How You Can Help

Personal Action

Ways to Reduce Fear and Hatred of Gay People

A few practical ways to reduce homophobia and violence against gay people include the following:

Use inclusive language. Instead of inquiring about a husband or wife, ask about a life partner or a significant other.

Refrain from telling jokes about gay people and interrupt people who are telling gay jokes.

Do not assume specific mannerisms or physical traits prove a person is gay.

When gay people are accused of flaunting who they are for public displays of affection, indicate straight people hold hands and kiss in public and nobody considers it to be flaunting their sexuality.

Understand enough about homosexuality to be able to combat false stereotypes. For example, know gay people are not pedophiles and do not prey on children.

Do not tolerate name calling in your presence.

Display a symbol at your work station or in your home, so gay people will know you are a safe person.

Keep an eye out for the safety of people you know are gay.

Write the editor of local newspapers encouraging acceptance of gay people.

Vote for political candidates that show concern for the rights and safety of gay people.

Write the leaders of church denominations asking that gay church members be given the same rights as straight church members.

Support legalization of gay marriage.

Purchase a positive book about homosexuality that you can loan to people.

Watch a TV program that has gay roles.

Support adoption by gay parents.

Click here to read stories of average people who are making a real difference.

Political Action


A Canadian bill to include gay people in hate crimes legislation is now law. Now transgendered people need to be included in hate crimes legislation. A link to Canadian Members of Parliament is found at Canadian Members of Parliament and Senators.


Please email your US Senators and House Members and tell them to support the passage of laws that protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people from hate crimes - and don't forget to sign the email with your name and address. (The Web links above will assist you in identifying and emailing your Member of Congress).

Also, call the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Member's office, then tell them to pass the Act as well.

Also, Please email the President and Vice-President and urge them to suport the Hate Crimes Protection Action.

Draft email:


I am writing to urge you to support the passage of laws that help protect gay, bisexual and transgendered people from hate crimes.

As you may know, in October, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21 year old University of Wyoming student, was brutally tied up, tortured, pistol-whipped and then left to die in Laramie, Wyoming because he was gay. Unfortunately, gay people are still being targeted for crimes, being beaten up and killed for being gay. The situation is also very bad for transgendered people.

Wyoming still does not have a hate crimes law - and only 21 states and the District of Columbia include sexual orientation-based crimes in their hate crimes statutes. The FBI may not have jurisdiction to investigate the Shepard case without passage of the Hate Crimes Act. You can change that sad fact. With hate crimes against gay men and lesbians on the rise last year, while crime overall decreased, it is imperative that Congress stand up to hate and violence and pass hate crimes legislation to protect people on the basis of their sexual orientation and sexual identification.

Thank you,

Spiritual Action

Reducing Religious-related fear and Hatred of Gay People

A few practical ways to reduce homophobia in churches and synagogues include the following:

Avoid reacting with shock when the words gay, lesbian, bisexual or homosexual are mentioned.

Use inclusive language in church or synagogue. Instead of inquiring about a husband or wife, or a boyfriend or girlfriend, ask about a life partner or a significant other.

Become acquainted with gay churches, such as the Metropolitan Community Church, so you can mention the tremendous spiritual contribution gay people make.

Study the passages from the Bible that are commonly used to condemn gay people. Be able to explain alternative, gay-affirming understandings of those texts. One resource you may want to use the Dr. Rembert Truluck's web site Recovery from Bible Abuse.

Refer people to some of the many internet resources available on the topic, such as the gay positive Created Gay.Com web site, which has links to over 350 gay Christian web sites and over 150 gay community resource links.

Speak out. Explain your concerns to pastors, rabbis and Sunday School teachers when gay people are portrayed in negative ways or are condemned.

Befriend any people who attend your church or synagogue that you think or know are gay, lesbian or bisexual.

Withhold offerings from churches and synagogues that are not sensitive to the spiritual needs of gay people. Write a letter stating why you are withholding your offerings.

Vote for pastors and church administrators who are sensitive to the spiritual needs of gay people and who are kind to gay people.

Support a gay, lesbian and bisexual affirming group within your faith tradition, such as Affirm United, Lutherans Concerned, Dignity, Evangelicals Concerned or Integrity.

Support a transdenominational Christian gay rights such as Soulforce.

Teaching Children

Children can be taught to accept gay people and that hating or harming gay people is wrong:

A wonderful time to teach children to love and accept gay people is at Christmas. An example of how that can be done can be found by reading our Matthew Shepard Christmas Ornament page.

You can subscribe to the Stophate Newsletter. Our Newsletter will help you keep up to date with information about hate crimes. Email us your name and type "Subscribe" in the Subject Line.

Click Here to Email Us or to Subscribe to the Newsletter.