‘Gay relationships must be taught in all church schools’

Sex education classes, including those in church schools, must teach that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual ones, according to one of the contenders for the Labour leadership.

In an interview with LGBT news website, PinkNews, Andy Burnham said there must be “absolute equality in terms of all relationships” when the subject is taught.

He also praised David Cameron for redefining marriage, and said that Northern Ireland should follow the example of the Republic of Ireland and have a referendum on the issue.

Straightforwardly wrong

In response to a question on whether or not Roman Catholic schools should teach about same-sex relationships, Burnham said it would be “straightforwardly wrong” for them not to do so.

Asked about his views on a controversial report on religious education by Charles Clarke, he said that faith schools should not be allowed to teach their religion “to the exclusion to all the other faiths”.

The report has received criticism for recommending giving the Government control of religious education in church schools, and requiring all schools to teach humanism.

Worrying development

Burnham said that giving schools greater freedom over their curriculum is a “worrying development in education”.

He also said that it was a “problem” for the Church of England to require its clergy to not enter into same-sex marriages.

He revealed that his pro-LGBT views have put him at odds with his family and the Roman Catholic church in which he was brought up.

Gay rights

His children attend a faith school, but he admitted to not being a regular attendee of the Roman Catholic church.

Fellow Labour leadership hopefuls Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall and Jeremy Corbyn have all expressed support for gay rights.