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Book of Resolutions: Opposition to Homophobia and Heterosexism

WHEREAS, homophobia1 is the discrimination of people perceived to be nonheterosexual, regardless of the victim's actual sexual orientation or sexual identity; and

WHEREAS, heterosexism2 is a self-justifying system of homophobia that:

  1. perpetuates stereotypical categories of what is essentially "masculine" and what is essentially "feminine";
  2. provides a privileged status for people who identify as culturally defined heterosexuals; and
  3. discriminates against persons who, regardless of their sexual orientation or sexual identity, do not appear to fit within the particular category defined as appropriate for their gender; and

WHEREAS, actions rooted in homophobia and heterosexism, including violence, threats, ridicule, humiliation, discrimination, isolation, and rejection, are damaging to persons of all sexual orientations and identities; and

WHEREAS, homophobia and heterosexism are manifestations of sexism in general in that they foster stereotypes based on arbitrary distinctions of gender categories; and

WHEREAS, the United Methodist Church is committed to the eradication of sexism (#3444, 2008 Book of Resolutions);

Therefore, be it resolved, that The United Methodist Church strengthen its advocacy of the eradication of sexism by opposing all forms of violence or discrimination based on gender, gender identity, sexual practice, or sexual orientation; and

Be it further resolved, that the General Board of Church and Society provide resources and materials aimed at educating members of the local churches about the reality, issues, and effects of homophobia and heterosexism and the need for Christian witness against these facets of marginalization.

1. Homophobia, A commonly used definition from the American Heritage Dictionary (1992): "Fear or contempt for lesbians and gay men."

2. Heterosexism, A commonly used definition from the American Heritage Dictionary (1992): "Discrimination or prejudice against lesbians or gay men by heterosexual people."

Resolution #2043, 2008 Book of Resolutions

See Social Principles, ¶ 161 G, I.

From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church - 2012. Copyright © 2012 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.