Bishop’s amendment allows promotion of homosexuality
The Christian Institute today strongly questioned the moves by the Bishop of Blackburn to reach a deal with the Government over the repeal of Section 28.
The Bishop’s amendment :
The amendment also has provisions on “anti-homophobic” verbal abuse and the discouragement of sexual activity. The Bishop says he has the support of the Catholic Education Service.
Proposals by the Bishop of Blackburn have already been debated in the House of Lords and are now being considered by the Government.
Section 28 is the law which bans the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities in schools and elsewhere.
Today the Christian Institute publishes its legal advice on the Bishop?s proposals.
Colin Hart, Director of the Christian Institute said today:
?Some local authorities and NHS Trusts are determined to promote homosexuality to young people. It is important that people actually see the material that is being used. I am therefore distributing copies of Gay Sex Now
amongst Catholic and Anglican Bishops. This booklet is being used in a publicly funded youth group in Glasgow. The youth worker attached to the group has admitted that children as young as 12 have attend the group.
It is clear from the legal advice that we have received that the Bishop?s amendment will do nothing to stop the distribution of this material. The amendment is not so much a compromise as a complete surrender. It repeals Section 28 without putting any restrictions in place.
Clearly the Government is in a difficulty over Section 28 with opinion polls showing strong opposition to its repeal. However, it should not be the business of the Church to give the Government an excuse to press on with its plans for repeal.
Our legal advice shows that provision on the promotion marriage in the Bishop?s amendment can easily dodged by a local authority. Of course we all want to see marriage promoted in schools, but it is a nonsense to allow local authorities to promote homosexuality at the same time.
No one wants to see any kind of bullying in school. But the Bishop?s proposals on anti-gay verbal abuse could end up by curtailing the freedoms of Church schools to teach that homosexual practice is wrong.
Guidelines are not legally binding. Only legislation can provide the protection that is needed for young people.
The only aspect of the Bishop?s proposals which can have an unequivocal welcome is the requirement that local authorities should not encourage sexual activity amongst young people. ?