Leo McKinstry

Straight and narrow

Leo McKinstry says that in its often admirable determination to help gays and lesbians, local government is creating a new problem: heterophobia

As I waded through page after page of interminable dogma and municipal jargon, one statement suddenly leapt out at me: ‘Some 50 per cent of people being approved of as adoptive parents in Brighton and Hove are from the lesbian, gay and bisexual community.’ Those words — from a policy document entitled ‘Sexuality — the New Agenda’, published this month by the Local Government Association (LGA), the umbrella body for local authorities — were followed by another disturbing sentence: ‘Brighton and Hove Council has also shown that it is committed to taking rigorous action against homophobia, including, in one instance, de-registering foster carers who stated that they opposed lesbians being parents.’

Even in Blair’s exciting new pro-gay Britain, this seemed to be too extreme to be true. And indeed it was. In its enthusiasm to highlight supposed enlightened principles, the LGA had grossly distorted the truth about Brighton. In reality, according to the council, 16 per cent of adoptive parents are gay, while no potential foster carers have been struck off the register for their attitudes towards lesbian parenting.

To many traditionalists, that figure of 16 per cent will still seem grotesque. Yet the fact that the LGA wanted to treble it, as well as boasting of town-hall vigilance against thought-crimes on the south coast, only shows the extent to which our public sector has been gripped by the hardline ideology of gay rights.

It would be monstrous, of course, to return to the dark days when there was genuine victimisation of gays, when a certain sexual orientation could result in blackmail, the loss of employment or even prison. Anyone who believes in personal freedom should support the end of such oppression. But the bullying form of today’s gay activism goes far beyond this.

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