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Roman Catholic Cardinal Promotes Vicious Bigotry

By Jack Nichols

Edinburgh, Scotlandó In the wake of the Scottish Executive's recently announced plan to scrap anti-gay legislation imposed in 1986 by London's Thatcher government, the nation's leading Roman Catholic clergyman has inundated Scotland with vicious anti-gay invective.
cardwhin.jpg - 11.03 K Cardinal Thomas Winning

Following the public statements of Communities minister Wendy Alexander, preparing Scots for the elimination of Section 2a of the 1986 Local Government Act, best known as Section 28, Cardinal Thomas Winning promised his Church's fierce opposition to the government's move if the said repeal fails to heed Roman Catholic standards of morality.

Calling homosexuality a 'disorder' and resurrecting long-discredited and highly inflammatory stereotypes of gay men and lesbians as predators bent on putting children in harm's way the Cardinal said:

"There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account--for example in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or sports coaches and in military recruitment.

"So if, by the repeal of Section 28, the Scottish Executive wishes only to end the climate of fear and abuse, the Catholic Church will offer its full support.

"But our warning is this: any repeal must not leave the way open to a new form of valueless political correctness which would impose an 'anything goes' morality in our children."

Donald Dewar, Scotland's First Minister, had labeled the Thatcher-era laws a "badge of shame" while London's Labour government is now signaling its intention to do away with them in England.

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Communities minister Wendy Alexander had said of the laws that they are: "vindictive, unjust and reactionary" and that "the new Scotland should be characterized by a politics of action, not of protest, of liberation, not cruelty." Thus, she promised, Scotland's government would "sweep away the vindictive Tory legislation that singles out gay relationships for condemnation. We believe that this legislation is unjust, reactionary and has no place in the Scotland of tomorrow."

The Cardinal replied that the Roman Catholic Church will defend homosexuals only from those forms of discrimination that are "unjust", but that he seeks, nevertheless, to help those who are attracted to their own gender to find "peace living in the joy of chastity." He fears, he writes, that same-sex relationships may be placed "on the same footing as marriage and the family."

He continued: "It may well be that Section 28 was a blunt instrument. But it nevertheless should be recognized that it was introduced in response to public fears. Those fears have not gone away.

"As the Church we will make a strong case for suitable safeguards to be introduced to protect our children from any attempt at homosexual proselytism."

Equality Network, Scotland's, gay, bisexual and transgender equality campaign, replied: "These are, in this day and age, quite frankly ridiculous things to say."

"It really is very disappointing to see the Catholic Church resurrecting these things. Its outrageous to say that gay people are a danger to young people. This is an old prejudice that was debunked decades ago.

"All the studies that have been done show that the majority of child abuse, which is a terrible thing, is done by heterosexual people."

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