Journal of the Department of Behavioural Sciences
Volume 3, Number 1
LOVE THE SINNER, HATE THE SIN: RELIGIOUS BELIEF DOES NOT EQUATE HOMOPHOBIA
Craig Rodriguez-Seijas
If the belief that homosexuality is a sin constitutes an aspect of homophobia, then any person whose religious ideology posits homosexuality as sinful would be judged as homophobic. As such, the assertion that homosexuality is sinful may actually be a mere expression of religious ideology (Rosik 2007a). In response to the spontaneous qualification of their positive regard for gay persons while expressing negative moral evaluation of homosexual behaviour, men's and women's (N = 199) attitudes towards homosexuals were analysed. Participants displayed a significant disparity in homophobic beliefs; with Christians expressing elevated levels of homophobia when compared with their non-Christian counterparts, F (1, 197) = 20.65, p < .001, η2 = .09. However, when the anti-religious Condemnation/Tolerance factor (Rosik 2007a) was controlled for, these differences became non-significant. Participants also displayed a significant disparity between their beliefs about the sinfulness of homosexuality and their beliefs in civil rights for homosexuals, t (198) = 12.00, p < .001. Christians expressed greater agreement that homosexuality was sinful than did non-Christians, F (1, 197) = 30.52, p < .001. Christians and non-Christians, however, did not differ in beliefs about discrimination based on civil rights. This suggests that the belief in homosexuality as sinful may not be equated with other prejudicial sentiments - like job discrimination. Discussion revolves around the validity of the construct homophobia.