Kids act out ‘Romeo and Julian’ in gay school play

Children as young as 14 have performed a gay version of Shakespeare’s famous love story, dubbed ‘Romeo and Julian’, at a school in London.

The play, which has been criticised in Parliament as mind blowing political correctness, also switched Romeo’s best friend Mercutio and his cousin Benvolio to female characters. It was performed last month by students aged 14 to 16 at Leytonstone School, a mixed comprehensive in East London, in front of the actor and gay campaigner, Sir Ian McKellen.

Sir Ian is a leading supporter of the homosexual lobby group Stonewall and has been helping them promote their agenda in schools. In December he attacked faith schools, saying they were giving children a “second class” education. During a visit to Welling school in Kent, he said: “It worries me that there is an increasing number of faith schools in this country where it might be thought appropriate for religious views to invade the classroom. “If that’s happening, those kids are getting a second-class education.”

The school performance of ‘Romeo and Julian’ was criticised by an MP in the House of Commons yesterday. Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley in Yorkshire, called for a Parliamentary debate on ‘political correctness’. He said: “This is mind-blowing. Anyone with an ounce of sense would want their children to be learning Romeo and Juliet rather than Romeo and Julian.”

But Commons leader Harriet Harman responded: “There is going to be a debate next Thursday about new equality legislation so we can ensure everybody in this country is treated with fairness, respect and not subject to prejudice and discrimination – and indeed cheap shots – from you.”

News of the ‘Romeo and Julian’ play comes as the controversial Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) History Month is being pushed throughout the nation. The campaign was at the centre of recent controversy after a rainbow gay campaign flag was hoisted outside Limehouse police station in East London, replacing the Union Flag. But Sir Paul Stephenson, the new Met Commissioner, ordered the flag to be taken down. Senior Met sources said the decision was taken because the police in London should not “stray into political territory.”

In 2007 six Christian girls tried to excuse themselves from a school event celebrating LGBT History Month, but teachers forced them to attend against their will.

In previous years the campaign tried to teach children that Florence Nightingale was a lesbian and that Isaac Newton was gay. The organisers of the month-long initiative have been invited to a party at 10 Downing Street next week.


Bibles put out of reach in Libraries

Government-backed guidance has told librarians to store Bibles and other religious texts on the top shelf in order to avoid offending Muslims.

The guidance suggests moving all religious texts to the top shelf because of the Muslim belief that the Koran should not be kept among ‘common things’.

But critics argue that Christians do not apply such beliefs to the Bible, which they say should be easily accessible for everyone.

The news emerged as Poet Laureate Andrew Motion said during an interview that children should be taught more about the Bible because it is an “essential piece of cultural luggage”.

Mr Motion, an atheist, said too many students now arrive at university to study English Literature with scant knowledge of its deeply biblical foundations.

Commenting on his experience of teaching students, he said: “When I ask them anything about the Bible, they frankly, by and large, don’t know. I don’t particularly blame them for it.

“But I do think there is a real problem with the education system that has allowed these great stories to disappear, to fade out of the diet everyone gets at school.”

The guidance for libraries was published by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, a quango answering to culture secretary Andy Burnham.

The guidance says Muslim groups advised that all religious texts should be kept on the top shelf, so that “no offence is caused, as the scriptures of all the major faiths are given respect in this way, but none is higher than any other”.

Robert Whelan of the Civitas think-tank said: “One of the central planks of the Protestant Reformation was that everybody should have access to the Bible.”

Earlier this month an education expert hit out at a new GCSE syllabus for Religious Studies, saying it focused on fashionable political ideas like the environment and binge drinking at the expense of religion.

Alan Smithers, Professor of Education at Buckingham University, said: “I think it comes from the desire of politicians to stamp their influence on everything. It looks as if they are turning RE in to a pat qualification for political correctness.

“How is it to benefit the students? It is not going to be a basis for the further study of RE or spirituality to a higher level.”

Last year Oxford University Press, the publisher of a children’s dictionary, was criticized over the decision to remove a number of words with Christian connotations like ‘sin’ and ‘vicar’ and replace them with terms like ‘biodegradable’ and ‘citizenship’.