Govt ‘powerless’ to protect teachers over gay marriage

Teachers could be sacked for opposing gay marriage, a source close to Education Secretary Michael Gove has admitted.

The Government would be powerless to stop headteachers firing staff who refuse to endorse same-sex marriage, the source disclosed.

The concerns about teachers fit with legal advice from human rights barrister Aidan O’Neill QC.


He has warned that if same-sex marriage became law, schools could legally dismiss teachers who fail to use books that promote it.

The source close to the Education Secretary said the final decision on such questions might ultimately be taken by the European Court of Human Rights.

The source said: “We have had legal advice, the problem is that there is this inherent uncertainty about such matters”.


The source added that protection for teachers is “under the control of nine guys in Strasbourg” and is “fundamentally uncertain because Britain isn’t in control of this.”

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was published today, and the first vote on it will take place on 5 February.

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