Ban sought on promotion of marriage in school

UK Telegraph 31 May 2007
Schools should be banned from promoting traditional marriage in sex education lessons for fear of discriminating against gay and lesbian children, academics claim. The biggest lecturers’ union criticised teachers who champion heterosexual wedlock for instilling “negative images” of same-sex relationships. Existing government guidance says that teachers should emphasise the importance of marriage to promote a stable family life. But the University and College Union said schools should prohibit any lessons which “negatively characterise” the identity and lifestyle of homosexual or bisexual teenagers. They also criticised new equality laws – intended to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation – insisting that faith schools are still allowed to teach that homosexuality is a sin.Members of the 120,000-strong UCU passed a motion calling for a prohibition on teachers who negatively portray same-sex relationships, which they described as an “incitement to hatred”. “If attitudes are to change that will come about as a result of education,” said Mr Whitaker. “And that makes it vitally important that teachers do not instil negative images of same-sex relationships and transgender people in those that they teach.” The Government’s existing sex education guidance, published in 2000, highlights the “importance of marriage for family life”.

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