Theresa May defends LGBT education for primary children despite parent protests

Posted On: 
2nd July 2019

Theresa May has defended compulsory LGBT lessons for primary school children despite protests by some parents.

Parents protest at LGBT relationship education materials being used at Anderton Park Primary School, in Moseley, Birmingham.
Credit: 
PA

The Prime Minister said "teaching all children about respect for difference is a core British value" which every government should support.

In an op-ed in Pink News, the Prime Minister also hit out at "the rise of transphobic aggression", which is why she said the Government's plans to introduce a Gender Recognition Act was so important.

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A row over teaching children about same-sex relationships has seen angry protests outside schools in Birmingham for the past 12 weeks.

In her article, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall rights in America, Mrs May insisted the Government would not be backing down on the issue.

She said: "Last week the introduction of compulsory relationships education for primary-age pupils was a historic step forward.

"I know that policy in particular has been controversial in some areas, but teaching all children about respect for difference is a core British value, something I and every government should always stand for.

"If there was a single lesson from Stonewall it was that people who come together united in a cause and belief can change the world.

"It is a lesson that should never be forgotten as the LGBT community continues the fight for progress and equality with the UK government standing proudly alongside you."

Mrs May added: "I am also concerned about the rise of transphobic aggression and the frequent misrepresentation of trans people in some sections of the media. It is one of the reasons we are continuing to work with and talk to the community as we undertake our work on the Gender Recognition Act. It is vital we get this right."

Elsewhere in her article, the Prime Minister condemned the recent homophobic attack on two gay women travelling on a bus in London.

She said: “People say they cannot believe that this sort of thing still happens in the UK in 2019, not least in our capital city, but for LGBT people, even in a country as open and inclusive as ours, the threat of bigotry is still a daily reality.

At a Downing Street’s Pride reception on Tuesday, the Government will mark the first anniversary of the UK’s LGBT Action Plan, which includes initiatives such as appointing the first national advisor for LGBT health and introducing anti-homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying programme in more than 1,800 schools.

A report due to be published by the Government later this week finds a third of the landmark policy has been delivered within 12 months.