KCL students tell Lord Carey: apologise or have your window removed

“Same-sex relationships are not the same as heterosexual relationships and should not be put on the same level.”


Those are the words of Lord Carey, who appears in one of the windows on the Strand which display famous King’s College London alumni. This is fact, and video recordings of the speech make this clear. 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”.

Lord Carey made the above statement over a year ago and the decision makers at King’s College London have taken no action concerning his prestigious position.

As a student of King’s College London, I regularly use the College’s Strand campus; here, Lord Carey’s image sits next to Desmond Tutu’s. The images of esteemed alumni which sit in windows overlooking students, staff and visitors alike, informally represent all those affiliated with the College.

What Lord Carey stated was of particular concern to students at King’s.  This is because “not only are the statements made by Lord Carey unacceptable, they are deeply offensive.” This can be stated with authority because the Student Council (or legislature) of the King’s College London Student Union passed a motion stating those exact words on November 12, 2013. This is the second motion passed on the issue.

Lord Carey’s words caused offence because once it is accepted that one form of relationship is inferior to another, the door is opened to further discrimination.

I do not want to leave King’s College London –an establishment I was once so proud to attend – knowing I am linked to an institution that takes a neutral stance when individuals encourage discrimination.

At the same time as promoting King’s College alumnus Desmond Tutu, the man who once wrote “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”, King’s College London continues to display the image of Lord Carey, a man who promotes injustice.

Peter Tatchell stated in the Evening Standard that “The stance of the King’s College administration looks hypocritical. They seem to have double standards on racism and homophobia.” It is up to the decision makers at the College to prove Peter Tatchell wrong, and also to prove that they themselves do not share Carey’s views.

The only way this can be done is by removing Lord Carey from his privileged position at the front of the Strand campus. If Lord Carey wants to keep his image in the Strand window, he should retract his statement and apologise for the offence caused.