Civil servants in Scotland can no longer use the word “homosexual” because it is deemed offensive to gay men, according to new guidance from the Scottish Government.
The guidance states: “It is not acceptable to use the word ‘homosexual’, this term is offensive to many people as it is the term that was used in law to make same sex relationships illegal.”
It advises those working on councils, health boards and quangos that they should use the word “gay” instead.
But John Midgley, founder of the Campaign Against Political Correctness, said: “The word homosexual to most people would be as inoffensive as heterosexual.
“It is silly to claim they are loaded terms – they are neutral and simply describe sexual orientation.
He added: “This sort of mumbo-jumbo is completely counterproductive to good community relations.”
The controversial guidance also claims that the word ‘heterosexual’ can cause confusion.
And it suggests that the word ‘straight’ should be used alongside it as it is more widely understood.
The new rules will be applied when civil servants question members of the public, customers, patients and staff about their sexuality.
A spokesman for the homosexual lobby group Stonewall, said: “We tend not to use the word homosexual because the word was applied primarily to men and also because it was a medical term as well as the legal term described in the Scottish Government’s guidance.”
And the Scottish Government has defended the guidance, saying it is important to promote equal opportunities.
Last month a homosexual lobby group called upon the Scottish Government to change the definition of marriage. Within hours of the SNP’s historic win at the polls, the new government was being urged by the Equality Network to consult on same-sex marriage.