Anybody who even dares, nowadays, to suggest in public that gay rights have been, or could be, taken too far, is automatically dismissed with the absurd term “homophobic”.
Let me say at the outset that the word “homophobia” is nonsense. The first half “homo” means “the same” - just as it does in “homophone”, “homologue” and “homogenous”. The second half, “phobia” means an irrational fear. So if the term “homophobia" meant anything at all, it would mean “fear of yourself” or “fear of the same thing”.
It is a pretentious, confused pseudo-word. Such terms are coined by ignorant people who are trying to stifle discussion and impose a form of bigotry that is no less bigoted for being relatively new and fashionable. Frequently people make a casual comparison between being black and being gay. It is a way of trying to short-cut the political argument, and hastily appropriate all the anti-racist laws on behalf of homosexuals. That, too, is nonsense. Nobody – except islamic extremists – wants to re-criminalize homosexuality. That is not what I am advocating. I am saying that recent moves to increase what are called gay rights have gone too far and are in themselves unjust.
The fashionable view is that "sexuality" is a right and that no country should be allowed to legislate regarding it. If so, then why do we have laws against polygamy, paedophilia or rape? They are all forms of sexual behaviour. What about stalking, flashing, or sending people obscene E-mails? That's sexual behaviour too.
Homosexuality (as Jean-Paul Sartre said) is simply a form of behaviour, not like being black at all. Black people could and did for thousands of years live independently on another continent, but homosexuals can only exist as a by-product of a heterosexual society. Homosexuals are completely dependent on heterosexuals to create them. Curiously they never express any gratitude for this, while complaining constantly of persecution. If I want to shock people I have only to point out that dear Oscar Wilde, the gay’s favourite martyr, witty though he was, went to gaol entirely through his own fault. He brought a false libel charge, which is a criminal offence, and he could have got five years for perjury, instead of merely two for making use of rent-boys. I wouldn’t like my son to be used as a rent-boy and I think Oscar got off lightly. The biography by Richard Ellman admits that Oscar and his friends gang-raped an under-age boy. People should learn to accept responsibility for their own actions.
Deciding how far to take one right invariably means considering how it might impinge on another. What is happening now is that “gay rights” have been so over-inflated that they are cutting into the rights of the majority. We have recently seen cases where hotel keepers have been forced by law to rent a double bed to a same-sex couple and adoption agencies compelled to place children with them regardless of the agency's religious affiliations. I think both decisions are wrong. To call that "gay rights" is infringing the right of the hotel keeper or the adoption agency to follow their own ethical and religious beliefs, a right which is actually enshrined in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
When it comes to adoption, it makes no sense to argue for the “equal rights” of a homosexual couple because nobody has a right to adopt. Adoption takes place in the interests of the child, not the adults. Prospective parents have always been vetted and ruthlessly excluded on grounds of income, age, mental and physical health or family history. Nobody ever treated them as equal. The adoption societies have always acted in what they feel is the best interest of the child concerned. And what about the child’s rights? Surely it has a right to a parent of each gender? That, after all, is what Nature gives every child, and the point of adoption is to re-create as far as possible a natural family for that child. To talk about gays having a right to adopt is to treat the child like a form of merchandise. It is wholly unacceptable.
If fairness is the issue, it seems fair to me to give a child to couples who have experienced biological sterility or repeated miscarriage, because they really can’t have a child of their own. Their need is greater than that of those who simply choose a same-sex partner. The same cannot be said in the case of adoption by for example, a black couple with a history of infertility. Black and gay are not the same issue.
Undoubtedly in my view, it is wrong to force any adoption society to go against its ethics. What about the connection between homosexuality and paedophilia? Why hush it up? [* See note below.]
Amnesty International, the once-prestigious organization that campaigns for Human Rights all over the world, is now preoccupied with gay rights to what appears to me to be a disproportionate extent. I call it disproportionate because it gives so little attention, by comparison, to the appalling persecution of heterosexuals in countless countries of the world. There are dozens of places where heterosexuals cannot choose their own partner without facing violence, social exclusion, murder, torture or imprisonment by their families. A recent TV programme, Unreported World: Love on the Run, highlighted this problem in India where it is estimated that as many as 900 young couples have been murdered in the last few years, simply for wishing to marry without their families’ consent. There has been a wave of violence across the country’s northwest states.
How much do we hear about this issue in the news? Why have we not granted any of these people asylum? Why does Amnesty International consider it a lesser issue than gays being verbally insulted by policemen in downtown Chicago?
To get a sense of proportion, let us compare this to the issue of Christians being persecuted all over the world. Yes, thousands of people are subjected to a range of discriminatory behaviour world-wide merely because they want to practise Christianity. Some of them are imprisoned, sacked from their jobs, deprived of their property, driven out of their homes or killed. We curry favour with China and other non-democratic regimes, ignoring their record on religious freedom.
Campaigners here in England tell we must give legal aid to gay Nigerians who want to live here because they face persecution in their native country. What gives them priority over Christians who are persecuted in Nigeria – of which there is very good evidence? Why is there so much fuss made on Wikipedia and the like about gay rights and so little about heterosexual rights, or Christian rights?
Gay rights have got out of all proportion. Rather than claiming equality, homosexuals are in many respects now claiming privilege and special treatment. That is not fair. In fact, it is deeply unjust. It is time that we got our priorities back in order.
Since I wrote this, an employee of an adoption agency has been sacked for refusing to co-operate with gay adoption. A bishop protested that this is religious discrimination and he is right.
Our government bends over backwards to be fair to minorities - what is so fair about sacking Christians?
Letter to His Grace Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
48 minutes ago