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					Roundtable                    The Panel:
                              Dr. Oliver Phillips is a member
Addressing                    o the Centre for Law, Gender
                              and Sexuality at the University
Homophobia                    of Westminster and a Reader in
                              Law at the University of
What is the role of law in    Westminster.
addressing homophobia?
                              Jonathan Finney is the Senior
Can law make a positive       Parliamentary Officer at
contribution to homophobic    Stonewall. He was closely
hatred?                       involved in a recent Stonewall-
                              led campaign for the inclusion
Can law educate and           of incitement provisions on
mobilise communities          grounds of sexual orientation
around hate offences?         into hate crime legislation. Prior
How is hate crime framed in   to joining Stonewall he worked
                              for the government on
criminal justice policy?
                              measures, such as civil
What are the challenges of    partnership legislation.
incorporating gender into
                              Hannaan Baig is responsible for
hate crime legislation?
                              BME Strategy and Development
Where should academia and     at Galop, an organisation
activism go from here?        established in 1982 to challenge
                              issues around homophobia and
Are exchanges between         transphobia in relation to the
academics and activists       police in particular. Much of
useful?                       Galop's work revolves around
                              research and development into
                              underreporting of hate crime
and the stigma that LGBT          Les has undertaken the largest
people face. Hannaan was also     UK-based empirical study on
involved in the creation of the   experiences of safety and
first LGBT Muslim group called    danger in relation to
Imaan, an organisation            homophobia funded by the
designed to challenge             Economic and Social Research
homophobia within the Muslim      Council.
community and Islamophobia
within the mainstream
community.                        Oliver Phillips: Our first topic is
                                  the law and homophobic
Professor Les Moran is Director
                                  hatred. Do you believe law can
of the Masters programme in
                                  generally make a positive
Criminal Law and Criminal
                                  contribution to this issue?
Justice at Birkbeck College. He
is responsible for the            Les Moran: I’m neither for law,
Contemporary Issues in            nor against it. Law is very
Criminal Justice module in        important in terms of
addition to running a module      mobilising, as is evidenced in
on hate crime and convening a     the law reform of hate crime
programme on gender,              through organisations such as
sexuality and criminal justice.   Stonewall and Galop that
The author of the monograph       played a vital part in
'The Homosexuality of Law’, his   campaigning for reform by
professional experience also      connecting sexual politics to
encompasses activism and he       law and more specifically by
has served as the Chairman of     developing a rights culture
the Management Committee at       around sexual identity, which
Galop and has been a member       as an identity category is
of the LGBT Advisory Group        gaining more and more
with the Metropolitan Police.     recognition to produce full
sexual citizenship. But I would     cause by John Grieve that the
also be profoundly sceptical        LGBT community came to be
about the law and resist simple     incorporated into these
expectations that the law can       initiatives promoting greater
resolve everything. In some         access and better policing to
respects the law has produced       London communities as a
very important changes, in          whole.
other respects it hasn't. When I
                                    Jonathan Finney: Stonewall’s
was working at Galop and the
                                    basis for arguing for law reform
LGBT Advisory Group there was
                                    is based on trying to address
no formal recognition in law of
                                    problems that impact on
sexual orientation as a category
                                    people's lives. When Stonewall
associated with hate crime-this
                                    was campaigning for the
was per se a crime and disorder
                                    incitement offence it was
legislation focused on race. But
                                    motivated by evidence of very
in the wake of the Stephen
                                    serious materials that clearly
Lawrence Inquiry and the
                                    sought to stir up hatred against
Metropolitan Police's major
                                    people purely because of their
initiatives to extend its review
                                    sexual orientation. As an
of structures of discrimination
                                    organisation we were of the
within the police service and its
                                    view that a new criminal
rethink on delivering police
                                    offence that would match the
services not just to black and
                                    existing race and religious
ethnic minority communities
                                    offences would go some way
but also the LGBT community
                                    towards addressing these
that prompted change. So it
                                    materials. I think legal reform is
wasn't law reform that brought
                                    an important step in tackling
about a change in approach to
                                    discrimination that impacts on
community policing, it was
                                    real people's lives, but it has to
through the Lawrence Inquiry
                                    go hand in hand with softer
and the championing of the
options such as encouraging          they can be taken to court.
lesbians and gays to come            Legal change is a driver for
forward and report hate crimes       employers to start taking these
and we need to look at the           issues seriously.
responses of the police and
                                     Hannaan Baig: As an
judiciary in that regard. In other
                                     organisation we promote the
areas such as employment and
                                     use of law not just to
goods and services
                                     encourage safety but to
discrimination ideally you
                                     mobilise communities.
wouldn't need law but I think
                                     Moreover, we believe that
having the kind of teeth of legal
                                     individuals have a responsibility
redress in the criminal law is an
                                     to their communities to use the
important factor in tackling the
                                     law to encourage civil
problem.
