The Labour MP for a primary school in Birmingham facing protests over LGBT education has finally spoken out and backed the demonstrators.
‘I have concerns about the age appropriateness of children of four and five being introduced to these ideas’ Roger Godsiff, Birmingham Hall Green MP, told the Birmingham Mail.
There have been months of protests outside schools with LGBTI-inclusivity programs in Birmingham.
Protests began earlier this year against the LGBTI-inclusivity No Outsiders program taught at Birmingham’s Parkfield Community School.
‘I have seen the cover of some of the books’ Godsiff also said on Tuesday. ‘I understand why parents have concerns’.
Godsiff cited the book My Chacha is Gay. It is about a Pakistani boy who has a gay uncle.
‘I am clear that parents do not have a right to veto what is taught in schools on equality’ Godsiff also said. ‘I have voted in favour of all the legislation on relationships and equality.’
But, Godsiff voted against equal marriage in 2013.
In England, relationships education will be compulsory for all primary pupils from September 2020.
Jess Phillips, the MP for nearby Birmingham Yardley, responded.
‘Shall I tell the lesbian moms I know from the school run that it’s not age appropriate that their children under five to know about them?’
My son’s school is in Roger’s constituency, shall I tell the lesbian Moms I know from the school run that it’s not age appropriate that their children under 5 to know about them? https://t.co/dxaUFixwWA
— Jess Phillips (@jessphillips) May 21, 2019
Philips on Monday also confronted protest leader, Shakeel Asfar.
Phillips said: ‘I don’t agree with the protesters. I don’t agree you get to pick and choose which equality you can and can’t have.’
Our equalities laws protect us all. I will not be called agressive for wanting to protect all of the community, Muslims too. This is doing deep damage to the Muslim community and these protestors do not represent Birmingham https://t.co/dMuTYN9zh2
— Jess Phillips (@jessphillips) May 20, 2019
The row over LGBTI-inclusivity education in UK schools has been making headlines following a series of protests against the Parkfield Community School’s No Outsiders program earlier in the year.
Protestors in the Muslim-majority areas claim that primary school children are too young for such material, or that pro-LGBTI education stands in contrast to Islamic teachings.
A number of schools in the area also halted their LGBTI-inclusivity lessons as a result.
LGBTI rights advocates, including LGBTI Muslim groups, have condemned the campaigners’ actions.
The No Outsiders program is the brainchild of Parkfield’s assistant headteacher, Andrew Moffat.
The teacher has been widely praised for his contribution to LGBTI education in UK schools, being shortlisted for a global teaching award and receiving an MBE in 2017.
Last month it was announced that Moffat would be open and lead this year’s Birmingham Pride Parade.