The UK Government’s top advisor on community integration, likened religious schools opposing same-sex marriage to religious extremists during a parliamentary hearing.
Dame Louise Casey, commissioned by the UK Parliament to report on segregation and social cohesion, has lashed out at religious schools with “homophobic” and “anti-gay marriage” beliefs, saying it is “not ok” for them to teach according their conscience if their faith prevents them from endorsing same-sex marriage.
In her comments, she compared Catholic and religious schools supporting traditional marriage to individuals in the Trojan Horse case of 2014 – a calculated and subversive attempt to introduce Islamist extremism into Birmingham schools.
Dame Casey told the hearing that it was difficult for those working in schools to determine what was ‘reasonable’ when it comes to religious teaching. She focussed particularly on Catholic schools:
“I do not really have any view on which religion it is that it is promoting those sorts of views, but they are not okay, in the same way that it is not okay for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage.”
“That is not okay either, it is not how we bring children up in this country.”
Dame Casey’s comments come just three short years since same-sex marriage was legalised in the United Kingdom. This issues a dire warning for other countries, including Australia, considering redefining marriage: change the definition of marriage and it won’t be long until those who disagree are labelled and branded as “extremists,” and even “terrorists”.
Later, Dame Casey also took aim at religious conservatives, whom she labelled as “anti-equalities”:
“It is often veiled as religious conservatism, and I have a problem with the expression ‘religious conservatism’, because often it can be anti-equalities.”
“We have got to be careful that people can choose, obviously, to live the lives that they want to live, but that they cannot condemn others for living differently. That is a grey line, and the more we can talk about it the better.”
“No school, or individual teacher, is under a duty to support, promote or endorse marriage of same sex couples.”
Dame Casey published a 199-page report last month in which she recommended that holders of public office swear an “equality oath”. Her anti-Catholic remarks were made while a host of MPs questioned Dame Casey on said report.
British MP Edward Leigh pointed out her hypocrisy:
“Equalities czar says we ‘can’t condemn others for living differently’ then condemns Catholics for living differently.”
The group Coalition for Marriage spoke out against her “astonishing remarks”, which they said are “one of the clearest indications” that those who support traditional marriage were painted as extremists. It is ironic that Casey would point to the Catholic Church’s stance on marriage, when she herself exhibits extreme opinions and views against dissenters of same-sex marriage.
What do you think? Is allowing Catholic schools to teach same-sex marriage according to Catholic beliefs extreme? Or is it in accordance with such basic rights as free speech and freedom of conscience?