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British schools warned to stay away from anti-gay policies

British schools warned to stay away from anti-gay policies

LAST UPDATED // Friday, 25 April 2014 03:32 Written by // Andrew Shaw

The British Government has warned schools against introducing policies that forbid the “promotion” of homosexuality in the classroom.

Research by the British Humanist Association (BHA) suggests some religiously affiliated schools are introducing “Section 28” style language into their policies.

BHA claimed last year that 45 schools have polices targeting the promotion of homosexuality.

The concern was once more raised at the National Union of Teachers’ annual conference in Brighton last week.

‘Section 28’ refers to a section of the Local Government Act, introduced under Margaret Thatcher’s  Conservative government in 1988, that stated a local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” and that schools “could not promote of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.

The law, which reignited the gay rights movement in Britain, was repealed under the Blair Government in 2003.

Current Prime Minister David Cameron apologised for it on behalf of the Conservative Party in 2009.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said schools should not promote sexuality of any type.

“All schools can draw up their own sex education policy but they must ensure they do not discriminate unfairly on grounds of sexual orientation,” the spokesperson said.

“Our sex and relationship education guidance makes it clear that schools should not promote any sexual orientation.”


Andrew Shaw

Andrew Shaw

Andrew Shaw is editor of Queensland Pride.

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