The church and in particular the catholic church has been vehemently against homosexuality for hundreds of years. Surprisingly, since it would seem that a very large percentage of priests are gay. There is direct correlation between anti - gay statements being made by religious groups and an increase in homophobic attacks and violence against gays and lesbians. Source
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has documented a link between increases in anti-gay violence and the escalation of rhetoric during ballot initiative campaigns. Immediately before Colorado's anti-gay rights Amendment 2 passed in 1992, Colorado activists documented a129 percent increase in assaults. In the two months following the vote, nearly 40 percent of the annual total was reported. Hattie Mae Cohen, a lesbian, and Brian Mock,a gay man, were killed when their home in Oregon was fire bombed during that state's 1992 ballot battle. Source
The argument for this correlation or link is that because people of immense political and personal power say it is alright to hate homosexuals, they are also directly condoning the violence as well, especially if they use examples from the Bible showing people being stoned and killed for not adhering to the so called word of God.
Immediately before Colorado's anti-gay rights Amendment 2 passed in 1992, Colorado activists documented a129 percent increase in assaults.
This is of course most apparent in the call for violent action by people such as Reverend Fred Phelps of God Hates Fags fame. His organisation actively promotes the use of violence against what he sees as morally wrong i.e. homosexuals.
In one of Fred's more obscene moments he and his followers picketed at the funeral of Matthew Shepperd showing pictures of Matthew burning in hell and bearing placards saying death to homosexuals and other hate filled slogans. Visit red's website and you can see for yourself a counter with the he number of days Matthew has been burning in hell.
The religious right can be counted on to disrupt and fight against any laws or statutes that help bring equality to gays and lesbians. They are always the first and usually the loudest in suggesting links between homosexuality and pedophilia and other child abuse claims.
The Bible itself does not literally condemn homosexuals and many of the passages used against homosexuality are taken out of context and therefore there meaning is either obscure or blatantly incorrect.
The gay panic defense and the literal adoption of the Bible (although not all the Bible is ever taken literally) use religion as a coverall for excusing people's own behavior and violent tendencies. The gay panic defense is used to excuse someone who has murdered or assaulted a person because they made a "gay pass" at them. Often the male making the he pass is smaller and less physically endowed than the attacker.
However, if there is a link between the religious right and Churches anti gay rants and raves and the escalation of violence against homosexuals can we sue the church for inciting violence and general public nuisance? And if so what could be the possible arguments and potential results of such a case?
Unfortunately the Church is a well funded organisation and can afford to drag on such a case in expensive litigation for many years, thereby effectively winning the case by default as the prosecution runs out of money.
It is highly unlikely that a case such as this would ever proceed unless there could be irrefutable proof of the link between a specific incident of violence and a specific advertisement, sermon or other gathering. And even then a case such as this would be difficult to win, let alone come to court.
Of course if a case did ever come to the courts the religious right would howl like banshees and call it a disgusting invasion of rights of the church, blasphemous and unconstitutional.
There is supposed to a be a separation between the state and the church in countries such as Australia, the US, New Zealand and much of Europe. However the influence that the church has over these political systems is huge, for example, the politicians are sworn in to office on a Bible. Is this separation of the Church and State?
The former American Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi declared homosexuality a sin and compared gays to alcoholics, sex addicts and kleptomaniacs. House Majority Leader Dick Armey chimed in with his agreement. Anti-homosexuality and other so-called cultural issues and was placed at the center of the 1998 election campaign by the Republicans.
In Australia we also have our own nutcase politicians none more vitriolic than the reverend Fred Nile in the NSW government and his wife Elaine in the Australian Senate. Their party actively promotes ant gay views and coordinates a vitriolic and damming attack on any legislation to equalized gay and lesbian rights.
I am not anti religion, I personally believe that religion and the church doe many wonderful and extremely noble things. However their doctrine of preaching hatred against minorities such as Homosexuals is tantamount to picking up a gun, an axe or whatever and helping to club innocent people over the head!