The UK Independence Party has outlined its opposition to giving an inclusive relationship education to primary school pupils – claiming it would “encourage experimentation”.
Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party have all pledged their support for statutory sex and relationship education in their manifestos – beginning with early-stage relationship education.
However, UKIP takes the exact opposite stance in its manifesto, which the party released today.
Aside from opposing SRE, the manifesto does not explicitly mention LGBT people at all – and makes no pledges whatsoever on LGBT equality.
The manifesto states: “We support age-appropriate sex and relationship education at secondary level, but not for primary school children.
“There is a world of difference between teaching young children about online safety or telling them no one else is allowed to touch the private parts of their body, which is a sensible way to help prevent and encourage reporting of abuse and going into too much detail.
“The latter risks sexualising childhood, causing confusion and anxiety, and encouraging experimentation.
“We will also rule that all parents must be made fully aware of the sex education teaching materials being used, before their children see it, and we will continue to respect their right to withdraw children from sex-education classes if they wish.”
Tthe manifesto does include plans to “abolishing government departments” including the Department for Energy and Climate Change, the Department for International Development, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport – but does not specifically mention the Government Equalities Office.
UKIP is the only one of the five main UK parties to make no explicit mention of gay people in its manifesto.
It is the second party to fail to mention transgender people – with the Liberal Democrat manifesto released earlier today also containing no specific mention of trans people.