No Action to be taken over Homophobic Leaflets

Homophobia is a crime under the the Criminal Justice Act of 2003. Credits: Mike Fleming

Homophobia is a crime under the the Criminal Justice Act of 2003. Credits: Mike Fleming

Police in Cambridgeshire have refused to take action against individuals distributing pamphlets which allege that homosexuality is linked to paedophilia, citing the right of Freedom of Expression.

Leaflets such as ‘The Work of Darkness’ claim that homosexuality is “a life of self deceit…and the sexual acts that accompany it are ones of grave depravity”, adding that “in the ideal of ‘man-boy love’, so desired by homosexuals, pederasty/paedophilia claims its historic place in homosexualism’.

The tract also claims that homosexuality is a “traumatized condition, arising out of a dysfunctional family”, and that transsexuals are “possessed by demons and need counselling and exorcism”.

According to Pink News, Europe’s largest gay news service, homophobic literature has been distributed around the area in the past year. However, when the pamphlets re-emerged, Cambridgeshire Police said that they would not take action.

A spokesperson for the Cambridgeshire Police Force told Ely News that “[w]hilst it is acknowledged that many recipients will be offended by the leaflet’s content, Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights gives individuals the right to Freedom of Expression – the right to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideals without interference by public authority. This includes opinions which may offend, irritate, shock or disturb.”

The spokesperson went on to say that the “content, context and actions of the male [distributing the pamphlets] concerned fall short of any criminality at this time”.

The resurgence of homophobic leaflets in the Cambridgeshire area comes just a month after the London School of Economics launched an inquiry into a homophobic rugby club leaflet, in which it was stated that the club would not tolerate “outright homosexual debauchery”.

In September, Cambridge scored 6 out of 10 in a Stonewall study that assessed the country’s 158 universities for gay-friendly policies and practice. The University was praised for its explicit welfare support and LGBT societies and events, but came in for criticism over its lack of an anti-homosexual bullying policy and student sexual orientation monitoring.

Whilst the Cambridgeshire Police Force have emphasized that no specific action will be taken against those who distribute homophobic literature, the spokesperson added that they will “continue to monitor the situation both locally and nationally”.

They added, “Anyone who is approached or receives any of this literature should contact police by calling 101.”

Catherine Maguire

Catherine studies Modern and Medieval Languages at the University of Cambridge is the Investigations News Editor at The Cambridge Student.

(This article was originally featured on The Cambridge Student on 15/11/14.)

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