The Paul Scholes debate continued on our message boards last night.

“Of course the use of “Poofter” against someone who has done you wrong is a slur to the gay community. Any time a word is used with negative connotations it impacts badly.” The writer illustrates his point from his experiences working with young people; “[one] once said how “Gay” something was that he didn’t like, he then turned to me to apologise and never used it again around me. His instant and forthright apology shows that HE knew it was wrong and may have caused offence.”

Other writers agreed; “No matter the context in which it is used, “poofter” is nothing more than derogatory and anti-gay. Are there words that gay people use to single out heterosexuals they don’t like, words that could be termed derogatory and a slur against their heterosexuality? I don’t think so” said Robert, writing from the USA.

Michael Regan looked at the issue from another angle, comparing homophobic swearing to racist swearing; “The short of it is, someone using a word like ‘Poofter’ but who isn’t gay is as offensive as a white man calling someone a ‘Nigger’ or a ‘Pakey’ or ‘Spastic’.

“If you’re going to write off using a word that’s commonly used by homophobes to attack gay people with, then you might as well write of all over racist and derogatory words too!

“Its known that the football association has used homophobic comments and remarks in the past, so its good that its beginning to come into the 21st century”.

“What I want to know is, would anyone have really noticed unless Tatchell had brought it up. Obviously homophobic abuse is wrong but how many people really watch ITV?” wondered Josh.

Adding to the debate this morning, peterrivendell suggested; “I`m not sure that we don’t need to get a grip and focus on things that are genuinely homophobic and offensive.

“I agree that we still need to complete that cultural shift that will make homophobic terms as socially unacceptable as racist ones but Paul Scholes getting booked and calling someone a ‘poofter’ just makes him sound like an 11 year old boy rather than a vicious homophobe.”

“It’s just swearing” Liz thought, “people never shout about women being called bitch. And how come Liam thinks it’s ok to call someone a bimbo”.

Thanks for your support, Liz.