In February 2011, two BTM readers sent us copies of their letters to Lynne Featherstone MP regarding their opposition to allow civil partnerships and homosexual unions in churches and the introduction of homosexual marriages. A reply to one of them by Lee Ward, Discrimination Law Team, at the Home Office Government Equalities Office is reproduced below.
My quick synopsis of the reply is as follows:
- The Government actively want to support the promotion of homosexual partnerships and consider them to be of equal if not higher standing than marriage between a man and woman.
- The Government is working towards the total removal of the ban on civil partnerships being registered in religious premises. This will be done in two stages:
- Stage 1, the Government will actively encourage religious organisations, to voluntarily ‘opt-in’ to holding civil partnership ceremonies between homosexuals in religious premise – an important “for the avoidance of doubt” clause will protect religious organisations for now. In other words, the government wants to encourage Christian churches to be apostate and reject the teachings of the Bible which states that homosexuality is an abomination worthy of death and should be purged from society.
- Stage 2, the Government want to equalise marriage and civil partnerships, at which point Stage 1 will become redundant and religious organisations will have to perform homosexual civil partnership ceremonies in their premises as otherwise the equality objective cannot be achieved. No amount of civil servant legislative wizardry with words can deny that logic.
- The Government want the state education system to teach children that homosexual desires are normal and that children will experience such desires as they grow up. Therefore children should not bully or tease someone if they have such feelings or want to commit a homosexual act. The idea that parents will be able to control Sexual Relationship Education (SRE) is a farce when all the guidelines given to teachers are to promote homosexual equality. The pro-homosexuality position will also be explicitly supported with a revision of curriculum material and text books. This will create confusion in the minds of children as the innocent strong normal (non-sexual) feelings of friendship between boys who are friends and girls who are friends become blurred.
Let us be absolutely clear, homosexuals are the enemies of true Christians and the UK Government has aligned its policy machine to satisfy every whim, eventually, of this evil group of sociopaths.
An enemy wants to destroy and obliterate all memory of its target.
“A sociopath is somebody who exhibits sociopathy, who behaves in a way that suggests a lack of conscience. Unlike the average human, a sociopath does not feel any sense of guilt or remorse when committing morally wrong actions or actions that their society deems unacceptable. Because of this utter lack of fear for the sanctions of society, sociopaths take advantage of the social system and use manipulation and amoral behaviours to obtain their goals. The types of behaviours they exhibit are those that would make someone with a conscience uncomfortable.” (Stout M, 2005)
Homosexuals are the sociopathic enemies of Christians. The Bible calls them reprobates as described in Romans 1. Christians must pray that God destroys and obliterates our and His enemy as He has done in the past.
Stout, Martha (2005). The Sociopath next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us. New York: Broadway. ISBN 9780767915816.
Government Equalities Office
Our Ref: GEO/TO/2011/0822 15 June 2011
Thank you for your letter of 16 February 2011 to Lynne Featherstone MP about civil partnerships on religious premises. I have been asked to reply and I am sorry for the delay in responding.
I would like to begin by making clear that the Government is committed to building a fairer society and ensuring fair treatment and equal opportunities for all, including people of all religions. The Government greatly values the role that faith communities can play in our national life, inspiring great numbers of people to get involved in public service and providing help to those in need.
As you may be aware, following discussions with various religious organisations and lesbian, gay and bisexual groups, the Government announced on 17 February 2011 its intention to remove the ban in England and Wales on civil partnerships being registered on religious premises, by implementing section 202 of the Equality Act 2010. Making this change will allow those religious organisations which wish to do so to host civil partnership registrations on their religious premises. The Government believes that this voluntary provision is a positive step forward for religious freedom.
The Government recognises that there are some denominations which, in accordance with the doctrines of their faith, will not want to make use of this change. That is why these proposals are entirely permissive and why section 202 clearly states: “For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this Act places an obligation on religious organisations to host civil partnerships if they do not wish to do so.” It will therefore be for each faith group to decide whether it wishes to host civil partnership registrations.
We published a consultation document on the practical arrangements for implementing section 202 on 31 March, to which you might want to respond before the consultation closes on 23 June 2011. The Government’s proposals are designed to put in place a regime that enables faith groups to opt in, respects the different decision making structures of different faith groups and protects those groups and individual ministers from the risk of successful legal challenge. These proposals are concerned only with the issue of civil partnership registrations on religious premises and not any wider issues around marriage.
However, having listened to stakeholders it is clear from many that there is a desire to move towards equal marriage and partnerships. We will consult further on how legislation can develop, working with all those who have an interest in the area.
The consultation document and a response form can be found on the Government Equalities website at: http://www.equalities.gov.uk/
You also write about the school curriculum. The Government is clear that homophobic bullying is wrong. It is important that all young people have the opportunity to explore, in a safe environment, the difficult and sensitive issues of sexual orientation while at school, so that they can understand and accept differences in others. The previous Government commissioned the Training and Development Agency (TDA) to develop lesson plans to tackle the issue of homophobic bullying. We, however, do not expect or require all schools to use these plans.
Teachers are free to use their professional judgement to decide for themselves where within the curriculum they cover issues such as homosexuality and what resources they use to support their teaching. Although the main route for teaching about sexual orientation is through sex and relationships education (SRE), taught as part of the non-statutory personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, teachers can choose to diversify their teaching by covering aspects of SRE and PSHE in other curriculum subjects if they feel that it is appropriate to do so.
It is important that schools consult parents on the content of their SRE programmes, including the resources they will use to support their teaching. Many schools communicate well with parents which helps them understand what their children will learn as part of their SRE and gives them the opportunity to comment on the content and manner in which it will be presented. Schools may decide to amend their SRE programmes if a majority of parents are unhappy about their content but ultimately parents have the right to withdraw their education from SRE teaching, outside the National Curriculum, if they are not happy with the school’s approach.
In Schools White Papers, The Importance of Teaching, published on 24 November 2010, the Government announced its intention to conduct an internal review of PSHE education, which includes sex and relationships education. We want to determine how we can support schools to improve the quality of all PSHE teaching by giving teachers the flexibility to use their professional judgement to meet the needs of their pupils and to take account of the views of parents, the ethos of the school and the local community in which it is situated.
We have not yet confirmed the process for the internal review but we have made clear our intention in the schools White Paper to work with teachers, parents, faith groups and campaign groups, particularly when looking at the teaching of sex and relationships education. Further details regarding the review will be confirmed over the coming weeks.
Discrimination Law Team
© 20 June 2011
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