Commons leader condemned over ‘bigoted’ comments on LGBT education

Andrea Leadsom said parents should be able to decide whether children are 'exposed' to LGBT relationships.

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom has been condemned after saying it was up to parents to decide when their children should be ‘exposed to that information’ in regard to LGBT relationships education.

The frontbencher’s comments were called ‘bigoted’ after the LBC appearance on Wednesday morning.

It follows on from the decision of five schools in Birmingham to refuse to teach Sex and Relationships Education – a move branded homophobic by many campaigners.

Leigh Trust schools and Parkfield Community School have all suspended the ‘No Outsiders’ education programme following protests from some ‘traditional’ parents.

In a heartfelt address at PMQs today, Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle urged the Prime Minister to act and defend LGBT teaching in schools:

One teacher said denying children LGBT education would simply mean their only knowledge of gay issues was through playground taunts:

Young Greens co-chair Liam McClelland – who came out under Thatcher-era Section 28 legislation preventing the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality – told Left Foot Forward:

“I wonder what Andrea Leadsom think’s children should be “exposed” to at school? Coming from the person who doesn’t think you can be a good prime minister if you haven’t had children.

“Inclusive education is already happening in Scotland. The language Andrea has chosen is purposeful. It plays into the “sexualisation” narratives of age appropriate sex and relationship education, rather than the “age appropriate” and “relationship” part.

“It also fails to acknowledge that the majority of children are “exposed” to heterosexuality. That being LGBTIAQ+ is natural and you cannot be “indoctrinated” as part of the “gay agenda”. The impact of the conservatives homophobic Section 28 is still being felt by many in the LGBTIAQ+ community.”

Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

“Andrea Leadsom’s comment comes across as nothing short of bigoted and offensive.

“What she refers to as being “exposed to that information” is in fact children being educated. Which is exactly what our schools are there to do, and are being taught to understand and be respectful of all individuals, families and relationships.

“The Leader of the House should apologise immediately for this unacceptable language.”

And Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary commented:

“These reports that schools have stopped teaching LGBT rights are incredibly alarming.

“There is not only a moral imperative to ensure that all young children receive LGBT inclusive education, there is a legal requirement too and schools must comply with the Equalities Act. There is no justifiable reason to stop the teaching of these issues.”

“I hope the Commons today will vote for the new guidance on sex and relationships education which will apply to all schools. But it is for the government to ensure that schools are supported and the guidance properly implemented.”

There are fears that moves by schools to stop teaching about LGBT relationships has echoes of Section 28 – the Thatcher-era policy that prevented schools from ‘promoting’ homosexuality.

Andrea Leadsom’s office was not available for comment.

Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.

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7 Responses to “Commons leader condemned over ‘bigoted’ comments on LGBT education”

  1. nhsgp

    Simon says jump and Josiah Mortimer jumps

    “It’s absolutely vital that children do grow up understanding the society they live in and they grow up tolerant, seeking equality and respecting differences… I think it is the case that you have to allow parents to choose to withdraw their children up to a certain age, but at the same time in order to have an equal society there comes a point where children do need to understand the social norms around them.”

    Notice the last bit? You clearly didn’t because I bet you didn’t even read or listen to what she said.

    Instead you probably heard it second hand from Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who hadn’t even read or listened either.

    But carry on, your losing the Muslim vote, along with the Jewish vote.

    You won’t win an election with just LGBT votes.

  2. Carol Ackroyd

    Will someone please mention that many children have lesbian mothers or gay dads who bring them to playgroups and infant schools. Our children have a right to see their home life validated through books and class discussions.

  3. Mike Stallard

    I am with the Muslims – unlike the bishops of the CoE who did not support them.
    As a Christian, I cannot condone the attack on the family. And indoctrinating pre pubescent children with sex of any kind is, to me, wrong. Why? Well, anyone who has been a Dad or Mum knows full well that children accept people as they are. I had a friend at school who we called “belly”. After several years – we were about 15 – he told me that he was black. I laughed. In my forties, I looked at a school photo and there was a black boy standing next to me! Children, if left alone, can accept people as they are.

  4. Frankie D.

    @nhsgp you won’t win an election with just the bigotted fuckwit votes either, as ukip have found out many, many times.

  5. Frankie D.

    @Mike Stallard What “attack on the family”?

    ” indoctrinating pre pubescent children with sex of any kind is, to me, wrong.” So you don’t think that kids should know that their parents are in a relationship either then?

Comments are closed.