Various Items 

Critics of gay adoption branded as retarded homophobes

In a new publication giving information on gay adoption the state-funded British Association for Adoption and Fostering has branded critics of gay adoption as 'retarded homophobes'

FamilyThose who are unsupportive of children being adopted or fostered by gay couples were branded as ‘retarded homophobes’ by the state-funded British Association for Adoption and Fostering. Unfortunately for the organisation the use of the word ‘retarded’ could also have offended people with learning disabilities.

The row follows the launch of a book - 'the Pink Guide to Adoption for Lesbians and Gay men'.

Speaking to Christians Together a BAAF representative stated that the agency MENCAP – the leading UK charity for people learning disabilities – very quickly complained about the use of the word ‘retarded’.

The reference was dubbed "a disgrace" by Mencap, particularly given the fact that BAAF receives state funding from its local authority members. Ismail Kaji, a Mencap spokesperson said:

“As someone with a learning disability I find the word retard highly offensive. It is unacceptable and a disgrace that a 'state-funded' agency is using such out-dated discriminatory language."
In response the BAAF has issued the following press statement whereby the agencies chief executive David Holmes now states:

“The quote attributed to the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) in today’s Daily Mail was in fact the words of one gay adopter, out of many who featured in our new Pink Guide to Adoption. These words are not the views or policy of BAAF.
We deeply regret the use of the word “retarded” and apologise for any offence that it has caused. The use of this word is unacceptable in any circumstances. The fact that this was part of the quote that went to print [in a new BAAF guide to gay adoption] was down to a human error for which we apologise. We are correcting the error.

Yesterday a BAAF spokesperson said:

“The use of the word ‘retarded’ is not appropriate and it is regrettable that we put that up there.
“It has now been removed from our website, but we do still stand by the sentiments behind it. [emphasis added]
“It is strong language but they are not our words, they are the words of the carer. It just reflects the strength of their feeling against the homophobia in society. This is how same-sex couples feel.”

It is worth noting that the apology related to the use of the word ‘retarded’ makes no mention of the offence of labelling opponents of gay adoption as ‘homophobes’. See Christian Institute's article on 'half apology'.

Christians Together, 15/05/2009

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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Various Items > Gay adoption critics branded as homophobes