Homophobia Scale: Where Do You Stand?

Directions: Read all the statements through and then choose the one that most nearly describes your attitudes and understandings right now.

1. Homosexuality is a "crime against nature" and a sin. Gays are sick, crazy, immoral, wicked. Anything is justified to change them (ex-gay ministries, prison, therapy, shock treatments). People can be excused for gay-baiting, gay-bashing, or gay-killing. They should not be expected to enforce various affirmative policies regarding jobs, housing, military, ordination, custody, or adoption of children, etc.

2. Heterosexuality, as God's plan, is more mature and certainly to be preferred. Any possibility of becoming heterosexual (or living as a heterosexual) should be reinforced. Those who seem to be born "that way" are to be pitied, "the poor dears."

3. Homosexuality is just a phase of adolescent development that many people go through and most people "grow out of." Thus, lesbian women/gay men are less mature than heterosexual persons and should be treated with the protectiveness and indulgence one uses with a child. Gay men and lesbian women should not be given positions of authority (because they are still working through adolescent behaviors).

4. Gay men and lesbian women are to be accepted, as in "You're not a Gay to me, you're a person." Or "What you do in bed is your own business." Or "that's fine as long as you don't flaunt it."

5. Gay men and lesbian women deserve to have their civil rights protected, even though I may be uncomfortable about their life-styles. The irrationality, fear, and hatred in this country about homosexuality in inexcusable.

6. Being gay/lesbian in our society takes strength, whether a person is in or out of the closet. I am aware that I'm homophobic and that I need to work on my own understandings and attitudes.

7. The diversity of people is a valuable thing. Gay men and lesbian women are a valid part of that diversity. Therefore, I am involved in combating homophobia in myself and in others.

8. Gay and lesbian people are indispensable in society and the church. They have valuable gifts to offer all of us. I have deep affection for particular gay and lesbian persons and I delight in their individuality and their gifts. I work as a lesbian and gay advocate in society and in the church.

— Claiming the Promise

Based on the Homophobia Scale developed by psychologist Dr. Dorothy Riddle, Tuscon, Arizona. Original scale not copyrighted. Adapted by Dr. Mary Jo Osterman, 1991 and 1996 to reflect religious attitudes also. This article may be duplicated without permission as long as the credits above are retained.

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