Cruel Lords Have Failed Young Gays; Dr Miriam Stoppard on a Saddening Act of Discrimination

By Stoppard, Miriam | The Mirror (London, England), July 24, 1998 | Go to article overview

Cruel Lords Have Failed Young Gays; Dr Miriam Stoppard on a Saddening Act of Discrimination


Stoppard, Miriam, The Mirror (London, England)


I WATCHED with deepening horror as the debate in the House of Lords on lowering the age of consent for homosexuals unfolded on television.

It has to be remembered that the Lords were deciding whether to equalise the age of consent for homosexuals with that already enjoyed by heterosexuals.

In the event they chose to discriminate against those people whose sexual preference is for people of the same gender and to espouse a double-standard ... what's good for heterosexual people isn't good for gay people.

I have to admit the low point for me was when the Chief Rabbi Lord Jakobovits weighed in to oppose the Commons' amendment.

It greatly saddened me to see the primate of the Jewish church, a church which has been discriminated against for millennia on the grounds of race, advocating discrimination against others on the grounds of sexual preference.

So much of the thinking is wrong-headed.

There isn't a shred of evidence that homosexual contact under the age of 16 can turn a young person towards a gay or lesbian lifestyle.

In fact, it is the opposite.

A few years ago, when this matter was last debated, I joined a scientific panel at the House of Commons to talk to members who were interested in discussing the issue rationally, rather than emotionally, before voting.

MANY arrived with preconceptions of youngsters being "corrupted" by gays who "prey" on susceptible children.

Those preconceptions are misconceptions. They aren't "in danger" as the scaremongers would have it. Research shows that it's impossible to force homosexuality on to a heterosexual adolescent.

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