Primary school children could be forced to read gay rights books
The Cabinet row over new gay rights laws took a new turn today after a Christian group warned that primary school children could be forced to read gay rights books. Under new laws being drafted by the Government books such as Hello Sailor, Sissy Duckling and Daddy’s Roommate, may become mandatory reading for children as young as five.
Faith groups are also concerned about the impact of the regulations on religious liberty. Ruth Kelly, the Government Minister in charge of the proposed regulations, recently announced a delay in the implementation of the new laws to more fully consider the huge number of concerns raised by individuals and religious groups.
The Government is refusing to exempt the school curriculum from the proposed gay rights regulations. Similar laws in other countries have triggered a series of court cases where gay rights groups sued school authorities which did not use ‘gay rights’ resources in school lessons.
The Government already recommends controversial gay rights storybooks for use in primary schools. A Department of Education website recommends books such as Hello Sailor, Sissy Duckling and Daddy’s Roommate (extracts from these books can be found on The Christian Institute’s website http://www.christian.org.uk/soregs/sor_booklet_sept06.pdf). Whilst the books are currently only recommended, it is feared they may become compulsory if the curriculum is not excluded from the scope of the new gay rights regulations.
Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said today, “I am pleased the Government is taking more time to consider the drafting of these regulations. I am particularly concerned about the impact of these planned laws on religious liberty and on the school curriculum. We do not want to see school lessons become the focus of litigation by crusading gay rights groups. Most parents would be alarmed to see the gay rights books already recommended by the Government for primary schools. The Government must withdraw its recommendation of these books and abandon the proposals to force gay rights regulations onto the school curriculum. Unless the curriculum is exempted, the regulations will inevitably lead to litigation in an attempt to force such books on schools. The thought that new regulations could make these books compulsory is outrageous.”