Teachers ‘face sack’ if they refuse to endorse gay marriage

Mon, 19 Nov 2012

The Government has refused to promise that teachers won’t be disciplined if they say no to endorsing gay marriage in the classroom.

Education minister Liz Truss offered no reassurance when responding to a clear and direct question raised by David Burrowes MP.

Miss Truss said it was impossible to say because the specific legislation has not yet been announced.

Implications

But Mr Burrowes said that is no excuse because the Government has had many months to think about the implications.

He had raised concerns with equalities minister Maria Miller about the impact redefining marriage would have on schools.

Mr Burrowes had written following the publication of a legal opinion by Aidan O’Neill QC.

Fire

It said that if gay marriage was legalised, schools would be within their rights to fire teachers if they didn’t want to use textbooks that promote same-sex unions.

Miss Truss said in response to Mr Burrowes that she is “unable to advise on the specifics of any legislation and its future impacts at this time”.

Mr Burrowes said the minister’s letter confirms that teachers who object to promoting gay marriage on the grounds of conscience have no reassurance that their jobs are safe.

Concerns

He said the fact that these concerns have not been rebutted “when we are so far down the line” now raise “more questions than answers”.

He said: “There is a big and serious question that gay marriage will undermine the liberty of conscience, that’s a big question that will hang over the legislation.”

Last week, Sir Gerald Howarth a former defence minister, warned that military chaplains who do not support same-sex marriage could be dismissed under Government plans to redefine marriage.

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