                                     protection towards
Les Moran: It’s interesting that     unacceptable behaviour, which
you mention employment-the           should be brought to justice. I
Workplace Equality Index that        believe the threshold for
Stonewall has been developing        prosecution under current
is a case in example. It seems       legislation is too high and
that the reason for becoming         transphobia as a category of
engaged with lesbian and gay         hate crime is not included,
employment issues is often           which is a significant problem.
because of the business case
                                     Jonathan Finney: At the time of
for equality. It’s the economic
                                     the debate around the
context that's driving the issue.
                                     inclusion of incitement to
Jonathan Finney: I think             hatred on grounds of religion,
particularly in this area the        Stonewall made the case for
legislative change has to come       similar measures on grounds of
first because companies now          sexual orientation motivated by
know that if they act unlawfully     evidence for which there had
been no repercussions in the       provisions, research from the
law. The examples we               United States has concluded
recovered related to song lyrics   that once the sexual
that are still available on        orientation barrier had been
websites like Amazon because       passed a whole plethora of
the incitement offence on          identity categories came into
grounds of sexual orientation      action in hate crime legislation.
hasn't been enacted yet.           The battle for certain identity
Stonewall also urged ministers     categories had been won
to give thought to extending       creating the possibility of
the offence both to protect        analogy, as well as distinction
trans people from incitement       between identity categories
and on grounds of disability. As   through this exponential
far as I know the conclusion       growth, which is problematic.
was that there was not enough      One category that is absent
evidence to justify a specific     from the list is gender. I have
incitement offence.                not heard anybody agitating for
                                   the inclusion of incitement to
Les Moran: Hannaan made a
                                   gender hatred, which in a
very important point about law
                                   patriarchal society is pervasive.
reform being used as a means
                                   It's surprising given the feminist
of mobilisation. LGBT
                                   debate about violence against
organisations in the past but
                                   women that gender is absent
also today continue to have
                                   especially considering that a lot
problems to attract funding, as
                                   of homophobic and trans
organisations that focus on
                                   incidents are about gender
violence are generally not what
                                   performance, or rather hostility
people want to be associated
                                   to gender performance. Gayle
with in terms of charitable
                                   Mason in her work on lesbian
giving. In relation to the
                                   experiences in Australia makes
discussion around incitement
                                   the important point that a lot
of experiences that lesbian         they had a very strong impact
women have is as much about         on in restraining groups like the
gender and hostility to gender      BNP. Our view is that if the
performance as it is about          incitement offence on grounds
sexual orientation. So, one         of sexual orientation has a
response might be since the         chilling effect, if it stops people
obvious identity category-          from putting out such offensive
gender- is missing, do we need      material then is that a bad
these silos at all? Do we need      thing?
hate crime legislation at all?
                                    Les Moran: The argument
Oliver Phillips: But couldn't you   about how the incitement
say the law plays a symbolic, if    provision will work is an
not educational role?               interesting one. Looking at the
                                    Stonewall description of the
Jonathan Finney What
                                    law reform there is an
motivated us to campaign on
                                    interesting tension between
this issue were song lyrics that
                                    the incitement to homophobic
were performed publicly and
                                    hatred being pitched at quite a
were available to buy that
                                    high level and the day-to-day
included statements such as
                                    problems that people face. The
‘Hang lesbians form long pieces
                                    incidents that people tend to
of rope'!' or 'Burn gay men,
                                    call Galop about tend not to be
watch their skin burn!' which
                                    about hate crime, but they tend
were clear examples of
                                    to be incidents like being
incitement to homophobic
                                    shouted at every day when
violence. We continue to see
                                    coming out of your front door.
groups of people, who are
                                    I’m not sure that the
purely defined by reference to
                                    incitement to racial hatred will
their sexual orientation being
                                    impact on the "low level” stuff.
