The Definition of Homophobia
By: Shannon Ralph
Is a bigot less of a bigot if you call him a skeptic? Is intolerance acceptable if you re-label it with a new touchy-feely term rather than calling it what it is? I would vote unequivocally “no”, but that appears to be the rationale behind a recent article written by Peter Saunders, CEO of the UK-based Christian Medical Fellowship.
In an article published this week challenging the definition of homophobia, he writes, “For people who don’t hate, dislike, or fear gay people, but simply believe that sex between people who are not married (including all sex between those of the same sex) is morally wrong, we need a new term. I’d like to propose the term “homoskeptic”—a term that is not yet in common use and hence arguably open to (re)definition.”
So, if we allow Mr. Saunders’ logic to persist, then we must refer to people who don’t dislike African Americans but simply feel they are morally inferior to white people not as detestable racists, but as afroskeptics. And people who feel women should remain barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen? Well, we’ll just call them femiskeptics. And those people out there blowing up abortion clinics and picketing in front of Planned Parenthood offices? Gynoskeptics. What about the people who don’t hate Mexicans, but feel they should all go back where they came from? They aren’t racists either. They are simply hispaniskeptics. You don’t hate Muslims, but are convinced they are all terrorists? You’re not a bigot. You’re just Allahskeptical.
Attempting to make homophobia sound morally acceptable with a cutesy catchphrase does not make it okay. Mr. Saunders, you are not homoskeptic. You are heteromoronic.