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Bullying, harassment and hate crime

Homophobia is a hatred, intolerance, and fear of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and their culture.


Examples of anti-gay bullying and harassment include:

  • making homophobic insults and threats
  • making unnecessary and degrading references to an individual's sexual orientation or identity
  • engaging in banter or making jokes which are degrading to a person's sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation or sexual identity
  • outing an individual as LGBT without their permission
  • ignoring or excluding a colleague from activities because they are LGBT
  • spreading rumours or gossip about an individual's sexual orientation or identity
  • asking an LGBT colleague intrusive questions about their private life
  • making assumptions and judgements about a colleague based on their sexual orientation or identity
  • using religious belief to justify anti-gay bullying and harassment

What the law says

Under equalities legislation it is unlawful to discriminate, harass or victimise someone because of:

  • a person's actual sexual orientation
  • the sexual orientation he or she is thought to have
  • the sexual orientation of someone with whom he or she is associated

The law applies to employment, including training and the delivery of goods and services, or the exercising of public functions.

The Equality Act 2010 has introduced a wider general public sector duty to have due regard for the need to advance equality of opportunity, eradicate unlawful prohibited conduct (discrimination, harassment and victimisation) and promote good relations between people with a protected characteristic, such as sexual orientation and those without. More specific duties exist for public bodies to adopt and publish equality objectives every 4 years and to regularly publish equalities information.

If you live in Derbyshire and experience harassment from people where you live

If people harass you or your family because of your actual or perceived sexual orientation, this is likely to count as a hate crime under the law. The police may be able to take action to deal with the perpetrator and to support you and your family.

If you prefer not to report the matter to the police you can still tell Stop Hate UK. Stop Hate UK monitor hate crime incidents in Derbyshire and other areas of the country. They can help the police and our community safety team to develop ways of reducing harassment and hate crime, by providing a picture of what is happening, or by passing on reports, with your permission.