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Debate on sexual health ‘closed down by Catholic Church’

The expert who led Scotland’s drive to improve sexual health said yesterday the Scottish Government had deliberately “closed down” debate because of heat from the Catholic Church.

Professor Phil Hanlon said that, rather than embrace the need to change attitudes to sex and sexuality, the country’s culture had deteriorated since his strategy was published four years ago.

A professor of public health policy at Glasgow University, Mr Hanlon suggested the Catholic Church had blocked debate by scaremongering. During the strategy talks, he said, there were allegations his group wanted to put sexually explicit material in front of three-year-olds. “If they’re using that kind of language to inhibit debate that seems to be irresponsible,” he added.

Peter Kearney, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, said there was a nursery that had used such materials and blamed the spread of “value-free sexual health services” for promiscuous behaviour.

He also questioned the claim the Catholic Church had caused government inaction, listing legal changes the Church had opposed which had still been passed, including the repeal of section 28 banning the promotion of homosexuality in schools and the adoption bill that allowed same-sex couples to adopt.

Full story at The Herald.

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