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Fury as leaflet opposing gay marriage found in library of Catholic grammar school in Northern Ireland

By Claire Williamson

Pupils and parents at a top Catholic girls' school in Northern Ireland have voiced their anger after an "anti-gay marriage" leaflet was found in the library.

The leaflet entitled "10 reasons why homosexual 'marriage' is harmful and must be opposed" was discovered by students in Dominican College in north Belfast.

The reasons given in the leaflet included, 'it is not marriage', 'it violates natural law', 'it always denies a child either a father or a mother' and 'it offends God'.

It is understood the leaflet was thrown out by pupils after it was discovered.

In a statement the school told the Belfast Telegraph they did not sanction the leaflet to be in the library and are investigating how it came to be there.

It is understood the leaflet was amid a pile of around 20 other leaflets that are regularly left in the library.

The leaflet is made by TFP Student Action which calls itself a "nationwide network of young Americans dedicated to defending and promoting moral values on college campuses and beyond".

It was first spotted on Monday morning and pupils voiced their outrage to staff. Several took to social media to vent their opposition.

A pupil from the school, who is in a same-sex relationship, branded it "propaganda".

They said: "The leaflet is nothing short of a cheap propaganda leaflet that has been distributed to intimidate and/or to cause offence to pupils who engage in same-sex relationships. I personally am a pupil of the school, I am in a same-sex relationship and at no point has this been an issue with other pupils, however I fear that leaflets like this may entice homophobic behaviour that may lead to me being bullied or others in the future being bullied."

Another pupil said it was the "wording of the leaflet" that offended them most. "Using the terms "must be opposed", the leaflet makes out that it is a person's choice to choose whether they fall in love with a member of the same sex.

"People can't help the way they feel," the pupil said.

One parent posted online: "I have seen first hand the damage materials like these can do and it's unacceptable for any school to have them on display like this. This sort of leaflet only leads to segregation and bullying."

A statement from the school said: "We became aware at 11am on February 21 that an unauthorised leaflet had been placed in the senior library of the college.

"The school immediately investigated the matter and while we are aware of some of the content of the document, we have been unable to find the original copy.

"The principal and board of governors did not sanction the placing of this leaflet in the school library."

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