France: bid to gag faith schools over gay marriage

France’s education minister wants to gag Roman Catholic schools in the country from talking about gay marriage.

Vincent Peillon says the schools should keep quiet. He has asked education officials to keep watch and report any ‘anti-gay’ views.

It has sparked a furious row, but French President François Hollande has backed the education minister’s stance.

Neutral

In a letter to regional education officials Peillon said RC schools should remain ‘neutral’ on the issue.

But the French Government has been accused of hypocrisy because it has been promoting the redefinition of marriage in state schools.

Last October a Government spokeswoman, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, was filmed in a state school praising the policy.

Controversial

The French Government’s plans to redefine marriage have proved highly controversial.

The words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ will be stripped from official documents if the plans go through.

Last year a huge rally of more than 100,000 people gathered in Paris to support traditional marriage.

Impact

In the UK, a leading human rights lawyer has said David Cameron’s plans to redefine marriage would impact schools.

Aidan O’Neill QC says schools could lawfully dismiss any teacher who refuses to endorse gay marriage if it becomes law.

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