UK Party Leader Says Faith Schools Must Teach Homosexuality is "Normal and Harmless"
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
LONDON, January 13, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – U.K. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is wooing the vote of British homosexuals by stating that his party (the third largest party in the U.K.) would legislate that all faith schools in the UK would be legally obliged to teach their students that homosexuality is normal and without any risk to physical or mental health.
In an interview with the gay lifestyle magazine Attitude, Clegg outlined a number of proposals to advance '"gay rights" in the UK, including forcing all schools, including faith-based schools, to implement anti-homophobia bullying policies and to teach that homosexuality is "normal and harmless."
Clegg said that faith schools must not become "asylums of insular religious identity."
"If they're suffering higher rates of homophobic bullying and violence then we need to put serious pressure on them. It needs to be a requirement; it just needs to be a requirement across the piece."
He also proposed to end the ban on homosexual men being allowed to give blood, and to allow same-sex couples the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples and the right to use the word "marriage" rather than civil partnership.
Clegg's proposals were quickly condemned by church leaders and pro-family groups.
One senior Anglican bishop, who was not identified, told The Independent, “I think this will go down badly even among the not overtly evangelical. Instituting something that must be taught, come what may, is frighteningly fascist.”
Janina Ainsworth, chief education officer for the Church of England, said she saw no reason for changing the current laws governing sex education in schools. “The Church’s traditional teaching is that sex should be set within the framework of a faithful marriage, and sex education in church schools will be delivered within that context,” she said.
"Further upheaval of the guidance for sex education would not be welcomed by many schools, church or otherwise,” Ainsworth added.
Norman Wells of the Family Education Trust, told the Daily Mail, ''Not only is Nick Clegg showing a woeful lack of respect for faith schools, but he is also totally disregarding the deeply-held views of parents."
"The vast majority of parents do not want their children’s schools to be turned into vehicles to promote positive images of homosexual relationships. It is a fundamental principle of education law that children must be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents."
Wells further charged that "Nick Clegg is pushing a radical social agenda which would only cause confusion among vulnerable young people and expose them to increased risks to their physical and emotional health."