James Slack, Ian Drury – Daily Mail February 7, 2011
A Christian GP claimed last night that he had been ‘sacrificed on the altar of political correctness’ after being sacked as a government drugs adviser.
Dr Hans-Christian Raabe, a respected family doctor, was dismissed for holding ‘embarrassing’ views about homosexuality.
He was appointed to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs less than a month ago and had not even had the chance to attend a meeting.
Home Office officials said he had failed to disclose being co-author of a study suggesting a link between homosexuality and paedophilia.
Anti-drugs campaigners described his sacking as an outrage. Many had welcomed him as a breath of fresh air on the ACMD, which has repeatedly called for softer attitudes to drugs, such as cannabis and ecstasy. By contrast Dr Raabe believes that children should be told to ‘say No’, rather than being told the safest way to consume a banned substance.
Dr Raabe told the Daily Mail: ‘I have been discriminated against because of my opinions and beliefs which are in keeping with the teaching of the major Churches. This sets a dangerous precedent: Are we saying that being a Christian is now a bar to public office?’
He added: ‘My appointment has been revoked based on the wrong perception that I could potentially discriminate against gay people – something I have never done; neither in my private nor professional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. Even the Home Office has not questioned my knowledge and expertise in matters relating to substance misuse and drug policy.
‘My appointment has merely been revoked as a result of my views on matters completely unrelated to drug policy.’
Dr Raabe was appointed to the ACMD by drugs minister James Brokenshire on January 10.
But he immediately came under attack from unnamed drugs experts in Left-wing newspapers, a BBC internet blog and former members of the ACMD.
Following the criticism, Dr Raabe received a letter from the Home Office saying it was ‘minded to reconsider’ the appointment.
Today it will confirm he has been sacked from the unpaid, three-year post. The department said he has been dismissed for failure to disclose a report which ‘raises concerns over his credibility to provide balanced advice on drug misuse issues’.
The comments on homosexuality and paedophilia attributed to Dr Raabe were taken from a scientific paper he co-wrote with six other medical practitioners six years ago.
The paper, ‘Gay Marriage’ and Homosexuality: Some Medical Comments, drew conclusions from research and studies by other academics.
Using this data Dr Raabe and his colleagues concluded that there is a ‘disproportionately greater number of homosexuals among paedophiles’ and warn this is of ‘grave concern’.
Officials say that, as part of the interview process, Dr Raabe was specifically asked to disclose anything about his professional or personal history that might cause embarrassment to the Home Office or ACMD. The Home Office said it had made it clear his dismissal has been made irrespective of his religious beliefs or declared political activity.
But Dr Raabe said: ‘In my case – holding on to traditional Christian views – I am being discriminated against by a Home Office Minister and am being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.
David Raynes, of the National Drug Prevention Alliance, said there had been a ‘witch-hunt’ against Dr Raabe.
Mary Brett, trustee of drugs prevention charity Cannabis Skunk Sense, said: ‘This is absolutely outrageous. It is a bad, bad decision.’
Last night, a Home Office spokesman said: ‘Dr Raabe’s appointment to the ACMD has been revoked and we will be starting a recruitment campaign for a replacement GP shortly.’