Anti-Gay Doctor Named to U.K. Drug-Abuse Panel
The official organization that advises the British government on drug policy is facing a storm of criticism after its appointment of an evangelical Christian doctor who has called homosexuality a "destructive lifestyle." Among other claims, he has said gay men advocate for pedophilia.
The (U.K.) Guardian reports that Dr. Hans-Christian Raabe, a general practitioner from Manchester, had run for the European Parliament on a party known as the Christian Peoples Alliance and is active in a Christian health organization, where he advocates for marriage as a way to fight addiction and makes strong arguments against homosexuality.
"The media and the gay movement portray the homosexual lifestyle as happy, healthy and fulfilled," says the organization in a brief probably prepared by Raabe. "However, the homosexual lifestyle is associated with a large number of very serious physical and emotional health consequences."
It adds: "A high proportion of homosexual men engage in a destructive lifestyle, for example contracting HIV/Aids or other STIs, and develop addictions to drugs or alcohol. There is a higher burden of depression, [and] attempted or completed suicide among the 'gay population.'"
Raabe also authored a paper that implied that gay men were responsible for a large proportion of incidences of pedophilia and that the gay-rights movment works in tandem with pedophiles' goals.
Raabe told the paper his views on homosexuality were "irrelevant." But several observers weren't sure and expressed concern that his religious views obtrude on his medical ones.
Still, he has his defenders. In a highly controversial op-ed column, Melanie Phillips in the conservative national newspaper the Daily Mail compares gays to McCarthyites and that Christians are their victims.
She cites the recent court decision, reported here, in which a Christian couple had to pay a fine to a gay couple because the wouldn't allow the two men to share a bed in their English hotel.
But she saves most of her fire for opponents of Raabe, who range from the BBC's Home Editor, the Observer newspaper, and several drug-advocacy organizations.
"Dr Raabe has long maintained a close interest in drug policy, on which he has robustly [sic] traditional views," Phillips writes. "He has spoken out in favour of abstinence-based approaches and criticised the flawed logic behind the claim that it is the illegality of drugs such as cannabis that is the problem." (The group Raabe is joining is advocating for legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use.)