Out Tory MP Justine Greening: LGBT students ‘frankly deserve better’ sex ed
Out Conservative MP and former education secretary Justine Greening has said LGBT+ young people “frankly deserve better” relationships and sex education (RSE) in England’s schools.
Greening, who came out as being in a “happy” same-sex relationship on Twitter in 2016, said that RSE needed to be modernised so that students are taught about LGBT+ relationships regardless of their backgrounds.
Speaking on ITV News’ podcast series Acting Prime Minster, Greening said: “For a whole generation of LGBT young people growing up in our schools who frankly deserve better than to be given the impression that the future relationships they’re going to go on and have in their lives are somehow bad and wrong.
“We owe it to them to make sure our schools are able to do a proper approach, a modern approach, on relationships and sex education.”
Former education secretary Justine Greening: LGBT+ students “deserve better” relationships and sex education
The MP for Putney’s comments come following protests organised by some conservative religious parents, of mostly Islamic faith, outside two schools in Birmingham over their LGBT+ inclusive education.
While Greening was education secretary, the government passed the Children and Social Work Act (2017), which she was involved in developing.
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“For a whole generation of LGBT young people growing up in our schools who frankly deserve better than to be given the impression that the future relationships they’re going to go on and have in their lives are somehow bad and wrong.”
—Former education secretary Justine Greening
The act pledges to make Relationships Education (RE) and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory in all primary and secondary schools respectively in England.
We owe it to LGBT+ young people to have a “modern” approach in sex education, says Justine Greening
Green, who also condemned Brunei’s new anti-LGBT+ penal code in the wide-ranging in interview, told ITV news political correspondent Paul Brand: “I was always clear in my mind that this needed to be age appropriate and when it came to more intimate relationships which would only be part of a secondary school curriculum, that parents should have the right to withdraw their child until that child got to an age when frankly they were able to make their own decisions.
“It was about striking a balance, but the bottom line is young people need to understand about a modern Britain and LGBT issues cut across religions and cultures—we can’t really have one cohort of young people not able to get the benefit of RSE when the rest of their peers are.”
Greening, who also told Brand that she would “consider” running in a Conservative Party leadership contest, served as education secretary from July 2016 until January 2018 when she resigned after a cabinet reshuffle.
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