The sheer nastiness of the comments from the ‘pro’ side take some believing. As it happens, I probably do come under the heading of what they mean by ‘homophobe’; I find the spectacle of two men kissing and holding hands repugnant, and I can’t think about what they do sexually without wishing to be sick. Am I ashamed of this? No I am not. There is a reason our visceras react to some things with repugnance. If you are offended by this, well I am not in the slightest bit sorry, but there’s a reason my stomach turns at the smell of rotten meat or a mushroom which is really a toad stool – it is nature’s way of warning me that this thing is bad for me. So yes, part of my opposition to this bill is opposition to the practice of homosexuality.
In most societies we know of, people have reacted the same way to male homosexuality. If you are trendy then you can say that I should get over it; if you aren’t, you’ll understand the naturalness of the reaction. You can go against nature all you like of course; don’t expect anything good to come from it.
I taught in boys’ schools for 40 years, some of them boarding schools where we had our problems with what we used to call ‘the usual’. Young men are a lusty lot, and if you don’t civilise the little so and sos, and even if you do, their hormones will run riot, and if they don’t have a lass near by, they’ll find a substitute. There were those who counselled turning a Nelsonian eye; I dissented. Not only was it illegal (as it still is under 18), it ran the risk of letting them think that we approved of it.
Was some poor lad hard done by? No more than some lad at a mixed sex school was was told he couldn’t misbehave with the lasses. Whatever the nut-doctors say, children like simple rules; the more complex they are, the easier it is for them if you keep it simple.
Of course, in all adolescents, hormones run wild; if you don’t stop the little darlings, so will they. Make it clear that infractions of the rules will be punished, and most of them get the message. It makes it easier to deal with those who can’t or won’t, because most children will. The single worst thing which happened over my time in teaching was the decline in confidence amongst the adults. I’m a peaceable man, but would be prepared to take a gun to educationalists who tell us that the children need understanding. To the devil with that, they need boundaries, and they need to understand they are not the centre of the universe. Once that is established, you will get somewhere.
So, telling adolescents that it is fine to do what you like as long as you ‘love; someone, is precisely the wrong message. We used to hear a lot about repression. We could do with more repression and less license.