Tory MP Philip Davies attacks sex education for ‘introducing very young children to homosexuality’
Conservative MP Philip Davies has teamed up with anti-LGBT activists to rally against plans for compulsory sex and relationship education.
Tory Education Secretary Justine Greening passed a law earlier this year to make sex and relationship (SRE) education statutory in all schools.
It is unclear whether the sex ed lessons will be LGBT-inclusive, but the government is currently working with Stonewall to draw up guidelines on the issue.
But Tory MP Philip Davies lashed out at the plans this week.
The Conservative MP for Shipley spoke out against Greening, who is the most senior gay politician in the country, in a letter for the Telegraph alongside a number of anti-LGBT lobbying groups.
He wrote: “The Government’s decision to impose relationships education on every child in England from the age of five undermines that freedom.
“Not only will parents be denied the right to withdraw children from relationships education, but Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, has already spoken in favour of introducing very young children to concepts, such as homosexuality and transgenderism, at an age where these cannot be critically assessed.
“We note that the Secretary of State has made no mention of ensuring that children are taught about the well-established benefits associated with being brought up by married natural parents.
“Relationships education was voted through Parliament on the grounds that it would help protect children from exploitative relationships and internet predators. Instead, will it be used to stigmatise traditional marriage and promote to children alternative lifestyles against parents’ wishes?
“This would be a coercive and unnecessary measure damaging the position of all parents in England. We demand that the forthcoming consultation on relationships education puts the rights of parents ahead of the power of the state.”
The letter was signed by Davies along with two other MPs, Steve Double and Martin Vickers.
Mr Double’s involvement in the letter about the importance of marriage is particularly ironic, given last year he publicly apologised for cheating on his wife of 30 years with a blonde 26-year-old aide.
It is also signed by a rogue’s gallery of anti-LGBT lobbyists, including Andrea Williams of Christian Concern, who has publicly defended gay ‘cure’ therapy.
Also signatories of the letter are Thomas Pascoe of the Coalition for Marriage, Colin Hart of the Christian Institute and Revd Andrew Symes of Anglican Mainstream – all strong opponents of LGBT rights laws previously.
Controversial newspaper columnist Rod Liddle, who has previously been found in breach of the press regulator’s code through his public bullying of a transgender politician, also signed the letter warning about ‘transgenderism’.
Rod Liddle was rebuked by the press regulator in 2015 after he published a Sun column targeting a Labour Party candidate who is blind and transgender.
The regulator finding against him did little to tone down his outspoken columns, however, with Liddle last year claiming in a Spectator column that gay men’s need to use lube during sex is “God’s way of telling you that what you’re about to do is unnatural and perverse”.
A long-time opponent of LGBT rights Philip Davies was last month re-elected to serve on the Parliamentary committee responsible for scrutinising the government’s equalities work.
The MP for Shipley is a strong opponent of LGBT rights, voting against the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations in 2007 and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act in 2013.
He has previously complained that same-sex marriage law discriminates against straight people, and has branded inclusive sex education “tyranny”.
Mr Davies is an outspoken critic of the women’s rights movement, and previously faced questions over his ties to the so-called ‘Justice for Men and Boys party’ – which issues awards for “lying feminist of the month”, and affirms on its website that “feminists are whiny, gormless, toxic liars”.
Mr Davies used the floor of the House of Commons to attack a secondary school in 2009, after it held an educational LGBT History Month production of ‘Romeo and Julian’.
Davies fumed: “It is better for pupils to learn about Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare, rather than politically correct Romeo and Julian.”
Labour’s Harriet Harman helpfully reminded him: “As far as I can remember, in Shakespearean times boys would play girls and girls would play boys, and the whole point was trying to work out which was which.”
He has previously called for the Women and Equalities Committee to the Equalities Committee to change its name to exclude ‘Women’.
Last year he filibustered an opposition bill to make inclusive sex and relationship education mandatory in schools.
In his controversial speech he claimed that “the culture of political correctness” led to sexual abuse, also linking sex education to a rise in teen pregnancies. He said: “One day everybody will have to conclude that what we need is less sex education, or even better, none… I hope this Bill goes absolutely nowhere.”
The MP is also known for campaigning for recognition for an ‘International Men’s Day and picking arguments with women’s rights campaigners – memorably clashing with feminist Labour MP Jess Philips on a number of occasions.
In one memorable clash with Ms Phillips in 2015, Mr Davies claimed to “always vote in favour of true equality”.
When she asked him to clarify if he voted for gay marriage, he responded “Look, I don’t agree with gay marriage, why would I vote for something I don’t agree with?”