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Homosexuality has been regarded as being immoral, perverse and vulgar since time immemorial. Homophobia is similarly as old and still persists in present times. Homophobia stems from intolerance, ignorance and fear. It developed from prejudice and eventually intensified to panic. Ironically, religious groups do support and exercise homophobic attitudes which is against the ‘treat others as you would like to be treated’ principle. The acute nature of homophobia has gotten to a point where this issue needs societal redress. The following research analyzes the concept of homophobia and the motives behind it in order to determine how to control the vice.
Our society has over the past several decades gone through social transformation. There have been assertions of new beliefs regarding human relationships, minority rights, individual freedom and global involvement. Even with such developments, homosexuality has always been a source of conflicts. In spite of the several homosexual groups that act as activists for the rights of this minority group, these groups have not been able to considerably eliminate the vice that is homophobia. Negative and aggressive conduct towards individuals who are homosexual and those in support of homosexuality sets a challenge to the society which needs immediate redress.
The main objective of this paper is to analyze the concept of homophobia. The paper also tries to determine motives behind homophobia and recommends on way forwards in combating homophobia.
History of Homophobia Byrne (10) defines homophobia to be the fear of homosexuality as well as of those who practice it. In the 19th century, a lot of the negative attitude towards homosexuals had already developed. By the time the 20th century and the World Wars had come, the attitude had advanced to a great extent. Homosexuals started being viewed as a totally different class of humans that were not the same as the rest of society. They were seen as a class that interrupts the society on a moral, legal and ethical level. As they were sent out oversees during World War I, a lot of homosexuals were able to come together. However, at the end of World War II, men and women who were homosexuals started living as a community separately from heterosexuals. They isolated themselves from the heterosexual individuals. As a result the homosexuals were declared to be psychotic and anti-social individuals that were destructive because of their sexual preferences (Byrne 12). In the 1950s and 1960s, homosexuals were often ridiculed and hassled by a lot of individuals including the police. Soon after, homosexuals started fighting back against homophobia through formation of civil rights movements. They did this by calling for those that were “in the closet” to come out in publicly. The number of homosexual organizations increased from 50 to 800 as the closeted homosexuals publicly came out after realizing that there were groups and individuals who supported them. The 1980s were problematic years for the homosexuals. The Roman Catholic Pope called them evil and they were banned from fighting in wars. They were blamed for the existence of HIV/AIDS infections even though homosexuality began far much before AIDS emerged in the 80s. In fact, the
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spent a stressful life and met a tragic end because he had homosexual relations but was not able to maintain or socially recognize them due to strong social pressure and opposition for homosexuality. The character shows how the lives of people are ruined by homophobia and