Monday, July 08, 2013
British government minister declares war on the use of the word 'gay' as an insult
So "gay" is now a term of abuse? I thought that "gay" was how homosexuals usually describe themselves! But Mr Gove is clearly doing a Canute. If people dislike the thing concerned, any word you use for it can become a term of contempt. You could start calling homosexuals sirophents and sirophent would soon become a term of contempt
Education Secretary Michael Gove yesterday declared war on the ‘utterly outrageous and medieval’ use of the word ‘gay’ as an insult.
He will study current laws to ensure they are ‘properly policed’ and could even ‘sharpen’ them in a bid to stamp out offensive homophobic language.
Mr Gove told a conference held by pressure group Stonewall that the Coalition was determined to protect gay pupils from being subjected to homophobic bullying at school.
He said that it was unacceptable to use the word ‘gay’ as abuse and named and shamed former Radio One Breakfast Show DJ Chris Moyles.
Mr Moyles was branded Stonewall’s ‘Bully of the Year’ at their annual awards ceremony in 2006 after he dismissed a ringtone, saying: ‘I don’t want that one, it’s gay.’
Hate speech laws in the UK are found in several statutes. Expressions of hatred towards someone on account of that person’s colour, race, nationality, religion or sexual orientation is forbidden.
Mr Gove said that the Coalition agreement had referred to the vital importance of tackling bullying , especially homophobic bullying, in schools.
He said this was a recognition that even as ‘prejudice in our society was in many ways receding there were some prejudices that remain remarkably and irrationally stubborn’.
One of these was the prejudice sometimes shown to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and to the young in particular.