Saying that marriage is only between one man and one woman goes against British values, the Government’s integration tsar has claimed.
Dame Louise Casey made the inflammatory remarks in front of MPs as they questioned her on a major report.
Discussing the ‘Trojan Horse’ school affair, she likened Roman Catholic schools’ support for traditional marriage to the extremism exposed in Birmingham.
Dame Louise said the issues raised by Trojan Horse were “not okay, in the same way that it is not okay for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage. That is not okay either — it is not how we bring children up in this country”.
Speaking to the Communities and Local Government Committee, the integration tsar went on to accuse opponents of same-sex marriage of merely using religious conservatism as a cover to hide their ‘anti-equality’ views.
Dame Louise said: “It is often veiled as religious conservatism, and I have a problem with the expression of ‘religious conservatism’, because often it can be anti-equalities.”
She added that people should be allowed to live the lives they want to, but must not “condemn others for living differently”.
Equalities czar says we “can’t condemn others for living differently” then condemns Catholics for living differently https://t.co/DweqKlDQE4
— Edward Leigh MP (@EdwardLeighMP) January 10, 2017
Sir Edward Leigh responds to Dame Louise Casey’s remarks.
Dame Louise’s comments on same-sex marriage in schools are out of step with guidance. Schools with a religious ethos are allowed to teach their beliefs about marriage in line with the school’s legal foundation.
Current Department for Education advice on the Equality Act states: “No school, or individual teacher, is under a duty to support, promote or endorse marriage of same sex couples.”
Dame Louise’s 199-page report on integration, published last month, recommended that holders of public office swear an ‘equality oath’ affirming British values.
The idea was later backed by communities secretary Sajid Javid who said those who do not accept such values will “struggle to play a positive role in British life”.
But the idea has been criticised in the media and The Christian Institute warned it could lead to people with traditional views being excluded.