Here we go again. Philip Lardner, the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran has been suspended for homophobic remarks, as just reported on Sky News.
Just to put Mr. Lardner’s remarks into context, he has tried to appear reasonable by holding out that he respects equality for gay people but refuses to acknowledge that their behaviour is normal or encourage children to indulge in it.
Unfortunately, Mr. Larder is not alone in his views. If you asked for the view of a Priest, Minister or Rabbi on this subject, you would not find much of a difference between the opinions of the clerics and Mr. Lardner.
If you scratch the surface further, you will find more politicians who privately agree with Mr. Lardner but will not say so in Public.
Unfortunately for the Gay Community, there is one huge obstacle in the way of a post-homophobic society. It is the Bible. The most well-known reference against it is Leviticus 18:22 At various times, when a politician is accused of being an anti-gay bigot, he or she uses the Bible to defend his/her view. Peter Robinson did just that a couple of years ago, following remarks made by his wife. Philip Lardner has just made his own reference to his Christian beliefs.
For the Conservative Party, this is an ongoing problem but it should not be beyond their control. We have a Parliamentary Assessment Board. As an immediate measure, we must ensure that all of our candidates are properly screened so that their private religious views are exposed in that process. When those views are exposed, they should then demonstrate a willingness not to air any view which could be regarded as being homophobic and understand that it is a breach of the party code of conduct if they do that. I am not a party insider. Perhaps that code exists and Mr. Lardner is clearly in breach of it.
Meanwhile, we as a society need to acknowledge, much more than we do at present, that as far as the law is concerned, it is not simply there to protect gay rights and promote equality. It is much more than that. The critical mass of our society has now moved on to embrace a higher form of morality, which is based upon humanist tolerance and decency. To put it bluntly, as far as homosexuality is concerned, we are a post biblical society.
Filed under: Conservative Party, DUP, Iris Robinson, Peter Robinson | Tagged: Bigotry, Conservative Party, DUP, General Election, Homophobia, Homophobia, Homosexuality, Iris Robinson, Peter Robinson | 10 Comments »