Tory minister supports campaign for LGBT issues to be taught in schools
David Mundell, the first openly gay, Tory cabinet minister, supports a campaign for LGBT issues to be taught in Scottish schools.
He gave his support to Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) who have said they will tackle the high rates of bullying young LGBT people experience.
Mr Mundell, The secretary of state for Scotland said: “Because of the support I had from family, friends and colleagues, coming out as a gay man has been an incredibly positive experience for me. But many LGBTI young people still face homophobia and bullying on a daily basis.
“This is not acceptable and cannot be ignored. That is why I am supporting the TIE campaign – to tackle prejudice and spread understanding in our schools, giving LGBTI young people equality and respect, which is their right.”
TIE’s research showed that 86 per cent of LGBT people said they had never discussed or been taught in a progressive manner at their school. Many respondents specifically highlighted a lack LGBT inclusive sex education.
27 per cent reported that they had attempted suicide as a result of bullying.
This is despite Section 28 of 1988 Local Government Act, which stated that councils could not “intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” in schools, being repealed 15 years ago.
A TIE spokesperson said: “We are delighted that David Mundell has supported our campaign, and has joined us in calling for an end to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools.
“His endorsement is significant as, while we are a Scottish campaign, we know that the issues facing LGBTI young people within education are universal.
“David is the first UK minister to back our proposals, and we are keen to work closely with the Scotland Office as we move to address these issues at a nationwide level.”
Mr Mundell came out as gay in January and said: “Gender and sexuality should make no difference whether you are a Cabinet Minister or in any other walk of life and I hope that I can, in my own way, reinforce that message.”
He was also spoke about his experiences of coming out at the PinkNews Awards in October where David Cameron also won ally of the year.
TIE met with John Swinney, education secretary and gave their proposals for the issues they want included, such as same-sex families and the history of the LGBT+ rights movement, and for teachers to be trained on how to address the topic in the classroom.