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Saturday, 26 January 2013

Same-sex marriage: impact on education


The Coalition for Marriage have produced a booklet which indicates that if the “Equal Marriage Bill” is passed schools would have a legal requirement to teach about “same-sex marriage”.
Section 403(1A)(a) of the Education Act 1996 imposes a duty on the Secretary of State to “issue guidance” to ensure that pupils “learn the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and the bringing up of children” as part of sex education.

If the legal definition of marriage changes, the law will require that children learn about gay marriage as part of sex education...
This is obviously far more serious than the right of teachers to object on an individual basis. This would affect all the nation’s children. The C4M booklet gives a number of sample pages from books such as "Daddy's Roommate", "Hello Sailor", "Josh and Jaz have Three Mums" etc. They are aimed at young children. Here is a link to download a copy of the booklet.

With materials that might be put before secondary school pupils, we are in a bind because some of it is too disgusting to detail. It is more important than ever that parents insist on seeing exactly what materials are shown to their children, whether in school - or outside school by agencies that have gained trust (and contact details of young people) by being invited into the school. From a link in Laurence England's excellent post Schools and Same-Sex Marriage, I have just read a booklet from the Terence Higgins Trust which I wish I had never seen. "Called The Bottom Line. All you'll ever need to know about your arse and his." it gives detailed instructions on various forms of anal sex along with the diseases and injuries that commonly result from it - as though these are just hazards we have to accept in life.

The THT has a page asking "Why should Terrence Higgins Trust come to my school?" If you are a teacher opposed to same-sex marriage or a parent who wants their child protected from such instructional material, you may soon be unable to ask that question without legal consequences.
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