Dad would rather go to jail than have his son taught ‘it’s OK to be gay’
The first parent to face prosecution for removing a child from primary school over LGBT+ inclusive lessons has said he “would go to jail for this”.
Jabar Hussain, 51, removed his nine-year-old son from school last September following a row over the school’s LGBT+ inclusive curriculum.
Hussain has been told by Birmingham City Council that he faces a parenting order, a fine of up to £1,000 and a year in prison if he doesn’t ensure his son, Amin, regularly attends school.
He told The Times: “If I have to go to court, I have to go to court. I would go to jail for this.”
In a legal letter to Birmingham council, Hussain said that the school “reinforces the message that it is ‘good’ to be transgender”. He also claimed – incorrectly – that being transgender is not a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.
Ahead of the rollout of compulsory sex and relationships education in September, Parkfield Primary School had introduced lessons based on a programme called No Outsiders.
No Outsiders uses around 30 picture books to teach children about relationships, a handful of which cover LGBT+ relationships – like the picture book ‘And Tango Makes Three’, the story of two gay male penguins raising a chick together.
Jabar Hussain has instructed lawyers to seek a judicial review over the issue if the council doesn’t back down, saying that the LGBT+ inclusive relationships lessons pose a “safeguarding risk” to his child and claiming the school’s relationships education is “incompatible” with his rights and Muslim faith.
He previously said he does not want his son to be told “it is OK to be gay”, adding that No Outsiders was promoting homosexuality and “transgenderism”.
During a protest outside the school in September, Hussain told BirminghamLive: “We are not against anyone expressing their sexuality or being homosexual if that’s what they want.
“We have no issue if Mr Moffat [the former assistant headteacher] wants to put on a dress, or dance around like a ballet dancer, or put on a skirt, we have no issue. We have an issue with teaching that nonsense to our kids.”
One of the picture books used by the No Outsiders programme, called ‘Introducing Teddy’, is about friendship and features a teddy who questions their gender identity.
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“I know in my heart I’m a girl teddy, not a boy teddy,” the teddy says.
“The school teaches that some children are born in the wrong body,” said Hussain, adding that he was “deeply concerned” for his son’s psychological welfare and did not want him to be taught “things that go against my religion”.
“This can cause confusion. If my son gets confused about this and about his own body, he might think he is a girl. The school thinks this is OK and has to be accepted, even though transgender can mean medical treatment and surgery which could damage my son mentally and physically for life,” Hussain said.
Paul Conrathe, a solicitor acting for Hussain, said that “the school has adopted a ‘salesman-like approach to transgender identity'”.
The school reportedly responded to Hussain previously to state: “While Mr Hussain may believe being gay and lesbian as well as transgender are morally wrong, they are protected characteristics under the Equality Act.”