the target of such material. If
                                    Moreover, when I was working
we look at race incitement laws
with the LGBT Advisory Group        to necessarily report incidents,
community safety activities and     such as black, gay men who live
LGBT officers at the community      in hostels, for instance-were
level were talked about as          they attacked because they are
doing ‘pink, fluffy policing’ and   black, or because they are gay,
were completely marginalised        or because of both? Both the
inside the organisation. So, the    police and the law can be
incitement to homophobic            clumsy in dealing with
hatred offence isn't necessarily    threshold situations.
going to feed real policing and I
                                    Oliver Phillips: But would a
worry about the gruelling
                                    specific provision around hate
experience of homophobic
                                    crime preclude any reliance
experience still not being
                                    upon a gay panic defence or
thought of as a police issue.
                                    any panic defence of that kind?
Hannaan Baig: There is a large
                                    Hannaan Baig: I stand by the
gap within the
                                    point that even though we have
acknowledgment and catering
                                    the legislation in place we still
for different equality strands
                                    need to encourage
and the different composites to
                                    heterosexual, white, middle-
individuals that need to be
                                    aged judges to turn on the light
looked at. A majority of the
                                    bulb.
cases we get are
neighbourhood disputes, verbal      Les Moran: Don’t wait for the
abuse that happens on               judges to give you a definition-
occasion-incidents that are         you define what it means and
reportable but not actionable       make it up as you go along.
for a variety of reasons such as    Jonathan Finney: Increasingly
lack of evidence, witnesses not     gay, lesbian and bisexual
coming forward etc. There are       people who contact Stonewall
reasons why people don't want       encounter a problem at work,
or when they book into a hotel      grounds of sexual orientation
with a partner. It’s only when      jokes, or children calling each
they are told that what             other names in the playground
happened to them is unlawful        would be outlawed. A lot of the
that they consider using the        concern about the language
law. In the area of goods and       was familiar and the eventual
services protections that came      amendment that was added in
into force in 2007 once people      the Lords and which the
were able to go back armed          government is now seeking to
with the knowledge that what        overturn was about defending
happened to them was                the right of someone to voice
unlawful they were able to          opposition to civil partnerships
resolve issues. In that sense the   and not to criminalise that.
law just by being cited can have
                                    Les Moran: I am concerned
a huge impact.
                                    that hate speech legislation
Hannaan Baig: Absolutely, and       prohibits certain types of
we are constantly lobbying to       images and certain messages
make sure that the information      and juxtaposed against that is
and the research put out is         the right to free speech under
available to people and to          the European Convention on
judges who want to examine it       Human Rights. My worry is that
before passing judgement.           a rights discourse tends to
                                    produce and institutionalise
Jonathan Finney: Some
                                    conflict.
legitimate concerns about hate
crime legislation when it was       Jonathan Finney: At the time of
being debated in Parliament         the passage of the sexual
were around freedom of              orientation incitement offence
expression. There were              in Parliament the Joint
suggestions that by introducing     Committee on Human Rights
an incitement offence on            examined the provision
describing them as human           certain statements are
rights enhancing measures, so      unacceptable and the law can
although different interests       encourage that.
need to be constantly balanced
                                   Les Moran: You make an
and laws may never be perfect,
                                   interesting point about
the legislation picks through
                                   intervention and free speech
some of the key issues.
                                   rarely being free. You only need
Les Moran: But rather than         to look at the way in which
saying we need hate speech         speech between men who
provisions-and this goes back      wanted to have sex with other
to the gangster rap lyrics- I      men was regulated at the
wonder whether there is            micro-level. There is a case I
another mechanism available        refer to in 'The Homosexuality
to stop these lyrics being         of the Law' where one man was
circulated.                        charged with incitement to an
                                   offence for saying hello outside
Jonathan Finney: At the
                                   a public toilet on Leeds station.
moment legal change on
                                   He was criminalised because
grounds of sexual orientation is
                                   this was seen as a completely
advancing more quickly that
                                   legitimate interpretation of the
say legislative change with
                                   law, so there’s a long way you
respect to age. It seems that we
                                   could go to regulate human
have reached a point as a
                                   interaction.
society where we say that
offensive language on the          Oliver Phillips: This makes me
grounds of race is unacceptable    think about policing more than
but if we talk about such          anything else because it's at
descriptions of gay and lesbian    that level that decisions get
people, society for now still      made and authority is
seems to tolerate that. Society    exercised.
