Australia’s government could learn some lessons from its own new LGBT teaching guide
The Australian government has funded a groundbreaking new anti-bullying guide in schools… while continuing to oppose same-sex marriage.
All Of Us, a pioneering teaching resource that deals with gender diversity, sexual diversity and intersex topics, was launched today by the Australian government’s Safe Schools Coalition.
The fantastic guide explains the real life experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex young people, and provides resources for teachers looking to discuss LGBT issues.
However, some of the government-funded learning materials are particularly ironic, given a number of the Liberal-National government’s ministers and MPs continue to scaremonger over same-sex marriage.
We had a go at some of the worksheet questions on their behalf.
One part of the handout explains that LGBT people surrounded by a supportive environment are “less likely to have poor mental health, and significantly less likely to experience homophobic violence, and wellbeing risks such as self-harm and suicide.”
We’re honestly not sure if the guide will be enough to help Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce, who has claimed that legalising same-sex marriage would damage relationships with Asian countries.
His claims were swiftly denied by Australia’s Asian trading partners, who were shocked at the suggestion.
A spokesman for the Indonesian foreign ministry insisted the issue was one for the Australian Government to address, as it would only affect Australian law.
We’re sure that Liberal MP Peter Abetz, who compared same-sex parenting to stealing children from Aborigines and claims gays don’t need to marry because they all sleep around, could benefit from some of that.
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Perhaps government minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells needs to take a look at the bit about standing up for equality.
She recently claimed marriage equality would cost her party seats by upsetting “religious and migrant communities”.
The government has pledged to hold a public vote on equal marriage – but the vote will likely be delayed until 2017 at the earliest. PM Malcolm Turnbull continues to resist calls to allow a free Parliamentary vote sooner.
Executive Director of the Australian Secondary Principals’ Association Rob Nairn says: “Schools are doing great things to celebrate diversity and promote respectful relationships.
“All Of Us is a powerful addition to the range of resources and supports on offer to interested schools through Safe Schools Coalition Australia and it’s great to see that it is ready for schools to use in the new year.
“The level of engagement in the program generally has grown significantly across the whole country.
“The number of school leaders and teachers reaching out to access training and other support shows the need that exists.
“Our principals and their staff really care about the health and well-being of all their students and want to do what they can to make a positive difference in their lives.”