the last three years, according to polling conducted for Stonewall by YouGov. Six gay men have been the victims of murder or attempted murders indentified as homophobic in Britain in the last 18 months.
Alan Johnson also announced a Labour Party manifesto commitment to fight the ‘Waddington amendment’ to the recent Criminal Justice Bill which attempted to dilute new protections against incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation. He also said ‘Stonewall has played an absolutely paramount role in recent legal changes. It’s a testament to their skilful campaigning that the case for greater equality is on the agenda of every mainstream political party.’
Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive said: ‘We believe that no human life should be overshadowed by hatred or prejudice or fear. We hope this guide will encourage more people to report anti-gay hate crime, and will help the police to respond and target their work more effectively.’
More than 100,000 copies of Blow the Whistle will be distributed through bars and clubs, student unions, police services and Citizens Advice Bureaux. It is available online at http://www.stonewall.org.uk/hatecrime/guide
Fear of violence inhibits me and my boyfriend from holding hands in public. Not until we are behind closed doors dare he show affection, and this fear to reveal who we are and what we mean to each other is a real drain on the relationship. We shouldn't have to think twice before holding hands.
ruby, 31 March 2010
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