The man who could become Britain’s new Prime Minister next week has been accused of political correctness after he suspended a party candidate for saying homosexuality was “not normal”.
Philip Lardner, who was the Tory candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran in Scotland, accused Tory leader David Cameron of pushing Christians out of the party.
He told a TV programme, as Pink News reported: “David Cameron appears to be saying there is no place in the party for anyone with Christian beliefs.”
“I believe ordinary people are sick and tired of political correctness. This is still a broadly Christian country, and I believe parents should have the right to oppose the promotion of homosexuality in schools.
“By suspending me as a Tory, David Cameron appears to be saying there is no place in the party for anyone with Christian beliefs.”
Lardner – who teaches in a primary school – made the comments on his website, although they have since been removed.
The online Pink News has reproduced the remarks, which it says read:
I will always support the rights of homosexuals to be treated within concepts of (common-sense) equality and respect, and defend their rights to choose to live the way they want in private, but I will not accept that their behaviour is “normal” or encourage children to indulge in it.
The promotion of homosexuality by public bodies [. . .] was correctly outlawed by [former Tory Prime Minister] Mrs [Margaret] Thatcher’s government. Toleration and understanding is one thing, but state-promotion of homosexuality is quite another.
Why should Christian churches be forced by the government to employ homosexuals as “ministers” against all that the Bible teaches? They are being forced by the government to betray their mission – would the Equality and Human Rights Commission be fined for refusing a job to [right-wing British National Party leader] Nick Griffin?
Christians (and most of the population) believe homosexuality to be somewhere between “unfortunate” and simply “wrong” and they should not be penalised for politely saying so – good manners count too, of course.
The current “law” is wrong and must be overturned in the interests of freedom as well as Christian values.
Although he has now lost the support of the Conservative Party, Lardner’s name will remain on the ballot paper for next Thursday’s general election. He said he wanted to run as an independent candidate.
He said: “I’m still a candidate on ballot papers in North Ayrshire and Arran and, if voters back my stand for free speech, I will become their independent Member of Parliament.”
David Cameron has become more supportive of gay rights, since he became Tory leader in December 2005, although he did vote against the repeal of a notorious piece of legislation called Section 28 (of the Local Government Act 1988), which outlawed the so-called “promotion” of homosexuality by local authorities. It led to much self-censorship by schoolteachers over the years that it was in force, who thought that any mention of homosexuality in the classroom might be deemed “promotion”; but no prosecutions were ever brought under it. It was repealed by the current Labour government in 2003 in England and Wales, although Scotland had repealed it in 2000.
The Tories are at the moment leading in the polls, with the currently third-largest parliamentary party, the Liberal Democrats, second and ruling Labour third, although most commentators are predicting a hung parliament.
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