needs to intervene and say that
Les Moran: Oliver is raising a     Goods and Services provision
very important question            apply to the police?
because hate crime focuses on
                                   Jonathan Finney: The
the perpetrator. I would say
                                   government is proposing
that hate crime is about the
                                   through a forthcoming equality
victim-reconfiguring someone
                                   bill to extend the statutory duty
who has not been able to be
                                   mentioned [of non-
the victim, in other words
                                   discrimination] and replace it
lesbian and gay men who have
                                   with a single duty covering all
gone to the police and received
                                   equality areas. This would be a
responses such as ‘What have
                                   public duty that would extend
you done wrong?, ‘What were
                                   for the first time to age, sexual
you doing there?' Yet the
                                   orientation, trans people, as
legislation focuses on the
                                   well as religion and belief. This
perpetrator and there hasn’t
                                   could be huge as a way of
been any legislation to look at
                                   encouraging the police forces
changing the police. A huge
                                   as publicly funded services to
problem has been in the police
                                   take steps to eliminate acts of
because as a gay and lesbian
                                   discrimination and to promote
you weren't recognised as a
                                   good relations across the
victim, you weren't taken
                                   police. If that's framed properly
seriously, and the police didn't
                                   in the law and the police is
support you in the way they
                                   given the support it needs to
would have supported a "good
                                   make it work then it could start
victim." Lesbians and gays were
                                   to impact in situations where
always bad victims,
                                   people are not sure whether
transgender were always bad
                                   what they have encountered is
victims; women were bad
                                   on grounds of race or sexual
victims rather than good
                                   orientation, or whether it's a
victims and so on. Does the
                                   combination of both.
Les Moran: There is a debate         space to reflect. The challenge
about the way in which               for campaigning organisations
diversity in the context of          like Stonewall and Galop is to
identity politics is generating a    decide how much work to
silo mentality. Despite proposal     invest in gender and I think that
for a single equality act these      you need to reflect about
silos would still be there.          problematising those
Barbara Hudson’s work in             categories.
particular is critical of identity
                                     Jonathan Finney: There are
politics in the criminal justice
                                     organisations and trans
context and she's arguing for a
                                     individuals who tell us not to
new ethic of cosmopolitanism
                                     work on those issues because
in criminal justice, which is to
                                     we work on sexual orientation
recognise difference and to
                                     and don’t have the expertise on
respond to difference. This is
                                     trans issues.
an interesting analysis in
contrast to recognition or           Les Moran: I have been
identity politics.                   involved in focus groups with
                                     trans people in Australia and in
Jonathan Finney: The difficulty
                                     analysing the focus group
facing any organisation that
                                     discussions they were talking
campaigns is that whilst
                                     about class dimensions of
managing to knock down many
                                     violence, religious dimensions
barriers, you are stuck -you
                                     of violence, as well as trans
have to work with the system
                                     experiences. It was an
available and you have to
                                     incredibly rich mixture of the
reconcile yourself with that.
                                     kind of multi-dimensional,
Les Moran: I take your point         dynamic interaction of different
Jonathan because maybe it’s          distinctions simultaneously
the privilege of being in the        impacting on their lives through
academy that allows me the           violence and they were
agitating for the New South        Hannaan Baig: The issue I come
Wales Police to have trans         back to is underreporting,
community police officers to       which is a severe problem. Take
which the response was that        the British Transport Police, for
there were too few incidents. It   example, in a recent meeting
was treated as small and           with them they prided
peripheral but looking at their    themselves on the fact that
experiences it was all about       they only have a small number
gender violence and racial         of trans incidents in spite of 13
violence, so this is a pervasive   million passengers on their
issue that the police need to      network per year. I say when
think about-not just in these      there are only two known trans
silos of identity.                 incidents per year, this is
                                   symbolic of a lack of trust in the
Oliver Phillips: But presumably
                                   police, the system and the
that's why gender is too
                                   structures that we live in. We
challenging? How much sexual
                                   should expect to have some
violence is directed against
                                   protection and to be able to
women or trans people to keep
                                   come forward to report a crime
categories?
                                   but this can’t be done without
Les Moran: The flipside of that    mobilising people who are
anxiety is that the pool of        experiencing these difficulties.
money that now focuses on          It also touches on freedom of
gender-based violence, for         expression in schools, so for
example domestic violence,         example calling somebody a
might get distributed amongst      ‘gay, Paki curry muncher’
a much wider community, so         should be deemed offensive,
what women have struggled for      but the reason it is perhaps not
so long on equality grounds        could be linked to
might just be dissipated.          underreporting.
