Anti gay marriage petition in schools - press release
27 April 2012
Commenting on the promotion in schools by the Catholic Education Service of a petition against gay marriage organised by the Coalition for Marriage, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The Catholic Education Service should not be seeking to influence pupils to sign petitions against gay marriage. This entirely breaches the spirit of the Equality Act.
"Many Catholic schools will have students and teachers in them who are gay or questioning their sexual orientation. Students may have family members who are gay or lesbian. It is important that all our schools promote equality, value diversity and implement effective strategies to eradicate homophobia. Students in every school need to discuss human rights, learn about diversity within society, and be prepared for a world where gay and straight people are equal.
"The Catholic Education Service has failed to realise that teaching what looks like intolerance about lesbian and gay people compounds stereotypes and fuels prejudice. Homophobia leads to hate crime and causes very real harm for LGB young people, including tragically, sometimes, suicide.
“Discrimination on the grounds of sexuality or marital status should have no place in any of our schools. The CES should think again and stop promoting this petition in schools".