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Nick Clegg calls for faith schools to focus on homophobic bullying

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  1. theotherone 13 Jan 2010, 1:37pm

    lets just hope that there IS a Tory/ Lib Dem alliance in the next Parliament – it would be the best thing for the country.

  2. It will be interesting to see the “shlock horror” Daily Smail comments on this story……

  3. All very well, but he is never going to be in power. He can say what he likes and promise the world. He’ll never be asked to make good.

  4. Mumbo Jumbo 13 Jan 2010, 2:44pm

    A fuller report from the Independent (including responses from some upset religious types):

    It’s decent stuff and, from the language he uses, he sounds like he actually believes it and understands what he’s saying and why.

    So good on him.

    And Rose, two words: hung parliament.

  5. George Broadhead 13 Jan 2010, 2:50pm

    I suppose Nick Clegg is to be commended for calling on faith schools to focus on homophobic bullying even though it is almost as unlikely to succeed as asking them to change their hostile stance on homosexuality.

    Does this mean, I wonder, that he is aware of a Stonewall survey published some time ago which revealed that this sort of bullying is much more rife in these schools than others? Surprise! Surprise!

    It is a great pity that he and his party cannot emulate the Green Party by opposing Labour’s disastrous policy of greatly increasing the number of these devisive and homophobic schools which are being funded by the tax payer.

  6. THis is welcome, and the most robust defence of gay equality of any of the main three parties. THough, George Broadhead makes a valid point – in an ideal situation we would be rid of religious schools althogether. One would have thought the experiences of sectarian strife in Belfast would have taught us a lesson or two. Alas, no.

  7. I’m not quite sure what point Rose is trying to make.

    The Lib Dem Parliamentary record in the past 25 years speaks for itself, on Section 28, the age of consent, gay adoption, and Civil Partnerships. Usually they’ve been ahead of the field, and as we’ve now seen unlike the Tories and Nu Lab they support full gay marriage.

    If you have a concrete reason to dispute their good faith you should state it. Otherwise you and I may as well shut up. We’re never going to “be in power are they”.

    And BTW. How do you know that it’s fixed in stone that power is always going to alternate between Labour and the Tories? It’s not much of a democracy if the party structure can’t possibly be changed.

    I agree, BTW that I would prefer the Lib Dems to oppose religiously based schools outright. I suspect this is an awkward compromise. And after all, if you are a Liberal there is a case for respecting the wishes of parents for a certain kind of education, even if you believe that the consequences are sometimes harmful.

    (Similarly I believe this country would be vastly better off without private schools, but I don’t know how you can ban them and still preserve a free society.)

  8. It’s true – expecting faith schools, apart from Quaker ones, to challenge homophobia is like expecting them to challenge the idea of God. But it would be illiberal to ban them. They simply should not receive a penny of public money.

  9. “It will be interesting to see the “shlock horror” Daily Smail comments on this story……”

    As I suspected. Nothing but hate espoused in the readers comments of this article…

  10. Mumbo Jumbo 13 Jan 2010, 7:07pm

    Comment 9 by J Abrams

    Yes. And all of them will be Conservative supporters.

  11. Mumbo Jumbo 13 Jan 2010, 7:22pm

    Actually, it’s worth posting the Daily Mail article and sociopathic readers comments:

    Take a deep breath and count to ten…….

  12. Patrick James 13 Jan 2010, 7:40pm

    As a Labour Party guy I am delighted by Nick Clegg’s statements in Attitude magazine.

    He has put LGBT issues at the front of the agenda, at least for a short while.

    I would love the Labour Party to adopt the reforms he has suggested as policy of course. I would also love the Conservative Party to do the same but I feel that is really rather less likely :)

    I do think that in those marginal seats where the contest is between Conservative and Lib Dem it would be very good to vote Lib Dem.

    It is not sensible to dismiss the Liberal Democrats as an irrelevancy as Rose has done because every elected Liberal Democrat MP has a seat in the parliament and that will be a good thing for LGBT issues.

    If the Conservative Party does win the forthcoming election there will I suspect be two agendas working against LGBT concerns.

    1. They will be placing great emphasis on the traditional family as the “natural and valid” way for people to live.

    2. They will be ignoring homophobia in other countries.

    With respect to agenda 1:

    I think that we will see the product of Iain Duncan Smith’s long developed social policies in the form of placing emphasis on the traditional family. This will be reflected in finance, giving tax breaks to the “traditional family” then in education, health and many other walks of life. Ways of living outside of the traditional family will be marginalised.

    With respect to agenda 2:

    The complete silence from David Cameron on the subject of Uganda’s legislative changes indicates that the Conservative Party will be silent on any persecution of LGBT people overseas. The Conservative Party does not flinch at associating itself with regimes or parties overseas which violate human rights. Currently of course the Conservative Party has this small group in the European Parliament which includes the homophobic Polish Law and Justice Party. Historically the Conservative Party has the most appalling record on human rights overseas. The most notable being their support for the apartheid regime in South Africa in the 80s and their support for General Pinochet in Chile.

    If the Conservative Party wins the general election then the smaller their majority the better. With a very small majority it will be more difficult for them to damage LGBT issues.

    If there is a hung parliament then the larger the Liberal Democrat grouping the better.

    Personally I think it is very unlikely that the Liberal Democrats would form a coalition with the Conservative Party as there are so many policies which are at complete odds between the two parties.

  13. Dave North 13 Jan 2010, 9:49pm

    I tend to think, that the more the “PC Agenda” is forced on the general populous, the more the homophobic aspects will rise to the fore.

    Given the comments by J Abrams above #2 and #9, and Mumbo Jumbo’s URL it is frightening to see the backlash of the general public against, what I would consider
    Nick Cleggs reasonable idea.

    I just wish they would stop pushing what is generally perceived
    as the “Gay Agenda” as it is now harming my life.

  14. Tim Hopkins 13 Jan 2010, 11:21pm

    Hmm – I’m not sure, Dave, whether you’re suggesting we should not work for these things, for fear of some uncomfortable reaction on the Daily Mail website? Daily Mail readers and webpage commentators are not the general public.

    And surely you don’t mean we should forget about the young people in so many Catholic schools who are being taught that there’s something wrong with them because they are LGBT (or “instrinsically disordered” as the Catholic Church delightfully puts it).

    There has been a negative reaction to every LGBT equality move since 1957 – it comes with the territory of making social progress.

    Actually I see a positive in the Mail’s webpage: Clegg listed four pledges, and there’s only a significant fuss about one – of course the one on schools. The ability of homophobes to promote a big fuss about LGBT equality is diminishing all the time – and the way to ensure that continues is to continue to put the case for full equality and respect for all LGBT people, clearly, firmly and politely. Well done the LibDems for doing that.

  15. Fair play to Nick Clegg, he’s taken the principled stance here.

    It’s good to see one of the big parties actually believing in equality.

  16. Pumpkin Pie 14 Jan 2010, 1:42am

    @Mumbo Jumbo: It’s decent stuff and, from the language he uses, he sounds like he actually believes it and understands what he’s saying and why.

    This is why I like the guy and why I vote for the Lib Dems. I can tell when someone’s just being a PR machine. Like you said, it’s not what someone says, but how they say it and why they say it. That’s what betrays their true feelings to you and that’s how you know what they really mean.

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