Sunday, August 13, 2006

Please Help the Gay Police Association

From LGCM:

A few weeks ago the Gay Police Association placed an eye-catching advertisement in the The Independent (a UK national newspaper) citing evidence of a 75% rise in homophobic incidents which could be linked to religious belief.

A massive campaign to try and discredit the advertisement has been organised by the religious right who clearly don’t like the implication that homophobic crime can be generated by distorted, hateful religious values. We know they can be.

LGCM is asking you to write an email or letter TODAY please to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, via the GPA, who is dealing with the complaints on behalf of all police forces across Britain.

The Gay Police Association appreciate our offer of assistance and we have been working closely with them over recent weeks to provide support. They are under a great deal of concerted, well organised pressure and need people like us more than ever to stand with them.

In your response please mention some or all of the following points in your own words:

1) Personal experiences of faith-based homophobia
These are always the most powerful messages to communicate. They demonstrate that the issues the GPA are trying to raise are not just theoretical, but affect real people’s lives. Have you any examples you can use from your own life?

2) Recognition of the issues raised in the poster
In particular many heterosexual people, with the exception of course of those who thankfully belong to LGCM (!), do not believe that such homophobia exists on this scale within society. The evidence shows otherwise and it would help if all our members, regardless of their sexual orientation, were able to write even if only of the basis of second hand experience.

3) Support for the advertisement
Christians need not fear the message of the advertisement and we don’t want to be protected from the truth, however distasteful. Rightly, we may be embarrassed and shamed at what is done by some in the name of Christianity but that is not the same thing.

4) Support for the GPA
The GPA has rendered a valuable public service by drawing attention to the main underlying root cause of homophobia and should be applauded, not condemned, for exposing and challenging it.

5) Condemnation of attacks against gay men and women on the basis of religion
Stress that you abhor all homophobic crime, especially when motivated by any faith. This will help refocus the debate on the real issue, which is about reducing crime.

6) A plea to the police service and government not to allow the extreme right-wind religious groups to dominate the equalities agenda
This counter-balances the large volume of complaints being submitted by fundamentalist religious lobby groups. Your voice will be particularly useful for the Crown Prosecution Service (to whom the letter will be ultimately sent) when they consider the 'public interest' criteria for whether or not to attempt a prosecution of the GPA. If the CPS see that there is widespread support for the GPA view, they will be less likely to attempt a prosecution.

7) Context - wider examples of how Christian/Muslim/Jewish organisations come together to undermine gay rights and freedoms
If you are familiar with any initiatives taken by other faiths to undermine our freedoms this will help show it is not just a problem confined to Christians. The GPA are well aware the problem is not confined to our faith alone.

Please send your email/letter to the GPA with a request that it be forwarded to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Ian Blair.

If you want to write a letter to Sir Ian Blair directly please ensure the GPA is sent a copy either by email or post.

As there is no reliable email address for the Commissioner we are recommending this method.

The end result will be that the Metropolitan Police will send all correspondence to the CPS who will make the final decision.

Your letter will help counterbalance the negative ones.

Please forward this email to your friendly contacts and take any other measures which you feel will help the GPA.

GPA
LONDON
WC1N 3XX
Email info@gpa.police.uk

The Commissioner's Address is:
Sir Ian Blair,
The Commissioner, Metropolitan Police
New Scotland Yard
8-10 Broadway
LONDON
SW1H 0BG

Thank you for taking action, and for copying us into the correspondence please!

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