School apologises for worksheet labelling gays ‘homosexual perverts’

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

A school in Belfast has apologised after complaints were made that it handed out a worksheet which branded gay people “homosexual perverts”.

The worksheet was handed out in a in a Religious Studies class at Hunterhouse College in Belfast, but has now been withdrawn.

It asked questions in relation to 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and was sent home with pupils, at least one parent of which complained.

According to the school, the worksheet was part of a wider discussion, and that it purposely included extreme opinions, and those on both sides of the debate.

The questions read:

What do these verses tell us about homosexuals?
Who else is included with homosexuals?
What hope is there for all these people?

One father told the BBC to say he had complained that the questions did not “allow room for discussion and almost branded all homosexuals as perverts.”

1 Corinthians 6: 9-11, which was included as part of the worksheet, read:

Surely you know that the wicked will not possess God’s Kingdom.

Do not fool yourselves; people who are immoral or who worship idols or are adulterers or homosexual perverts or who steal or are greedy or are drunkards or who slander others or are thieves – none of these will possess God’s Kingdom.

Some of you were like that. But you have been purified from sin; you have been dedicated to God; you have been put right with God by the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Hunterhouse headmaster Andrew Gibson told the BBC: “This is in the introduction to Christian ethics centred around personal and family issues. As part of this, pupils are encouraged to consider a variety of attitudes to homosexuality,

“The questions were set in house but they were in the context of the CCEA specifications. We have a very strong pastoral care system at the school and deal with issues around sexuality with great sensitivity.”

He went on to admit the school “got it wrong” by allowing the worksheet to be sent home, saying it was taken out of the context of the class.

Hunterhouse College has withdrawn the worksheet, and claims to have an ethos of inclusivity. The Rainbow Project, Northern Ireland was consulted for advice on how the school can be more inclusive going forward.