1997 May

Most Homophobes are Gay – 20 MPs challenged

Antigay mps challenged to ‘take the test’

Research shows that most homophobes are gay

New research by U.S. psychologists suggests that 80 percent of men who are homophobic have secret homosexual feelings. These findings have prompted the gay rights group OutRage! to invite 20 prominent homophobic MPs to have their sexuality tested.

In tests by Prof. Henry E. Adams of the University of Georgia, homophobic men who said they were exlusively heterosexual were shown gay videos. Four out of five became sexually aroused by the homoerotic imagery, as recorded by a penile circumference measuring device, (a plethysmograph).

Prof. Adams’s research was published as Is Homophobia associated with Homosexual Arousal? in the prestigious U.S. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, (1996, Vol. 105, no. 3, pp. 440-445).

OutRage! has written to a cross-section of 20 homophobic MPs, challenging them to take Prof. Adams’s test, to dispel suggestions that their antigay voting record might be evidence of repressed homosexuality.

The MP’s OutRage! has written to are:

  • Matthew Banks,
  • Henry Bellingham,
  • Rhodes Boyson,
  • Sebastian Coe,
  • Terry Dicks,
  • Nigel Evans,
  • Michael Forsyth,
  • Harry Greenway,
  • Edward Heath,
  • Michael Heseltine,
  • Peter Lilley,
  • Tony Marlow,
  • James Molyneaux,
  • Fergus Montgomery,
  • Ian Paisley,
  • John Patten,
  • Michael Portillo,
  • John Redwood,
  • Richard Shepherd,
  • David Wilshire.

All these MPs voted against an equal age of consent in 1994.

Prof. Adams says his research shows that most homophobes “demonstrate significant sexual arousal to homosexual erotic stimuli”, suggesting that homophobia is a form of “latent sexuality where persons are either unaware of or deny their homosexual urges”.

These findings support the theories that homophobia (fear of gayness or support for antigay discrimination) is often indicative of repressed, self-loathing, homosexual feelings; and that many homophobes subconsciously use antigay attitudes as a smoke-screen to disguise their own homosexuality.

OutRage! agenda for gay law reform

Letter to Tony Blair on assuming office

The Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, MP,
Prime Minister,
10, Downing Street,
London SW1

Dear Mr. Blair,

Greetings, and congratulations on Labour’s election victory and on your appointment as Prime Minister.

While we appreciate that you have many important social problems to deal with, we hope your government will take swift action to ensure homosexual equality.

We have drafted a six-point programme for lesbian and gay law reform, which sets out our priorities. As you will see, many of our proposals, such as the Unmarried Partners Act, would also benefit heterosexuals. We ask Labour to legislate for:

The repeal of all victimless, gay-only offences for which there is no heterosexual equivalent, such as gross indecency, procuring, soliciting, and the ‘no more than two men’ rule.

An Unmarried Partners Act, giving rights to all unwed couples, both gay and straight.

Equalisation of the age of consent at 14 for both heterosexual and homosexual relations, to reduce the criminalisation of young people involved in consenting sex, and to remove the legal obstacles to earlier, more explicit and effective sex education in schools.

An Equal Rights Act, prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and incitement to hatred on any grounds, including sexual orientation.

The replacement of Section 28 with new legislation, requiring schools to stamp out homophobic bullying in schools, to promote pupils’ understanding and acceptance of gay people, and to ensure that AIDS awareness lessons encompass information about safer sex for lesbians and gay men.

An end to the ban on homosexuals in the armed forces, as part of a package of democratic reforms to enhance the civil rights of all service personnel.

The enactment of these reforms would win you the admiration and affection of the lesbian and gay community, and ensure your recognition as one of the great reforming Prime Ministers of this country.

Yours sincerely

Alastair Williams