Homophobia in Oxford.

The Wilberforce Academy will hold a conference at Exeter College this Easter, in association with Christian Concern. The OxStu newspaper has a staggeringly thorough report on this organisation, but sadly they haven’t got it uploaded online yet. Until then, a summary from the print edition:

Christian Concern’s mission statement is to campaign against ‘secular liberal humanism, moral relativism and sexual licence’.

They share a CEO with a sister company called Christian Legal Centre, which is currently lobbying in defence of psychotherapist Lesley Pilkington, who faces being struck off the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy for offering ‘corrective therapy’ for homosexuals.

They are affiliated with the US based Alliance Defense Fund which fought for the Supreme Court ruling ‘Boy Scouts of America V. Dale‘, which allows for the dismissal of scout leaders on the basis that they are gay. They were also obviously heavily involved in Perry v. Brown in California, at least until told by the judges to politely fuck off earlier this week.

Worst of all, CC is also involved with the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, an organisation whose raison d’etre is to ‘correct’ gay people.

They have a stream of filth on sexual issues here.

Now Exeter are naturally playing the ‘It’s strictly commercial; we don’t necessarily endorse the views of the people hiring our venue’ card, which is so obviously unacceptable it defies belief. As If they would even contemplate such a defence if, say, the BNP applied to use their facilities over Easter. Or the KKK.

But for some reason homophobia, even within hugely liberal academic institutions, doesn’t set off alarm bells in the same way racism or xenophobia does. The stigma is insufficient. And so a group intent on imposing their private twisted views upon the populace as a whole, by purposely aiming to get more Christians into the policy making process – all naturally in the name of ‘religious freedom’ – will get to claim the prestigious platform of Oxford University from which to blast their bigotry. I’m seething. If this were Somerville – my own college – I’d be doing all I could to bring it to a standstill right now. I can’t even begin to imagine how much worse this would feel if I were gay and insecure about it. Exeter students should boycott Hall food indefinitely, and watch the hierarchy squirm. I still believe Europe is the world leader on the issue of sexual tolerance, but the existence of organisations like these – and an Oxford college’s indifference to the content of their views – demonstrates how far even here there still is to go.


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