I think homophobia is difficult to define. 'Phobia' suggests fear, but in this case I don't think it's literal fear of gay people, just fear of change. Some people say they don’t agree with homosexual relationships, but don’t judge them. Directly, homosexuals don’t suffer as a consequence, but as long as society condemns homosexuality directly or indirectly then homosexuals will be discriminated against and suffer for it. Unfortunately it isn't possible to fully ignore others’ opinions, as they are attempting to prevent the happiness of others by protesting against homosexuality and gay marriage. This has caused many people in the world to become depressed and sometimes suicidal. It sickens and upsets me that the ignorance of others is capable of damaging people in this way. Many people don’t realise how dangerous and hurtful their actions that intend to ‘exorcise’ someone really are. I respect a difference in opinion, but I will not respect it when it hurts somebody. Therefore, I cannot and will not ignore these harmful consequences of homophobia as long as they affect anybody else's lives.
To my shame I also disagreed with homosexuality in the past. However, I did my own research and took some time out from church and I feel that this allowed me to accept that there is nothing wrong homosexuality. I totally understand that many people don’t intend their opinions to give any offence at all, but that doesn't mean that people won't take it. I don’t believe that I am prime specimen of a Christian, but other Christians’ interpretations of the Bible just seem ridiculous to me. Consequently, my current struggle with Christianity is simply a matter of trust issues due to general Christian attitudes on many things, including homosexuality. I believe that Christians who gay bash and gays who Christian bash are just as bad as each other and hypocritical if they act unkindly but still expect the other to accept them.
If someone homophobic was close to somebody who came out as in a committed homosexual relationship, I would hope that they wouldn't maintain their viewpoint. Some Christians believe homosexuality threatens family. I personally think the biggest attacks on family are adultery, disloyalty, dishonesty and selfishness, which often results in single parent families. Whilst there is nothing wrong with single parent families, homosexuals are still able to provide a stable family for children with two parents. As they are of the same gender, the concern is often that a parent of the opposite gender is 'absent', but how is this absence different from single parent families? As they are unable to have biological children together, they may also be likely to adopt. How can there be anything bad about that?
I don’t feel that anybody has the right to try to determine God’s intentions for somebody else. Liberty and equality cannot be exclusive. It’s scary how some people think they are superior beings and fully understand God. None of us fully understand God. I think the Bible has a good overall message, but it should be read within context. How applicable is such an old text to today's society? We can learn many lessons from it but I really think people need to spend less time analysing it and more time applying its message to their lives - love! I also think it’s unfair for people to expect gay people to live life in isolation, as people were not created to be alone. Frankly, it disgusts me that people are able to get married for the wrong reasons but this ‘privilege’ is not permitted to all gay people. Many people, often Christian, choose to marry whilst very young, or shortly after meeting each other and I can only think of one reason why they would do so in such a hurry. They then assume they know everything there is to know about marriage despite having been in the relationship for a short while. In my opinion, this is immature and irresponsible and I don’t believe people should feel pressured to marry too soon. It’s difficult enough to maintain a marriage as it is nowadays, let alone if you don’t take the time to get to know each other beforehand. Only last century interracial marriage was considered a crime, but in most of the developed world today this seems ridiculous.
It’s fantastic that Christianity has finally come to terms with the mistake of discriminating against black people in the past, but being discriminated against is still affecting many black people today, or people of any other race that aren't white for that matter. The damage has already been done. Some black people are encouraged to bleach their skin to make themselves 'whiter' to be perceived as more beautiful. Some Asians will wear autumn clothes in summer just so they don't get tanned. When will people realise that this discrimination can have/is having the same effect on gay people? Everybody should be able to be proud of what they look like and who they are. Ultimately, being gay is not hurting anyone. Despite this, gays in some parts of the world are being criminalised and punished more severely than rapists, murderers and corrupt leaders, who are often left unchallenged.