January 19, 2000
volume 11, no. 13
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    GLASGOW ( - Scotland's Cardinal Thomas Winning came under fire yesterday after he branded homosexuality a "perversion."

    Speaking in support of businessman Brian Souter who has offered millions of British pounds to help fight the repeal of Clause 28 -- the so-called anti-homosexual law -- the cardinal said: "I deplore homosexual acts."

    "I hesitate to use the word perversion but let's face up to the truth," he said. "What pains me is that the silent majority are so silent that the silence is deafening. I wish to God they would speak up. But when you do say something about it, you are accused of homophobia which is absolute rubbish."

    He added, "I have no objection to anybody. I'm supposed to love my neighbor and I try to do that as much as I can. But I will not stand for this kind of behavior which is now being regarded as wholesome and healthy."

    He continued: "Homosexuality is promoted every day. It's promoted by people who are on the streets, it's promoted by people who are attracted to others. We only need to look at some of the pamphlets available to see just exactly what is in place to put into schools. I am concerned that children might be converted by some of the literature. There's no doubt about it."

    Several British trade unions have advised members to boycott Stagecoach buses, the company owned by Souter and to avoid using Virgin trains and planes in which Souter is a major shareholder.

    But Cardinal Winning said such action was "unacceptable" and added: "I deplore the witch-hunt they have started against him."

    Peter Tatchell, leader of gay rights group OutRage!, accused Cardinal Winning of championing discrimination. "He is acting like the leaders of the Afrikaner Church in South Africa during the apartheid regime," he told today's Times newspaper. "They advocated discrimination against black people. He is supporting discrimination against gay and lesbian people. The cardinal is storing up prejudice and intolerance. His scaremongering is provoking false fears and worries."


January 19, 2000
volume 11, no. 13

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