Letter: Targets of hatred

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The Independent Culture
Sir: As an Asian who is also gay, I am a target target twice over for the nail-bombers. Does the law value both halves of my identity equally? No. The law as it stands could punish perpetrators of racially motivated assaults against me more harshly than non-racially motivated assaults. This is because (rightly) racism is regarded with particular abhorrence in our supposedly tolerant and multi-cultural society, and the law should be particularly severe on race-hate crimes.

If I were queer-bashed, however, the law has no recourse to tougher sentences. Why? Do not both types of attacks have the effect of terrorising whole communities?

As long as the law does not prioritise homophobic alongside racist hate crimes, it will have failed to play its proper part in the fight against the endemic homophobia in our society.

But this is only to be expected from a legal system that enforces Section 28 and a discriminatory age of consent and has an array of offences, such as group sex and gross indecency, which apply only to homosexuals.

Far from discouraging the homophobia which leads to atrocities such as the nail bombing in Soho, the law at present actually helps to legitimate it.

RAZA GRIFFITHS

Nottingham

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