Monday, 7 February 2011

Government drugs advisor loses job over views on homosexuality

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Dr Hans-Christian Raabe, who was appointed as the GP member of the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs last month, has been removed from the role after failing to disclose that he was the co-author of a 2005 paper that linked homosexuality and paedophilia. Commentators, including the former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris, had drawn attention to the views of Raabe, who is a leading member of the Manchester-based evangelical Christian Maranatha Community, at the time of his appointment, with Harris quoting from the controversial paper, titled "Gay Marriage and Homosexuality: Some Medical Comments", in a post on his Guardian blog:
"While the majority of homosexuals are not involved in paedophilia, it is of grave concern that there is a disproportionately greater number of homosexuals among paedophiles and an overlap between the gay movement and the movement to make paedophilia acceptable."
According to the Daily Telegraph, Raabe had been asked during interviews for the ACMD role "if he had anything about his professional or personal history that might cause embarrassment to the government or the advisory panel". Having failed to mention the paper, which has received much negative attention since news of his appointment broke, Raabe has been removed from the committee less than a month after taking the role. Speaking to the Daily Mail, which provides a sympathetic report of his sacking, Raabe claims he has been "sacrificed on the altar of political correctness":
"I have been discriminated against because of my opinions and beliefs which are in keeping with the teaching of the major Churches. This sets a dangerous precedent: Are we saying that being a Christian is now a bar to public office? My appointment has been revoked based on the wrong perception that I could potentially discriminate against gay people – something I have never done; neither in my private nor professional life. Even the Home Office has not questioned my knowledge and expertise in matters relating to substance misuse and drug policy. My appointment has merely been revoked as a result of my views on matters completely unrelated to drug policy."
For some detailed background, I recommend reading Evan Harris's Guardian post in full – the issue for Harris, as he made clear at the time, was not Raabe's views on homosexuality, but his apparent lack of expertise in relation to drugs policy.

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