Teachers told ‘watch what you say’ on gay marriage

A union leader has told teachers that disagreeing with gay marriage could be like racism and carries a risk of disciplinary action.

Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association acting general secretary, Alan McKenzie, said teachers who are against gay marriage should “watch what they say at work”.

“If somebody made racist comments they’d be in danger of disciplinary action and it’s no different from that,” he added.


The remarks come as a nationalist MSP warned that teachers could be “persecuted” if they criticise same-sex marriage.

John Mason MSP said: “I want to know if there will be protection for employees, such as where a teacher says they disagree with same-sex marriage.

“I’d like a set guarantee, like with abortion, so that a teacher could opt out of this, but I’m not convinced we are going to get that protection.”


He added: “My concern is that people could be persecuted for giving their views.”

Scotland’s learning minister, Dr Alasdair Allan, says he will vote against the same-sex marriage Bill because his constituents are opposed to it.

And Dave Thompson MSP is worried that the Bill will lead to the “erosion of free speech” for people who believe in traditional marriage.


Tim Hopkins of the Equality Network denies that teachers will be forced to say they approve of same-sex marriage, but he says they must “confirm the facts of the law”.

Green MSP Patrick Harvie says teachers who disagree with same-sex marriage should not “promote homophobia” in the classroom.