Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday, 9 November 2003

Bishop of Chester to be 'spoken to by Police' over comments about homosexuals

The Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster, the very 'traditional' Bishop of Chester, is to be spoken to by Police in the course of an inquiry into a complaint made about remarks he made in a newspaper article published on Friday in the Chester Chronicle, according to a report on Ananova.

Cheshire Constabulary confirmed it had received a complaint about the article and was planning to speak to the Bishop. The Police statement, made on behalf of the force by Assistant Chief Constable Graeme Gerrard, said:


Crown Prosecution Service may be asked if any offence committed

"We are aware of the article put in the Chester Chronicle and have received a complaint. We will examine the issues raised in the complaint and will speak to the reporter and the Bishop of Chester before considering any further action."

Bishop Forster included in his article the following:


Views about homosexuality and what constitutes a 'family unit'

"Some people who are primarily homosexual can reorientate themselves. I would encourage them to consider that as an option, but I would not set myself up as a medical specialist on the subject - that's in the area of psychiatric health."
and
"All the sociological evidence is that children fare better when raised in a traditional home by a man and a woman who have committed themselves to life-long marriage."

Bishop Forster was one of nine bishops who, earlier this year, signed a letter opposing the consecration of Dr Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading. Quite apart from its 'anti-gay' aspects, these views are abhorrent to me because they may tend to stigmatise children being brought up, for example, in single parent households or whose parents are not married. Whatever one may think of such arrangements, the children at least are completely innocent.

There is no law in place forbidding negative comment about homosexuals, as there is in the case of matters affecting race or gender. It will be interesting to learn, in due course, what is the outcome of this incident. I hope, at least, that it will lead to a greater awareness of the need to enact legislation to protect homosexuals against this kind of bigotry.

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