Crown Prosecution Service clamps down on “Biphobia”

The Crown Prosecution Service has announced this week that it will be clamping down on hateful or offensive speech towards bisexual people.

Amid rising volumes of reports to police, the CPS consulted community groups and criminal justice partners to produce these revised statements, covering the different strands of hate crime.

In addition to the public statements, the CPS has also today published revised legal guidance that sets out how prosecutors should make charging decisions and handle these cases in court.

The move comes after ONS statistics highlighted the unique struggles of bisexuals in the UK, finding they have a lower amount of overall life satisfaction and feel less worthwhile than straight, gay and lesbian people do.

Findings from the report also found bisexuals are nearly 80 per cent more likely to report feeling anxious than the average person and 40 per cent more likely to describe themselves as unhappy.

Surprisingly Bisexual men in the United Kingdom are also at the bottom of the wage scale, earning 30 per cent less than gay colleagues according to the British Sociological Association.

According to Bisexual Activist Lewis Oakley, the CPS move couldn’t come soon enough.

“I’m delighted at this development, not just for myself and the other bisexuals out there but also for people like my girlfriend who have to endure disgusting slurs about their partners.

“My girlfriend has been told she’ll never be enough for me, that I will cheat on her and even that she’ll catch HIV by dating a bisexual man.

“The fact that people who have never met me feel they have a right to make my girlfriend doubt our relationship because of my sexuality is inexcusably a hate crime.”

According to Oakley, it is not just straight people that are guilty of biphobia, with significant amount of discrimination coming from gay men.

The Journal of Bisexuality have suggested that bisexual people face just as much discrimination within the LGBT community as they do from straight people.

In a similar study the Equality Network found the highest amounts of biphobia experienced are within LGBT and NHS services with 66 percent of Bisexuals only feeling “a little” or “not at all” part of the LGBT community.

Oakley commented: “I’d certainly say that in my experience gay people are the most likely to be biphobic.

“It’s rare to meet a gay man that doesn’t have something negative to say about bisexuality.

“I’ve had a lot of gay men tell me it’s time to accept my sexuality, to stop lying to myself and my girlfriend.

“I think for some gay men they struggle to see sexuality outside of their own experience. Many gay men will have called themselves bisexual before coming out as gay, they struggle to realise that’s not what every bisexual is doing.”

When asked if prosecuting people for their biphobic comments was the right method to tackle the issue Lewis explained it is a conflicting topic.

“Despite being LGBT and a Bisexual Activist, I have as much of a problem with political correctness and policing free speech as anyone.

“I have no problem with people asking me questions about being bisexual and I do worry that sometimes important discussions aren’t had for fear of offending which I think leaves everyone worse off.

“However, bisexuality has become a tolerated form of discrimination. People have no fear of bullying a bisexual for their orientation and that has to change. Perhaps this development by the CPS will serve as a catalyst to not only reassure bisexuals that they don’t have to suffer in silence but also to force others to reflect on the way they treat bisexuals.”

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