The main slogan for Liverpool's year of culture has been "the world in one city". It's a snappy, popular phrase tripped off many a tongue, sometimes genuinely, sometimes glibly & sometimes disingenuously. It's impossible to really mean it when or if you express racist sentiments. So, too, with homophobia. However, unlike racism, verbal examples of homophobia are still tolerated.
In this context it's heartening to see the reaction to the homophobic killing of 18 year old Michael Causer in Whiston (http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2008/08/04/campaigners-plan-march-in-memory-of-michael-causer-64375-21459419/ ).
Three teenagers have been arrested in connection with the killing. Without wishing to pre-judge whatever the investigation unearths, it's a fair bet that the bigotry & ignorance which led to Michael's death were passed on from the miscreants' parents & friends.
Acknowledging the crucial role of education to this issue, Steve Radford, Independent Liberal councillor for Tuebrook, has highlighted research which shows the level of homophobic attacks in Liverpool (http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2008/08/04/homophobia-is-endemic-in-liverpool-says-leading-liberal-64375-21459415/ ).
It's a clearly urgent task; the level of stupidity & base hostility was reflected in a court case last week (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2008/08/02/man-stoned-two-lesbians-100252-21452115/ ).