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Boris Johnson says it’s ‘unequivocally right’ that children should be taught about LGBT issues – no ifs, no buts

Patrick Kelleher November 29, 2019
Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson delivers a speech at the launch of his party's manifesto. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson delivers a speech at the launch of his party's manifesto. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Conservative party leader Boris Johnson has said that it is “unequivocally right” that children are taught about LGBT+ issues in schools.

In an interview with ITV’s Paul Brand, Johnson was asked: “Do you think that all schools should teach LGBT equality?”

“I do,” he replied. When pressed on whether there were any “ifs” or “buts” to his support, Johnson again reaffirmed his position.

“I think it’s very important that in the UK today, which leads the world for our values, which we project around the world, it’s very important that every kid growing up in this country, pupils should be taught about the world in which they’re going to find themselves when they leave school, and indeed the world they find themselves at school.”

When asked about protests outside schools earlier this year over LGBT+ programme No Outsiders, Johnson said people “have their own views and they have a right to express their views”.

“We live in a free society, but I don’t think they have the right to disrupt teaching, to disrupt education, and I think we should carry on with confidence and determination and insist on our values because they’re entirely right.”

Boris Johnson once called gay people ‘tank-topped bum boys’.

As the general election looms, Johnson has come under increased scrutiny over comments he has made about the LGBT+ community in the past. In 1998, he famously referred to gay people as “tank-topped bum boys” in a newspaper column.

In a 2001 book, he suggested that “if gay marriage was OK… then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog”.

We live in a free society, but I don’t think they have the right to disrupt teaching, to disrupt education, and I think we should carry on with confidence and determination and insist on our values because they’re entirely right.

Earlier this month, queer activist group Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants launched a campaign called “Bum Boys against Boris”. They are calling on Johnson to apologise for his “bigoted language”.

“We want to show the opposition to the dangerous language and policies Boris Johnson is promoting and the violence he is promoting against people from the LGBT+ community and other minorities,” LGSMigrants spokesperson Sam Bjorn told PinkNews.

The group has also released t-shirts bearing the slogan “Bum Boys against Boris”.

Conservative justice minister Chris Philp was questioned on Johnson’s comments this week.

Meanwhile, Conservative justice minister Chris Philp was asked about Johnson’s views on LGBT+ people this week in an interview with LBC’s Eddie Mair.

Reading out a question from a listener, Mair asked: “Why should the LBGT+ community vote for a leader who referred to gay men as ‘tank topped bum boys?’”

“Is that not offensive, do you find that offensive?” he asked, as Philp tried to avoid the question.

“I’m not from the LBGT+ community,” said the justice minister, who is running for re-election in Croydon South.

When pressed on the issue, Philp excused Johnson’s words as “colourful language” and said that it was not his place to “offer running commentary”.

He then said that he believes in “free speech” and won’t “tell anyone what to say.”

“Actions speak louder than words,” he added, pointing to the fact that he and other Conservatives recently voted to introduce equal marriage to Northern Ireland.

Philp neglected to mention that of the 73 MPs who voted against the same-sex marriage amendment, tabled by a backbench Labour MP, the majority were Tories, while no vote was recorded for Johnson.

More: Boris Johnson, General Election 2019, ITV, LGBT-inclusive education, Paul Brand

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