Activity 4: Handout 2


Role Card 1

Local and National Police

You represent the police force in Boldovistan. A survey of police revealed the following opinions to be commonly held:

Most police do not like homosexuals or homosexuality.

Homosexual acts between consenting adults are a victimless crime, meaning no one is hurt as a result.

Given the increasing rate of violent crime, resources that are used to arrest gays and lesbians could be better used elsewhere.

Decriminalization will lead to an increase in pornography and prostitution.

Police attitudes towards homosexuals would probably remain hostile even if Section 28 were abolished.

Role Card 2

Civil Liberties Group

You represent the newly established Boldovistanian Commission for Civil Liberties. You have consulted with civil liberties organi zations in other countries and believe that:

Since Boldovistan is now a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, sexual activity between consenting adults is a private matter and not appropriate for state legislation.

Boldovistan must respect the European Court of Human Rights which has ruled that it is illegal for nations to criminalize homosexual relations between consenting adults.

Since international statistics indicate that approximately 10 percent of the population are lesbian or gay, they should have the right to expect complete equality under Boldovistanian

Role Card 3


Religious Leaders

You are the leaders of the conservative element of the major religion in Boldovistan, claiming to represent about 34 percent of the population. You believe:

Homosexuality is inherently evil and unnatural.

AIDS is a divine punishment.

The state should strengthen traditional morality.

Your followers can be mobilized to pressure lawmakers against repealing Section 28.

Role Card 4

Liberal Religious Leaders

You are the leaders of the liberal element of the major religion in Boldovistan, representing about 25 percent of the population. Under the previous regime your group was often seen as a place of sanctuary by lesbians and gays and other oppressed minorities. The most widely held views among your followers are that:

Homosexuals should receive support rather than punishment.

The laws against homosexuality should be liberalized.

State recognition of lesbian and gay marriages and rights to parenthood are “going too far.”


Role Card 5

Family Sanctity Council

You are very small in membership but very vocal, with some support in the new government and the media. You believe that:

The traditional family unit is absolutely sacred and the only place to bring up children.

You will strongly resist attempts by the government to broaden the definition of “family.”

No child will be safe from influence and abuse if lesbians and gays are allowed to be parents, teachers, or youth workers.

Role Card 6

Education and Social

Services Agency

You are members of the legal body which administers education and welfare law in Boldovistan. From your experience, you believe that:

Children suffer no harm from having a lesbian or gay parent.

The current high rate of teenage suicide among lesbians and gays could be prevented if homosexuality were decriminalized.

Role Card 7

Health Authorities

You are representatives of the Boldovistanian Health Authority. Your main concerns are that health care and health education should reach as much of the population as possible. You maintain that:

It is impossible to teach effectively about safe sex and HIV prevention without acknowledging homosexuality.

More people would be tested for HIV infection if gay and lesbian relationships were legal.

Role Card 8

Lesbian and Gay Rights Group

You are members of the recently-formed Boldovistanian Lesbian and Gay Rights Group. You have gathered international support for your campaign for equal status and rights for lesbians and gays. The main points of your campaign are:

Gays and lesbians should be full citizens with equal protection under the law.

Laws against homosexual relations should be abolished.

Evidence does not support the argument that children suffer negatively from having lesbian or gay parents; on the contrary, most child abusers are heterosexual men. You therefore demand full parental rights for lesbians and gays.

Decriminalization of homosexuality is not linked to an increase in prostitution and pornography, especially since the overwhelming majority of both pornography and prostitution is

Role Card 9

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is an international, nonpartisan human rights organization. It maintains that it is a violation of human rights to imprison people on the grounds of their homosexuality. You are therefore demanding that:

Section 28 be repealed and homosexuality be decriminalized in Boldovistan.

All persons imprisoned because of consensual relations with a partner of the same-sex be released immediately.


Role Card 10


Committee Member

You feel conflicted about the issue before you. On the one hand, you want Boldovistan to become integrated into the rest of Europe. On the other hand, you don’t like changing national law to suit standards of other nations. You are trying to be as open-minded as possible to the wide-ranging and sometimes contradictory testimony before you. You therefore are asking questions about:

Why people testifying before the committee believe what they do.

What people testifying see as the outcomes, short term and long term, of change.

How people testifying would respond to the statements made by others testifying before them.