Homophobia is usually defined as an irrational fear and prejudice towards homosexual people and the issue of homosexuality. A recent report published by The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement entitled Homophobia In The Church includes several case studies illustrating what they define as homophobia. Sadly there is no doubt, as in many other situations, that Christians have often responded to the issue of homosexuality from fear and prejudice, rather than with the understanding, graciousness and compassion of Christ.
For instance, there have been times in TfT's ministry when I have been horrified by the experiences of Christians contacting us for help and support. Some have been rejected by their, so-called, Christian friends and others have even been asked to move to another neighbourhood. The most common response experienced by these people seems to be one of fear, eg - "you must have nothing to do with our children and young people!" Of course in the vast majority of these situations, the youth are at no sexual risk whatsoever, as would be the case with the average heterosexual Christian. Having said this, I am thankful that others in TfT, who had feared rejection from their brothers and sisters in Christ, in fact experience the very opposite and are loved, affirmed and supported by their close Christian friends.
by Martin Hallett (February 2001)