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Kelvin Mackenzie Has Yet Again Spread The False Idea That Religion And LGBT Equality Are Not Compatible

31/12/2016 10:44
Faith Moran / Splash News

Yesterday, The Sun columnist Kelvin Mackenzie suggested we should start fighting Isis. This was prompted by us calling out a homophobic joke made by Richard Hammond about ice cream and heterosexual masculinity. That's quite the pivot, even by 2016 standards.

While the leap from a number 99 to Isis may seem ridiculous, the logic put forward in the column was worrying.

By suggesting that we should 'fight Islam' Kelvin Mackenzie yet again spread the false idea that religion and LGBT equality are not compatible. Everyday we work with people of faith and faith leaders - including many Muslims - who are LGBT or who believe in and support LGBT equality. Next year we're hosting a programme specifically for people of faith who are LGBT to help empower them so they can create change in their communities.

Our work to create a world where everyone is accepted is multifaceted and difficult. It involves us working with activists across the world, supporting and sharing knowledge to help each other achieve progress for LGBT people in our communities. It includes projects with faith schools, where we work with teachers to help them tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. We do this is non-faith schools too. Homophobia, in our experience, comes in all shapes and sizes.

Of course the atrocities that were detailed in the column and that are committed by terrorist organisations cannot be ignored but nor can they be conflated or confused with the Muslim faith. That is islamaphobia.

To say all Muslims are homophobes is missing the fact there are LGBT Muslims. To coin an old phrase of ours, Some Muslims Are Gay, Get Over It!

But, back to ice cream. We can never let casual homophobia slip past unnoticed. LGBT people hear this belittling 'banter' all too often.

Hearing these 'jokes' from a TV presenter gives this bullying homophobia credence. Mr Mackenzie suggests these comments are throwaway and are best forgotten. If we follow this logic to its conclusion, he is suggesting we should just put up with homophobia.

It's only a joke, after all.

This is why we need to call it out - the people making these comments, or those who suggest it's just 'banter', still don't seem to understand that it's homophobia - with a clown nose on.

The most worrying part is that Mr Mackenzie started his brave defence of the LGBT community from homophobic Muslims (even though we know many who are ardent supporters of LGBT equality) by defending homophobic comments. I'm off for an ice cream.

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