Stephen Hicks (2003) 'The Christian Right and Homophobic Discourse: a Response to 'Evidence' that Lesbian and Gay Parenting Damages Children.'
Sociological Research Online, vol. 8, no. 4, <http://www.socresonline.org.uk/8/4/hicks.html>
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Received: 1/10/2003 Accepted: 4/11/2003 Published: 28/11/2003
There is fear for professional and academic reputations, where the promotion, tenures and research funds of those who speak out are at risk. Academics and researchers tend to cowardice anyway, something reinforced by an ivory tower snobbery against involvement in 'vulgar' public debate (Morgan 2002:34).
2 It should be noted that the survey was carried out in the Prime Minister, Tony Blair's constituency of Sedgefield by ICM, but no sample total is given. The survey asked respondents, in the event of their unexpected death and where they had no relative or nominated guardian to look after their children, whether they would be happy for their children to be looked after or adopted by two homosexual men. 86% of fathers were unhappy about this and 71% of all respondents were against adoption rights for gay men (Christian Institute 2002b).
3 Section 28 prohibited the 'promotion of homosexuality' by any local authority and outlawed the "teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship" (Smith 1994:183).
4 Panels decide whether to approve foster care or adoption applicants and they are supported by medical advisers amongst other members.
5 At the time that it was featured, the 'Richard & Judy' programme went out on Channel 4 every weekday at 5.00p.m.
6 See, for example, Lord Bishop of Chelmsford's comments in Hansard, debates for 16th October 2002, Houses of Lords, Adoption & Children Bill, column 888:
"The Judaeo-Christian ethic clearly emphasises that it is within the context of the committed heterosexual relationship of marriage that the paramount interests of the child are best served. All of us emphasise that it is the children who must be our paramount concern and that has emerged repeatedly throughout the debate. Children are not pawns or trophies. They need and deserve to be cared for and nurtured ideally within a home environment in which the complementarity of the sexes is expressed by a male and female parent."
7 Academic tenure was abolished in the UK by the 1988 Education Reform Act.
8 A criticism that I would also level at Hoeffer (1981).
9 Morgan is opposed to feminism itself (see Morgan 1994).
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