Tory MP: Schools are ‘not the place’ for education on LGBT issues
A Tory MP has come out against LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education, saying that schools are not the place for LGBT issues.
Craig Mackinlay, the MP for South Thanet, made the comments after former equalities minister Maria Miller led calls for statutory sex and relationship education in all schools.
Mrs Miller, who was honoured with a PinkNews Award in 2015 has pressed Education Secretary Justine Greening to make good on her promise to pursue SRE reform, urging her to mandate age appropriate, LGBT-inclusive SRE in all schools.
However, Mr Mackinlay told his local newspaper that he would not be supporting proposals for LGBT-inclusive SRE.
Speaking to Kent on Sunday, the MP said: “I’m completely in favour of people’s relationship choices, and I think everyone should be who they want to be and be with whoever they want to be with, but I don’t think school is the time or place to educate young people about the LGBT community.
“I’m sure there would be opposition from faith schools and I’m sure a lot of people would be concerned if these changes are forced upon them.”
Mr Mackinlay became an MP in 2015 after defeating Nigel Farage in South Thanet – with senior Conservatives including Boris Johnson and Theresa May helping campaign for him in the close-run battle.
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He added: “I think parents need to be consulted on this matter before it becomes a thing. If the public and parents are for it then, yes, let the changes happen, but if they’re opposed, I don’t think it should be forced.”
Last month advocates of LGBT-inclusive SRE were left disappointed when a Labour-led amendment to make the subject mandatory in schools was blocked by Tory MPs in a bill committee vote, before even reaching the floor of the Commons.
An all-female group of MPs led by Labour’s Stella Creasy tabled the amendment to make teaching on “sex and relationships education, same-sex relationships, sexual consent, sexual violence, and domestic violence” mandatory in all schools.
Their proposal would have required education watchdog Ofsted to evaluate school’s provisions on SRE as part of inspections, considering “whether the information provided to pupils is accurate and balanced, age-appropriate, inclusive, or religiously diverse”.
However, the amendment was shot down.
Tory MPs were accused of “filibustering” SRE again when they burned up hours set aside to debate a proposal tabled by Green MP Caroline Lucas.