The Christian Institute

News Release

Marriage guidelines will not stop gay lessons

The Government’s attempted deal to repeal Section 28 will not protect children from homosexual promotion, says a research group today.

The Christian Institute argues that the new guidelines are a ‘dodgy retread’ of failed 1980s guidelines which led to Section 28 in the first place. Guidelines issued in 1987 said “There is no place in any school in any circumstances for teaching which advocates homosexual behaviour”. The 1987 guidelines were as strong as they could be yet they still failed to stop local authorities pouring money into homosexual promotion.

The Government – who want to repeal Section 28 – will today table an amendment to the Learning and Skills Bill requiring the Secretary of State to issue guidance on sex and relationships education. The amendment is part of a ‘deal’ between the Government and bishops to try and win over those peers in the House of Lords who blocked attempts to repeal Section 28 last month.

The amendment also says it will require Local Education Authorities to ?have regard to? the Secretary of State’s guidelines – wording that is almost identical to that used in 1986. The old guidance was linked to a 1986 law which required LEAs to ensure that sex education had “due regard to moral considerations and the value of family life”.

Other proposals include stressing the importance of marriage for family life and child rearing, teaching children about “the significance of marriage and stable relationships” as key building blocks of society, and protecting children from inappropriate materials and teaching.

Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said today:

“Everyone knows that the amendment is an attempt to gloss over the repeal of Section 28. It looks both ways at the same time. Of course marriage should be promoted in schools, but not with homosexuality being promoted at the same time. The amendment will allow this and the guidelines will not stop it since they have no force of law. The protections are very weak. They are much weaker than the failed guidelines that led to Section 28. They didn’t work then and they won’t work now.

“Retreading failed 1987 guidance cannot replace Section 28.

“The phrasing in the amendment leaves it wide open to include homosexual life styles as ‘stable relationships’. In fact, the wording is so loose that it even opens the way to teach ‘unstable’ relationships as an alternative building block of society.

“To say that children should be protected from ‘inappropriate’ materials and teaching will not give children the protection they need. Who decides what is appropriate and what is not? If the Government is serious about protecting children, there needs to be a much stronger commitment than we have seen today. Nothing less than a legal ban on gay promotion will do.”

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