This, after all, was what Pope Ratzinger said in August 1986 (while he was still in charge of the Inquisition) in a document called “On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons”. This is so reminiscent of the name of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, which was just the opposite. They say care and they mean hate. They don’t call it hate; they probably don’t even think they’re indulging in hate. But it’s hate. And it’s ugly.
Imagine being a nine- or ten- or whatever-year-old school pupil struggling to come to terms with your orientation in a world that in parts is still hostile towards homosexuality, and hearing that said of you!
Now, this blog’s parent organisation, the Pink Triangle Trust, has written to the Secretary for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, saying that allowing religious schools to say homosexuality is evil is “unacceptable”.
Here is the letter, signed by my fellow blogger George Broadhead, who is the secretary of the Trust:
As a gay educational charity, we were shocked to learn that the new government plans to compel all schools to teach sex education will allow faith schools to educate pupils in line with their religious beliefs.
It seems that a get-out clause for faith schools will permit them to present sex education “in line with the context, values and ethos” of the schools and clearly this will permit them to tell pupils (in line with the teachings in their holy books) that lesbian and gay sexual relationships are morally wrong.
Homophobic bullying plagues the majority of our schools and shocking levels of bullying are meted out to school pupils and teachers who either are gay or perceived to be gay. That is the conclusion of a wide-ranging study carried by the gay equality organisation Stonewall. The study found that nearly two thirds of lesbian and gay pupils reported instances of homophobic harassment and significantly this figure jumps to 75% for those attending faith schools.
When this survey was issued, you yourself pledged to stamp out all forms of bullying in schools.
It is surely unacceptable that a large proportion of our schools should be allowed to tell their pupils that same-sex relationships are wrong with the inevitable consequence that anti-gay bullying will increase.
But religionists will want to put dogma first, people second.
Tony Blair tells the Pope – you’re wrong on homosexuality