In an editorial yesterday where PinkNews.co.uk called on the the Education Secretary Michael Gove to launch an investigation into the Catholic Education Service’s promotion of an anti-gay marriage petition within schools, we considered an alternative history. We feel it stands alone as something to discuss and consider. So here is the extended version.
A group of LGBT parents and their allies start their own free school movement, wishing to create an enviorment where their children will be respected regardless of their family background, sexuality or gender identity. But during the process, a number of the parents experience what they claim to be a divine revelation.
God talks to them directly. And God tells them that, among others faiths, the way the Catholic Church is approaching issues of sexuality and gender identity offends her presence.
God commands these parents to teach the children who attend their schools that because of the ‘wickedness’ of the Catholic Church’s actions, its members must no longer be allowed to marry.
The parents interpret this as meaning that Catholic couples must instead have a separate form of union, albeit with almost all of the same legal protections and benefits as marriage.
Consensus subsequently settles on a system of Papal Partnerships.
And so the teachers at a network of schools around the country encourage pupils to petition the Prime Minister David Cameron and in the process ask him to repeal the Catholic Relief Act of 1829 to return Catholics to the status of second class citizens in the United Kingdom.
They form a coalition to protect what they consider to be true marriage and they baulk at the opposition by Catholics, who, they are at pains to point out, would still enjoy almost all of the same legal protections and benefits as marriage.
A Catholic newspaper exposes the teachings of these LGBT faith schools, outraged that the schools are teaching such principles to children on the basis of an interpretation of a claimed and unproven divine encounter.
*Teaching this to children would be abhorrent, but one could argue that it is in some ways more logical than the lesson given to children today at some religious schools. Nobody chooses to be LGBT, just like nobody chooses to be born into a Catholic family. But unlike changing sexuality or trans status, people can and do change their religion.