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Faith schools need anti-homophobia policies: UK party leader

The United Kingdom is gearing up for a general election in 2010, and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is courting the gay vote.

In an interview with UK mag Attitude, Clegg gave his position on a few gay issues:

  • require religious schools to implement anti-homophobia policies and teach that homosexuality is “normal and harmless”;
  • scrap the ban on gay blood donations;
  • grant asylum to refugees fleeing a country because of persecution over their sexuality;
  • review Uganda’s membership in the Commonwealth if they push ahead with the death penalty for gays.

Clegg slammed Conservative leader David Cameron as untrustworthy on gay issues. He pointed to the Tories’ poor track record, including voting
against harmonizing the age of consent for gay sex, and opposing the
repeal of Section 28, which banned the “promotion” of homosexuality in
local authorities and schools.

The Liberal Democrats are the third largest party in the UK Parliament, behind the Labour and Conservative parties.

Ontario released an equity strategy in April 2009 that aims to have all Ontario school boards “develop or revise policies on
equity and inclusive education for implementation by September 2010.” As of April 2009, only 43 out of 72 boards had such policies. The equity strategy has riled some religious groups who are concerned that Catholic schools won’t be able to teach homophobic beliefs.

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