A GP with strong Christian beliefs has been sacked as a government drug adviser just weeks into the job, after it emerged that he had written a study linking homosexuality to paedophilia.
Hans-Christian Raabe, who backs total abstinence from drugs, said his dismissal came as a result of views “completely unrelated to drug policy”.
The family doctor had been appointed to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) less than a month ago and said he had yet to attend a meeting.
Given that he had publicly espoused contentious views on drugs, his appointment was greeted with a chorus of criticism. Much of it focused on comments he had made about homosexuality, including an assertion that “the homosexual lifestyle is associated with a large number of very serious physical and emotional health consequences”. Yet his departure was said to have been because he had not been open enough about his views. Home Office officials said he had not disclosed his role as co-author of a controversial study suggesting a link between homosexuality and paedophilia, which would have “caused embarrassment to the department”.
The dismissal comes after other members of the ACMD, which advises the government on its drugs policy, had threatened to resign over Raabe’s appointment.
In 2009 the family doctor stood as MEP candidate in the North West region for the Christian party/Christian People’s Alliance party, and is a leading light in the Manchester-based Maranatha community, which is dedicated to “re-establishing Christian values in society”. The community is known for its very strong anti-gay views and has briefed MPs against measures for homosexual rights.
Professor David Nutt, who resigned from the ACMD over the government’s decision to reclassify cannabis from a class C to a class B drug in 2009, openly criticised Raabe’s appointment last month, saying it was “deeply worrying” that he could support total abstinence from drugs when there was “a vast body of evidence in favour of harm reduction”.
Raabe’s views on drugs run against much of what the ACMD had previously promoted. He had co-authored a pamphlet, entitled A Warning Cry to the People of Great Britain, which warned that drug problems were part of a “morally self-destructive society”.
He wrote that health officials should consider drug-prevention schemes that involve spirituality: “From a Christian standpoint, we are concerned that the issue of drug misuse is frequently focused only on the physical and perhaps also the emotional aspects of drug misuse, ignoring the spiritual dimension.”
It was his views on sexuality, however, that proved his undoing. Raabe was one of seven authors of a report called Gay Marriage and Homosexuality, which warned: “Any attempts to legalise gay marriage should be aware of the link between homosexuality and paedophilia.
“While the majority of homosexuals are not involved in paedophilia, it is of grave concern that there is a disproportionately greater number of homosexuals among paedophiles and an overlap between the gay movement and the movement to make paedophilia acceptable.”
Bridget Phillipson, a Labour member of the Commons home affairs select committee, said it was an “absolute outrage” that the government had appointed “someone with such horrific opinions to this senior role”.
Raabe claimed to have fallen foul of “political correctness”. He told the Daily Mail today: “I have been discriminated against because of my opinions and beliefs, which are in keeping with the teaching of the major churches.
“My appointment has been revoked based on the wrong perception that I could potentially discriminate against gay people – something I have never done, neither in my private nor professional life.” A Home Office spokesperson said: “Dr Raabe’s appointment to the ACMD has been revoked and we will be starting a recruitment campaign for a replacement GP shortly. The ACMD’s work will continue.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010