Current Affairs

Roger Godsiff tables debate on parents’ rights to stop LGBT-inclusive lessons

Reiss Smith June 24, 2019
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British opposition Labour party MP for Birmingham Hall Green, Roger Godsiff, speaks at the launch of the Labour Leave campaign in central London on January 20, 2016.

Ex-MP for Birmingham Hall Green, Roger Godsiff. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty)

Labour MP Roger Godsiff has tabled a debate on whether parents should have a say in their children being taught about LGBT+ relationships.

MPs will discuss parental involvement in equalities teaching on Tuesday (June 25), despite having already voted to approve the introduction of a new inclusive curriculum.

Godsiff brought forward the motion after being reprimanded for supporting anti-LGBT protestors targeting a primary school within his constituency.

The Hall Green MP was filmed telling demonstrators who opposed inclusive teaching at Anderton Park Primary that they “had a “just cause” and were “right.”

Labour MPs criticise Roger Godsiff

Labour’s chief whip Nick Brown spoke to Godsiff after the video was circulated on social media on June 9. But in the wake of his latest move, some have called for further disciplinary action.

Jess Philips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley told The Times: “It has caused real anger in our community and I have had messages from gay and lesbian parents who he represents very worried about it. Parents don’t get to choose bigotry and anyone suggesting otherwise is wrong.

“Parents don’t get to choose bigotry and anyone suggesting otherwise is wrong.”

—Jess Phillips MP

Philips, whose constituency borders Godsiffs, has been a vocal critic of the protests, and in May was filmed clashing with the same man who Godsiff has supported.

Stella Creasy, Labour MP for London Walthamstow, has said  that she hopes to see further action taken against Godsiff.

“Taking on those who want to exclude LGBT families from modern Britain is something every Labour member should support because the party of equality can’t pick and choose which discrimination it fights,” she told The Times.

Labour backs LGBT-inclusive education

When asked to comment on Godsiff’s motion, a Labour spokesperson reiterated the party’s previous position.

“Roger Godsiff’s comments do not reflect the Labour Party’s position in any way and his behaviour falls below the standards expected of a Labour MP,” the spokesperson said.

“He has been formally reprimanded by the Chief Whip and has been warned that he must not repeat such conduct in the future.

“There is not only a moral imperative to teach LGBT+ inclusive education, there is also a legal requirement under the Equality Act, which all schools must comply with. There is no justifiable reason to stop the teaching of these issues.”

More: Birmingham, Education, England, Labour, Roger Godsiff

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