British Humanist Association threatens legal action against Catholic homophobes

Catholic Education Service faces investigation from Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove

British Humanist Association threatens legal action against Catholic homophobes
29 April 2012

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has threatened to take legal action against the Catholic Education Service (CES) for promoting the anti-gay civil marriage petition in Catholic schools.

Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove has ordered an investigation into the CES to question whether or not they have broken impartiality rules. The Welsh government has said it will investigate similar complaints about the CES.

It is illegal for schools and teachers in the UK to take a side in a political argument.

It was revealed the CES had invited nearly 400 state-funded Roman Catholic schools to back a petition against gay marriage.

The CES have denied they have broken any rules, saying their feelings on gay marriage are religious and not political. They have said they will continue to appeal to students over the age of 16.

The BHA are currently seeking a pupil who will assist them with legal action.

BHA Faith Schools Campaigner Richy Thompson said: ‘Any gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender pupil at a school whose head declares that gay marriage and civil partnerships are unnatural is obviously going to feel discriminated against and trapped. Action to remedy this situation cannot come soon enough.’

The BHA believes the CES has broken section 406-7 of the Education Act, which regards political indoctrination and requirement for balance, and section 149 of the Equality Act, which says the public sector such as schools and hospitals has a duty to remain unbiased.

The Pink Triangle Trust (PTT), a UK-based gay humanist charity, has supported the BHA and also condemned the recent suggestion by the Pope’s representative in Britain that Christians, Muslims and Jews should create a united front against gay marriage.

PTT secretary George Broadhead said: ‘This move by the Papal Nuncio should come as no surprise. After all, Islamic groups and Orthodox Judaism are as hostile to LGBT rights as the Roman Catholic Church.

‘It is no less surprising to learn the Archbishop of Southwark is defending the action of Catholic schools. It is outrageous that children attending a state school paid for by taxpayers are being encouraged to be homophobic. Let’s hope the BHA carries out its threat.’ 

Conor Marron, speaking for pro-gay campaign Coalition for Equal Marriage, said: 'Children as young as 11 should not have to be drawn into political arguments such as this, in fact no school pupil should. 

'We must protect freedom of religion and freedom of speech, but at all times any duty of care must come first, most especially when it comes to children.'

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

Rep Steve King: Gay marriage ruling means 'you can marry my lawnmower'
No thumbnail available

In Touch photoshops Bruce Jenner as a woman on its cover - ex-wife cries foul

TMZ quotes Kris Jenner as saying: 'It’s just mean to do, whether or not it’s true'
No thumbnail available

Rick Santorum says Will & Grace is to blame for gay marriage

Vice President Joe Biden had credited same show with shifting public opinion
No thumbnail available

US retailer Target joins fight against Wisconsin ban on same-sex marriage

The Target retail chain, one of the largest corporations in North America, has filed a ‘friend-of-the-court’ brief in a challenge against Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex couples marrying
No thumbnail available

HIV cure breakthrough on the horizon

Danish researchers are optimistic after trials on human skin successfully killing the virus, and are ready to begin human trials
No thumbnail available

Billy Graham's son says he himself is a sinner: 'I’m no better than a gay person'

But Franklin Graham says unlike gays, he has repented and turned away from his sins
No thumbnail available

Lee Daniels reveals that test audiences loved Empire - until the gay kiss

Focus group using dial technology went from 10 to zero when Jamal and Michael locked lips
No thumbnail available

Russian law to take kids from gay parents will fail, admits top politician

As men in white coats offer to take her away... Mizulina, a key player in introducing the ‘gay propaganda’ law, admits bid to remove children from Russian gay parents won’t pass
No thumbnail available

Lesbian fights to become UK’s first trans MP

Rianna Humble, who is also a lesbian, is a Labour politician campaigning for a seat in the 2015 general election
No thumbnail available

Meet the 'submissive bear' who had his genitals removed so he could have better sex

'Guys who are aroused by my situation are very aroused'