By Dulcie Lee and Luke Terheyden-Keighley
CONTROVERSIAL alumnus Lord Carey looks set to be removed from Strand’s windows – two years after he was branded “homophobic” for his diatribe on gay marriage.
The move marks a landmark victory for LGBT Liberation groups who fought tirelessly since the alum told a Tory Party fringe audience that gay relationships “should not be put on the same level” as straight ones.
The Principal Ed ‘Babe’ Byrne met with tenacious leader of the KCL LGBT Liberation Association Ben Hunt on Tuesday morning and agreed there was a need to refresh the windows.
Ben said the changing the windows “will also mean the removal of Lord Carey and the inclusion of minorities in the discussions for new alumni.”
“The Principal has asked me to compile a list of new alumni for the window in suggestions,” he added, saying a committee will be formed to decide on the new alums.
‘Cultural identity being plundered?’
Lord Carey was condemned by LGBT groups after he told a Tory party fringe audience in 2010: “Same sex relationships are not the same as heterosexual relationships and should not be put on the same level.”
Speaking about the introduction of the gay marriage, he added: “Why does it feel to us that our cultural homeland and identity is being plundered?”
The transcript on Lord Carey’s website of the speech removes the phrase “and should not be put on the same level”, despite Lord Carey’s website claiming the text is “unedited”.
Speaking to Roar earlier this week, a College spokesperson said: “It is likely, subject to planning approval, that the proposed redevelopment of the Strand campus will require a review of the Strand windows and we will consider the diverse views of our students, staff and alumni at the appropriate time.”
‘Censorship of ideas’
However, it’s unclear from the proposals whether the Strand windows will stay at all.
The College are reportedly keen on choosing better LGBT and BME (black and minority ethnic) representation on the refreshed windows as well as younger figures.
But a spokesperson rejected the campaign in 2010 saying that the College was a “diverse and inclusive community” and hence Lord Carey should remain on the Strand front.
“[King’s] reject the notion of any censorship of ideas Lord Carey’s views are his own and were offered as part of an open debate,” they said.
Ben wrote to Ed last December to say he was open to debate, but against giving Carey a platform to air his controversial remarks.
The pair met in January, where Ed apparently hinted Lord Carey could be replaced by another alumnus. After hearing nothing, Hunt threatened direct action, which led to the offer of Tuesday’s meeting.
Roar sparked a petition to remove Lord Carey from the Strand windows back in late 2012, racking up 680 comments, and has supported his removal ever since.
A 2013 motion passed at Student Council read: “Not only are the statements made by Lord Carey unacceptable, they are deeply offensive.”
Lord Carey graduated from King’s back in 1962 with a 2:1 in Divinity before he ascended through the Church of England’s ranks to become the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury.