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TUC LGBT conference condemns Accelerated Christian Education

The TUC (Trades Union Congress) LGBT 2014 conference is currently underway, and yesterday the delegates unanimously passed an emergency resolution condemning Accelerated Christian Education’s teaching on homosexuality.

The LGBT conference represent the LGBT sections of all the unions in the TUC. Twenty-nine unions were represented in the voting, with six trades and regional councils observing. The anti-ACE motion was passed unanimously, with no abstentions or objections. The Prospect union tabled the motion, seconded by the University and College Union, which referred to ACE as “faith fascism”. The National Union of Teachers also spoke in favour of the motion, along with ATL, CWU, Unite, and CSP.

This means that the resolution is now adopted as policy for the TUC National LGBT committee.

David Waldock presents at the TUC LGBT Conference 2014 (Photo: Gillian Donaldson-Selby)

David Waldock presents at the TUC LGBT Conference 2014 (Photo: Gillian Donaldson-Selby)

The real hero of the day is ACE survivor David Waldock, who has previously written movingly of his experiences as a gay teenager in an ACE school. He tabled the emergency motion, and he spoke in favour of it. The text of the motion and his speech script (which may differ from what he actually said in the heat of the moment) are below.

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Being made to feel like you don’t exist

You may remember David Waldock’s excellent guest post, Jobs a Creationist Can Do. I mentioned that David was an ACE survivor, but for personal reasons preferred not to write about his own experience. Today he left a comment in which he described how attending an ACE school and fundamentalist church felt when he was a gay teenager. I defy you not to be moved. With permission, I’m reposting it here because I want everyone to see it. This comment was left in reply to today’s earlier post, in which Caroline, an ACE student, defended Accelerated Christian Education and the view that homosexuality is a perversion.

Caroline, let me tell you what I hear you saying:

“YOU DON’T EXIST. YOU DON’T EXIST. YOU DON’T EXIST. YOU DON’T EXIST. If I acknowledge you exist, it will fundamentally challenge my identity. THEREFORE YOU DON’T EXIST.”

Let me tell you about myself.

I was raised as an evangelical, fundamentalist, literal word of god believing good Christian, in an ACE school. I believed that I believed all the right things. Young earth creationism? Check! Infallibility of Biblical wisdom? Check! Christ born of a virgin? Check! Fundamental sinfulness of man? Check! Man led astray by woman? Check! Women inferior to man in every way? Check! Death and resurrection of my saviour? Check! Personal relationship with god? Check! Importance of strict discipline for children? Check! Satan hiding behind every street corner waiting to tempt me into sin? Check! Importance of being pious and judging the sinners (especially those believers who believe the wrong thing!) so they know they need to receive Jesus into their hearts? Check!

I had it all. And yet, I was never able to achieve the behavioural standards demanded of me. I got caned five times one week for leaving my flag up. I got demerits and detentions for looking insolent. I got told off publicly for arguing with monitors and supervisors. I was bullied by fellow students then punished for responding to it. We had staff who were bitter, twisted, abusive and poorly trained who took it out on me and other students. Then, when I got home, I would be criticised again, hit with a tennis shoe for showing my parents up. But at least nobody spoiled me by sparing the rod, eh! I left that school with three GCSEs. Read the rest of this entry