MPs back LGBTI-inclusive education
An overwhelming majority of MPs have backed the government’s new, LGBTI-inclusive relationships and sex education (RSE) regulations.
At the House of Commons on Wednesday (27 March) 538 MPs voted in favor of the proposal, according to I News. Meanwhile, 21 voted against it.
If the House of Lords backs the regulations, every secondary school in England will be required to teach about sexual orientation and gender identity.
And, every primary school in England will be required to teach about different families, including LGBT families.
The guidance could come into force in September 2020. It will be the first RSE update in 20 years.
The vote comes as some schools in England halted LGBTI-inclusive lessons following protests.
Parents removed or threatened to remove their students from schools in Birmingham over the No Outsiders program.
Protestors claimed the classes were inappropriate for young children. They also said the LGBT message contradicted teachings of Islam.
The guidance passed Wednesday says teaching must be ‘sensitive and age appropriate’ according to I.
It also allows faith schools to teach the guidance from a ‘distinctive faith perspective’ and allow ‘balanced debate’.
LGBTI groups in the UK welcomed the outcome of the vote.
Stonewall UK was ‘delighted’, according to the group’s Mo Wiltshire.
Wiltshire noted that, currently, two in five pupils are taught nothing about LGBT in schools. What’s more, half of LGBT pupils are bullied for being themselves.
The guidelines will ‘help foster greater inclusion, acceptance and understanding in our classrooms, playgrounds and school corridors’ Wiltshire said.
‘All students, whether they are LGBT or not, should have the time and space to learn about the diversity that exists and makes our world beautiful.’
Alex Phillips, of the Terrence Higgins Trust, said it was a ‘historic day … for all young people across England’.
’No more young people will be let down when it comes to learning about sex and relationships.’
But, Phillips warned, the fight isn’t over.
Phillips said the trust would continue to push for properly-funded LGBTI-inclusive education, including on HIV and sexual health, as part of the curriculum.
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Author: Rik Glauert