The controversial Equality Bill and a new schools Bill with divisive plans for sex education and home schooling formed part of yesterday’s Queen’s Speech.
The speech, which is prepared by the Government and delivered by the Queen, sets out the legislative agenda for the next session of Parliament.
In the speech it was announced that the Government will continue to press on with its controversial Equality Bill.
The Bill, which started in the previous session of Parliament, contains measures which threaten religious liberty on several fronts.
Various faith groups including the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church have raised concerns.
The Bill contains measures to narrow religious liberty protections in the area of employment by religious organisations.
According to the Government the measures may mean, for example, that a church must be willing to employ a practising homosexual as a youth worker.
The Bill also contains an ‘equality duty’ which means all public bodies, including schools and the police, will be under a legal obligation to push homosexual and transsexual rights.
The Bill’s plans for a ‘religious equality duty’ may be used by atheists to press councils into banning Christian symbols in public buildings or ending council-backed Christmas celebrations.
Schools Bill: Sex education
A new schools Bill was announced which will change the law on home schooling and force all schools to teach sex education from the age of five.
The Children, Schools and Families Bill will mandate that all schools from primary level upwards must teach sex education.
Parents will lose the right to withdraw their child from sex education when their child reaches the age of 15.
Faith schools will also be forced to teach children about contraception and homosexuality.
Schools Bill: Home schooling
The Bill will also introduce measures aimed at giving the Government more power over parents who wish to educate their children outside of the school system.
The Government wants officials to be able to question home-schooled children about their education without parents having a right to be present.
Home-schooling parents will be committing a crime if they fail to register with the Government or provide particular information on how they are educating their children.
State officials in America recently ordered that a home-schooled girl be forced to attend a government-run school because she was deemed to be ‘too Christian’ in her outlook.