Metro Weekly

Catholic school issues book to gay teens telling them to ‘discover richness of the opposite sex’

French high school apologized for the book, which says gay people aren't "happy"

france, high school, anti-gay, homophobe, casterman
Photo: Twitter

A Catholic high school in France issued a book to students telling gay teens they can “overcome” their sexuality if they “discover the richness of the opposite sex.”

Notre-Dame de Kerbertrand High School in Quimperlé apologized for the controversy caused after it provided How to Be Successful in your Love and Sexual Life by conservative priest Jean-Benoît Casterman to students.

Casterman’s book claims that “excessive influence” from mothers can cause children to be gay and and says “homosexual tendencies” are “not wanted” and that gay people won’t be “happy,” LGBTQ Nation reports.

“Today, some people act like homosexuality is normal,” Casterman wrote. “However, sexual fulfillment is only possible with the otherness of a man/woman, and it’s both mental and physical.”

He blamed homosexuality on “the result of emotional development marked by an excessive influence of the mother during childhood or as a result of sexual child abuse by adults that induced an attraction to the same sex or a fear of the opposite sex.”

“Homosexual tendencies are therefore not wanted and do not make a person happy,” he continued. “That’s why homosexual people deserve our sympathy.”

Komitid, an LGBTQ French website, reports that the book was first published in 2006 and that Casterman received assistance from the World Bank “as part of the fight against AIDS in West Africa.”

Casterman advises gay teenagers that they aren’t “defined” by their “homosexual tendencies,” that they shouldn’t “act on these feelings,” and that they are “not irredeemable and can be overcome.”

Instead of acting on their sexuality, he instructs gay and bisexual youth to “open yourself up to others,” arguing that LGB people have a “a great emotional or artistic sensitivity.”

The solution? “Discover the richness of the opposite sex and its beauty. You surely have many qualities to share or discover,” Casterman wrote.

In addition to homophobia, Casterman’s book also advises girls that their clothes are to blame for sexual harassment, telling them that trying to look “hot” can “invite sexual advances.”

“You’ll look like a frivolous and available girl,” he wrote. “If someone tries to pick you up, it’s your problem.”

Casterman has previously written for a far-right website where he linked “gender theory” and “Islamization,” and argued that those who want to “format our children with LGBT indoctrination” are trying to “‘snatch’ them from their family values.”

Another French high school was forced to apologize in 2017 for providing Casterman’s book to students after parents and teachers protested its content.

The principal of a private school in Neuilly-sur-Seine expressed his “deepest regrets” for issuing Casterman’s book, saying administrators hadn’t “taken the time to carefully examine this document, the contents of which do not reflect the reflection we want to conduct with our students.”

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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