Equality Commission wants teachers to ask children if they are homosexual
A report commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) recommends that children should be asked if they are homosexual from the age of 11 and that records should be kept of those unsure about or ‘questioning’ their sexuality.
The report was conducted in an effort to encourage teachers, nurses and youth workers to start monitoring the development of young people’s sexual identity. The aim of the monitoring would be to “shed light on the complexities of young people’s developing sexual orientation and how this may disadvantage them.”
The report suggested that it is both “practically and ethically” possible to interview children as young as 11 about their sexual orientation, if necessary without parental consent. Some youngsters, the report says, may use categories such as ‘questioning’, ‘queer’, ‘pansexual’, ‘genderqueer’, ‘asexual’, ‘pan-romantic’ and even ‘trisexual’.
The report has prompted concern in some quarters. Graham Stuart, Tory chairman of the Commons education select committee, said that schools should be a safe place where children are not “picked over for the purposes of some quango” and that the plans were “invasive, sinister and threatening.”
“Error of judgment”
The report follows a number of recent bad headlines for the EHRC. Only a few weeks ago, in a dramatic turnaround, the EHRC announced that it was withdrawing its application to the Court to secure an increase in the compensation awarded to homosexual couple Stephen Hall and Martyn Preddy. The civil partners won their case against Christian B&B owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull, who refused them a double room because of their Christian beliefs about marriage, and were initially awarded £1,800 each in compensation.
The announcement from the EHRC that they were not going to seek an increase in compensation came less than 24 hours after a flurry of negative publicity following a Daily Mail story revealing their plans.
A spokesman for the EHRC stated that the appeal “was filed initially because of an error of judgment on the part of our legal team."
A week prior to this error, the EHRC issued a public apology for statements their legal team had made in papers submitted to the court in the case of Owen and Eunice Johns, the Christian couple whose application to be foster carers was effectively refused after the couple said they were not willing to affirm homosexual behaviour to a small child in their care.
The EHRC’s legal team said, in a written submission to the Court, that children risked becoming ‘infected’ by Christian views on sexuality. They also suggested that the Johns should be sent on a ‘re-education’ program. When this was brought into the public sphere by the press, the EHRC stated that the use of the term ‘infected’ was a ‘drafting error.’
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, commented:
“The EHRC is being increasingly exposed as an organisation that is seeking to enforce a particular ‘morality’ on the public, a morality which always puts the rights of homosexuals above those of Christians and is extremely intolerant of religious freedoms. Many Christians have lost all confidence in its impartiality. Some of the recent ‘mistakes’ by the EHRC seem to confirm the suspicions of many that it is institutionally biased against Christians. It is a powerful and dangerous quango and it needs to be challenged.”