The article, by Kate Loveys, stuck closely to a story by Jasper Copping that was posted on the Telegraph website the day before.
The Mail's version was a classic example of the truth being revealed slowly but surely. It starts:
Young children are to be taught about homosexuality in their maths, geography, science and English lessons, it has emerged.
'Are to be'. So that's clear then, right? Well, the next sentence suggests maybe not:
As part of a Government-backed drive to ‘celebrate the gay community’, maths problems could be introduced that involve gay characters.
Ah, now it's 'could be'. Next:
In geography classes, students will be asked why homosexuals move from the countryside to cities – and words such as ‘outing’ and ‘pride’, will be used in language classes.
Back to 'will be'. So it's definite then, for kids aged four, as the headline suggests?
The lesson plans are designed to raise awareness about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual issues and, in theory, could be used for children as young as four.
No. Only 'in theory'. It certainly seems unlikely children that young would be asked questions about the reasons people move to the city.
And then, three sentences later, the big revelation:
Although the lesson plans are not compulsory, they are backed by the Department for Education and will be available for schools to download from the Schools Out website.
And towards the end of the article:
A Department for Education spokesman added: ‘These are optional teaching materials.'
So from children 'will be taught' and 'are to be asked' to 'these are optional' and 'not compulsory'.
Today, in her Mail column, Melanie Phillips takes on the story but, unsurprisingly, those facts about 'not compulsory' and 'optional' have disappeared:
schoolchildren are to be bombarded with homosexual references in maths, geography and science lessons as part of a Government-backed drive to promote the gay agenda.
Phillips chooses not to mention that these lesson plans are optional at any point. It's just a bombardment that cannot be stopped. Why? Because:
Alas, this gay curriculum is no laughing matter. Absurd as it sounds, this is but the latest attempt to brainwash children with propaganda under the camouflage of education. It is an abuse of childhood.
And it’s all part of the ruthless campaign by the gay rights lobby to destroy the very concept of normal sexual behaviour.
It's hard to know where to start. Why is it Phillips, Littlejohn and their ilk believe educating children about LGBT issues - issues they may be trying to come to terms with personally - is 'brainwashing'? It is quite ludicrous, ill-informed rhetoric. And, as Jonathan at No Sleep Til Brooklands says:
How can you top the claim that mentioning gay people in passing in a textbook question equates to "an abuse of childhood"?
And then there's her view that homosexual sexual behaviour is not 'normal' about which little needs to be said.
She goes on:
As the old joke has it, what was once impermissible first becomes tolerated and then becomes mandatory.
So she not only redefines 'normal', 'bombarded' and 'abuse' but also 'joke'. But what is she on about? How does she think homosexuality is becoming 'mandatory'?
And then she laments the:
...values which were once the moral basis for British society are now deemed to be beyond the pale.
What was once an attempt to end unpleasant attitudes towards a small sexual minority has now become a kind of bigotry in reverse.
Expressing what used to be the moral norm of Western civilisation is now not just socially impermissible, but even turns upstanding people into lawbreakers.
Notice how she downplays homophobia. To her, homophobia isn't disgusting, or hatred or even bigotry. It's just 'unpleasant attitudes' held by 'upstanding people', although in her final sentence she finally admits gay people can be the 'victims of prejudice'.
She makes no mention of homophobic bullying, which may be tackled if children are educated about these issues. A 2007 Stonewall survey said:
Almost two thirds of homosexual pupils in Britain's schools have suffered homophobic bullying...Almost all of those had experienced verbal bullying but 41% had been physically attacked, while 17% said they had received death threats.
Does she not consider such bullying important?
She goes on to repeat yesterday's nonsensical Mail on Sunday splash which was deconstructed by Atomic Spin. And, of course, she refers to Peter and Hazelmary Bull - the B&B owners who were fined for denying a gay couple a double room. It's not that they had broken the law, Phillips says, but that they had:
fall[en] foul of the gay inquisition.
Moreover, she says:
It seems that just about everything in Britain is now run according to the gay agenda.
Has the 'gay agenda' (whatever that is) stopped her writing her column today? Or stopped it being printed in the daily newspaper with second-biggest circulation in Britain? No.
Seems that 'gay inquisition' isn't quite as powerful as she claims, let alone 'McCarthyite' as she so hyperbolically states. And yet:
the seemingly all-powerful gay rights lobby carries all before it.
Sigh. To quote David Schneider:
Melanie Phillips' latest article. Blimey. Can we build a paywall round the Daily Mail website to keep the articles in?
(For more, try the Melanie Phillips' Quiz of the Day from The Media Blog, and see posts from Press Not Sorry and Forty Shades of Grey)