A newspaper advert placed by the UK’s Gay Police Association highlighting homophobia has caused a fuss among religious groups who have demanded that the association be brought to book.

Calls for the prosecution of the GPA are coming from thousands of religious followers who object to a GPA newspaper advert that highlights a 75% increase in homophobic hate crimes motivated by religious belief.

They want the adverts banned and the GPA charged with anti-faith propaganda and hatred.

Gay human rights group OutRage! has written to the Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, calling on him to “not give in to the demands of these religious zealots for the censorship and prosecution of the GPA.”

The OutRage! letter to Sir Ian Blair states:

“We urge you to oppose any disciplinary or legal action against the GPA, to defend the right of the GPA to report the facts about religious-inspired homophobic hate crimes, and we appeal to you to speak out against the rising level of attacks on the LGBT community by religious extremists,” wrote OutRage! organiser David Allison.

“Shockingly, it is reported that 45,000 people have written to the government condemning the advert and urging legal action against the GPA. They want to suppress the facts; apparently believing that religion should be above and beyond criticism,” said Ramzi Isalam, Religious Affairs spokesperson of the gay human rights group OutRage!.

Mr Isalam was himself a victim of religious-motivated homophobic death threats in his homeland of Algeria.

He goes on to say that, “Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have the right to live in a safe environment. No one should be immune from criticism; especially when their criminal behaviour is seriously violating other people’s basic human rights.”

“The religious protests against this advert are irresponsible and another form of homophobic victimisation,” said Mr Isalam.

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