Les Moran: The way the hate         children who then go on to feel
crime legislation is situated in    very dissatisfied with their
criminal justice policy more        homeland and therefore don’t
generally is that on the one        engage with services any
hand you are criminalising          further. This further
immigrants, which impacts           disassociates them from
upon Muslim communities and         services, such as the police
at the same time you have the       force, health care, housing and
passage of the hate crime           education. These are all areas
legislation with regard to ethnic   that need to be looked at
and racial identity, so these two   properly alongside sexuality.
policies potentially clash. Your
                                    Oliver Phillips: Could each one
example of a young Muslim gay
                                    of you comment on two things:
man is interesting in terms of
                                    is there a need for self-reported
how the perception of
                                    research, for example on levels
increased hostility towards
                                    of violence within communities
Islam impacts upon the
                                    to inform policy and policing;
willingness to disclose being
                                    and secondly, where do you
gay to the police.
                                    think we should be going from
Hannaan Baig: Absolutely, and       here in relation to
statistics in this country will     homophobia? Is a forum
prove that specifically in a        between academics, policy
Muslim context seventy              makers and advocates useful?
percent of Muslims live in poor
                                    Jonathan Finney: It almost goes
housing, have poor access to
                                    full circle-there is a need for
health care, poor literacy level
                                    laws to go hand in hand with
and the cycle continues.
                                    softer options. Stonewall
Immigrant parents who were
                                    commissioned a poll last year
excluded from services pass on
                                    on hate crime and out of 1700
their discontent to their
                                    respondents who identified as
lesbian, gay or bisexual one in     relationships within the LGBT
five had encountered hate           community, I mean violence
crime in the last three years,      within the LGBT community, for
which they understood as            instance the contentious
based on their sexual               relationship between Hindu,
orientation but three in four       Sikh and Muslim LGBT people
never reported it to the police.    within the country stems from
Despite the legislation in place,   issues of independence,
it clearly doesn't finish the job   masculinity etc. This can be
and that's why legal change and     translated into other minority
other options need to go hand       communities and further
in hand. I believe this exchange    research needs to be done on
is very useful because it brings    developing a better
home thoughts on where we           understanding of the realities
are with respect to recognising     inside those communities. It’s
intersecting issues, seeing that    certainly useful to engage in
people are encountering hate        dialogues such as with Les and
crime because of their sexual       Jonathan because it creates a
orientation, but also on other      network and puts things into
grounds, yet are not going          context.
forward to report it because
                                    Les Moran: There’s certainly a
the police in some areas is not
                                    huge gap in research and that
willing to respond. Les’
                                    can range from research that
perspective is very interesting
                                    examines how the hate crime
because it allows for a much
                                    agenda emerged in this
wider perspective.
                                    country. There’s also a huge
Hannaan Baig: Research into         gap in research on victim
communities would be very           experiences- Galop with
useful in order to look at issues   Greenwich and Bexley Councils
around contentious                  did a pioneering piece of
research using police categories     how to be safe, but go away!’,
to conduct a community survey        so there's a real tension
to find out how the experiences      between wanting the police to
that could be captured from          do more and a strand of
interviews correlated with the       criminal justice policy, which
information the police were          acknowledges publicly that the
capturing in their data. The         police cannot provide safety for
survey produced drew                 everybody. At the same time
attention to the fact that           there has been an explosion in
people used multiple responses       legislation, but a lot of it never
to create safety in response to      comes into effect and is
violence, so they might go to        superseded by yet more
voluntary organisations to get       legislation, so we need to be
support, they might go to            thinking about research on
housing authorities, the doctor,     victims’ experiences within that
as well as the police. To focus      policy framework. Encounters
just on the police is based on       such as this one are hugely
the false assumption that it is      important and need to go on,
the only organisation that           as there is too little opportunity
provides safety. That's false        for us to develop dialogue-we
because we now live in a             have to be opportunistic
criminal justice policy              because a huge number of
landscape, which is all about        connections can be made.
multi-agency. Secondly,
drawing on David Garland, we
also live in age where the police
are quite likely to turn around
say 'well, it’s a crime, but we
can’t do anything about it-we
can put it into our statistics, we
can give you a leaflet about

				
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