UK interfaith leaders are calling on the British government to ensure sex and relationships education is LGBTI inclusive.
The Children and Social Work Act passed in March this year made sex and relationships (SRE) education compulsory in all schools.
The lessons will happen in both primary and secondary school.
The group of 53 interfaith leaders have penned an open letter, first published in the Guardian, to the education secretary Justine Greening.
The letter calls on Greening who is in a same-sex relationship, to ensure the legislation specifies pupils get LGBTI information.
Speaking to Gay Star News, Chair of the Accord Coalition Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain who organized the letter said:
‘Although the government passed this act saying that sex education should be taught in schools. It didn’t specify how.’
The interfaith leaders believe the legislation is good in principle. However, the Rabbi said the letter was seeking to make sure ‘they are good in practice too.’
‘There is a danger that opt-out clauses will give faith schools wriggle room to get out of teaching different parts of sex education.’
‘No school should be able to teach that gay people are wrong.’
The ministerial statement in March said ‘faith schools will continue to be able to teach in accordance with the tenets of their faith.’
The Interfaith leaders who penned this letter disagree.
Rabbi Romain said ‘Faith schools shouldn’t be allowed to opt out.
‘In the same way they can’t ignore scientific facts, like evolution. They shouldn’t be able to opt out of giving LGBTI information.
‘It should be education, not indoctrination.’
Romain says many faith schools are already very liberally minded, expecting most to be LGBTI inclusive regardless.
However, he said specifications need to make sure those with prejudiced beliefs do not seep into the classroom.
‘It’s important that we give children all the information. That includes abortion, contraception and LGBTI inclusive education.’