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BBC Question Time asks if it’s ‘morally right’ to teach kids LGBT+ issues

Nick Duffy March 29, 2019
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All of the Question Time panellists supported LGBT-inclusive education

All of the Question Time panellists supported LGBT-inclusive education

BBC politics show Question Time got a strong response after asking people whether it is “morally right” to teach children about LGBT+ issues.

The political debate show discussed the issue on Thursday (March 28), one day after MPs voted to approve new LGBT-inclusive guidance for sex and relationship education by a margin of 538 to 21.

Question Time asks if it’s ‘morally right’ for children to learn about LGBT+ issues

An audience member, Keith Broughton, was picked to ask panellists: “Is it morally right that five-year-old children learn about LGBT issues in school?”

The question was met with rumbles of disapproval from other audience members, as host Fiona Bruce acknowledged: “I can hear all sorts of sounds coming from the audience here.”

The show came under heavy fire on Twitter after posing the question to viewers.

Question Time asked whether teaching about LGBT+ issues is 'morally right'
Question Time asked whether teaching about LGBT+ issues is ‘morally right’.

Labour MP Wes Streeting tweeted in response: “Next week: our final question is about learning about women at school. ‘Is it morally right for 5 year old children to learn about women’s issues in school?’ Week after: ‘is it morally right for 5 year old children to learn about Muslim issues in school?’.”

He added: “Get in the sea.”

BBC presenter Sue Perkins said: “The framing of this question is deeply worrying. Are we really here again, nearly two decades after Section 28 was repealed…?”

Holby City actor David Ames wrote: “This is deliberate phrasing and it’s not only insulting but damaging.

“I hope the increase in heated Tweets/responses to this is worth the suggestion that learning of the mere existence of a minority is immoral.”

Question Time panellists all agreed that LGBT-inclusive education is ‘morally right’

Responding on Question Time, all of the panellists, including Education Secretary Damian Hinds and Labour MP Jenny Chapman, as well as nearly all of the audience members who spoke, agreed that LGBT-inclusive education is right. Other panellists included Next chief executive Simon Wolfson, MoneyWeek editor Merryn Somerset Webb and left-wing academic Yanis Varoufakis.

Hinds said: “I think it is right, and this is reflected in the new guidance, that during the course of a child’s schooling, they do learn about LGBT+ relationships as part of the diversity of our country.

“That is the type of country that we live in, where there are different types of relationships and you could have another child in your class who has same-sex parents.

“It is much safer to have a child hear about that and discuss that in a safe environment, from a teacher, than it is to pick it up on the internet or from other kids.”

Education Secretary Damian Hinds is pressed by host Fiona Bruce
Education Secretary Damian Hinds is pressed by host Fiona Bruce. (BBC)

Labour’s Chapman said: “I think it’s quite important that this is happening, and I think it’s about time that we taught our children about healthy friendships and relationships, and the fact that not everybody grows up in the exact same family situation.”

Varoufakis also spoke in support of LGBT-inclusive education, and even spoke of his daughter’s activism to support a gender-neutral friend.

He said: “I’m very gratified that this consensus of tolerance that would be utterly absent 20 years ago is now with us. I’m now very happy to be in the midst of all of you with these views.”

“My daughter, when she was 10, told me about a strike action that the students put together in support of her gender-neutral friend, who was demanding that she should have access to a [gender-neutral] toilet, and all of the kids got together and demanded that a toilet should be prepared for this child,” said Varoufakis.

“This movement towards tolerance is something that needs to be celebrated.”

Related topics: Education, Gay, LGBT, Question Time, Television

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