LGBTI global news 24-7

Scotland schools to teach gay marriage, sexual health

Catholics are furious over the draft legislation, demanding it be rewritten to remove the 'grudging tolerance'
Scotland will be teaching students about same-sex marriage and sexual health, raising fears Catholics might be forced to teach homosexuality is not a sin

Scottish schools will be introducing lessons in same-sex marriage and sexual health for gay couples.

The government is currently updating its guidelines on relationships, parenthood and sexual health education, aiming to publish a final version in late March.

But a draft version has revealed they are planning on taking into account the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill, saying all children should understand same-sex couples exist and are a part of everyday life.

Ministers also believe every pupil should learn about local sex clinics and understand how to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

It is expected they will recommend students understand the risks and dangers that come with all forms of sex, for both gay and straight couples.

Some Catholics, unsurprisingly, are not pleased.

Michael McGrath, director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES), demanded the guidance be rewritten to reflect the Church’s wishes.

‘The SCES has encouraged the Scottish Government to move beyond the grudging tolerance which this draft and the original guidance showed towards the right of Catholic schools to follow Church guidance when teaching about sexual health and relationships, including marriage,’ he said.

‘We expect it, in its final guidance, to honor Nicola Sturgeon and Mike Russell’s assurance it has “no intention of requiring any denominational school to act contrary to the guidelines/policy established by the SCES or other religious authorities with a role in denominational education”.’

In a statement to GSN, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: ‘Through Curriculum for Excellence we are able to ensure that pupils have an understanding of a variety of beliefs and opinions and use this to encourage confident, capable young people who can form healthy, respectful relationships with others.

‘All local authority schools are subject to inspection by Education Scotland on the quality of their learning and teaching.’

Equal marriage overwhelmingly passed its first and most crucial vote in late November last year. Stage two, where the bill is scrutinized line-by-line, will take place on Thursday (16 January).

Comment on a news story