The Christian GP who was controversially sacked from his role as a Government drugs adviser because of his views on homosexuality may take legal action.
Dr Hans-Christian Raabe, who backs total abstinence from drugs, was appointed to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) last month, but his views on homosexuality soon became the subject of a heated media debate.
Melanie Phillips, writing in the Daily Mail, accused the BBC’s Home Editor Mark Easton of leading “the charge” against the respected GP.
Mr Easton initially raised the issue on his blog claiming that one member of the Advisory Council was threatening to step down in response to Dr Raabe’s selection.
However, he has since criticised the Government’s decision to ditch Dr Raabe for “views that are irrelevant to the job at hand”.
Dr Raabe has faced criticism for co-authoring a 2005 scientific paper which linked homosexuality and paedophilia, and was fired by the Home Office when the paper came to light following his appointment.
Commenting on the decision to the Daily Mail the respected GP said: “They could have found it on Google at any stage. Someone at the Home Office hasn’t done their homework.
“But ultimately this has got more to do with a small number of activists who I appear to have offended than my ability to make a constructive contribution towards the debate on drugs.
“I don’t think the Home Office will have me back, but I’m concerned about the implications for public debate, so I would consider taking it to court on a point of principle.”
The decision to ditch Dr Raabe from the council has been criticised by drugs charities and media commentators.
Peter Hitchens said: “If Dr Raabe had not involved himself in the homosexuality controversy, his enemies in the drug liberalisation lobby (whom I believe to be behind his removal) would have had to attack him directly because of his views on drugs, which would have been far harder.”
David Raynes, of the National Drug Prevention Alliance, cautioned that Dr Raabe had been the victim of a “witch-hunt”.
And whilst he doesn’t believe that Dr Raabe was suitable to be a drugs adviser, former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris has criticised the way Dr Raabe has been treated.
Dr Harris said: “No adviser should be dismissed purely for holding and expressing entirely lawful views on another subject, no matter how objectionable.”
And earlier this week Mr Easton, following on from his initial comments last month, said: “You cannot simply sack somebody appointed to a government advisory body because he/she has strong religious views that are irrelevant to the job in hand. That would seem to be discriminatory.”
Dr Raabe’s report, which he co-wrote with six other medical practitioners, stated: “While the majority of homosexuals are not involved in paedophilia, it is of grave concern that there is a disproportionately greater number of homosexuals among paedophiles and an overlap between the gay movement and the movement to make paedophilia acceptable.”
The report summarised the conclusions of other research and academic studies.
Official reports have also considered the level of child abuse where the abuser is of the same sex as the victim.
In 1998 the Home Office released a report which cited a study showing that “approximately 20 to 33% of child sexual abuse is homosexual in nature”.
Given that official figures released last year showed only one per cent of the population is homosexual, supporters of Dr Raabe say same-sex child abuse is significantly over-represented.