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Stephen Williams addresses EuroPride rally

July 3, 2006 12:46 PM

Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson, Stephen Williams MP spoke at the EuroPride rally on the subject of homophobic bullying in our schools. He criticised the BBC Governors' decision that deemed the use of the word 'gay' by Chris Moyles to mean 'lame' or 'rubbish' was perfectly acceptable.

He said: "I find the assertion astounding that the BBC Governors stated that Mr Moyles '…was not being homophobic in his use of the word.'

"Perhaps the worst aspect of the Governors' decision was the justification that Chris Moyles was merely using expressions and words which the listeners used themselves."

Mr Williams also criticised Ruth Kelly for refusing to attend the event. He said: "Ruth Kelly can't go on much longer avoiding making a public statement on her true views on homosexuality. She has a ministerial responsibility to promote equality for everyone."

Speaking about the Liberal Democrat campaign against homophobic bullying in schools Mr Williams said: "Homophobic Bullying is a subject that has been ignored for too long, even in other debates on bullying. Thousands of pupils are suffering unnecessarily because of the ignorance or indifference of school leaders.

"Probably the most distressing part of homophobic bullying is the victim's feeling of isolation. It is frightening and traumatic and it is inevitably difficult for pupils to know which classmates or teachers they are able confide in.

"Our petition and new website is calling for all schools to develop measures to tackle homophobic bullying. Taunts and name-calling should be challenged immediately so that it's clear such behaviour won't be tolerated."