Schools 'Will Have to Promote Gay Rights'

Daily Mail (London), January 10, 2007 | Go to article overview

Schools 'Will Have to Promote Gay Rights'


Byline: STEVE DOUGHTY

NEW gay rights laws will force schools to teach homosexual equality, one of the country's most respected judges warned yesterday.

Teachers who tell pupils homosexual sex is wrong will be guilty of breaking the law, former Lord Chancellor Lord Mackay of Clashfern said.

Lord Mackay claimed the Sexual Orientation Regulations mean schools could no longer instruct children in 'the importance of marriage for family life' - one of the key platforms of current sex education.

Those schools that do so could be prosecuted for 'harassment' against gay pupils, he said.

The rules were introduced in the New Year in Northern Ireland, which is being used as a test bed before the regulations come into force in England in April.

Among the main points are: * Discrimination and harassment on grounds of sexual orientation become unlawful.

* It becomes unlawful to refuse to supply goods or services to someone on grounds of sexual orientation.

* Schools, colleges and other education establishments may not turn down or discriminate against pupils on grounds of sexual orientation.

* Religious groups may restrict membership and supply of goods and services - but not if the organisation concerned is mainly commercial. This means churches which charge for use of their facilities must rent them out to gay groups.

* Private clubs with more than 25 members may not refuse membership to someone on grounds of sexual orientation.

Lord Mackay, 79, said the clauses on harassment 'are very difficult to understand'.

'I think it could well mean that people who teach in a school, in particular in an advanced class, that homosexuality is wrong . . .

would be guilty of of breaching these provisions,' he told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme.

He said the laws went beyond an attempt to end discrimination against gays, saying: 'This is different. It makes the practice of homosexuality something to which a person is not entitled to object to if he or she provides goods or services. …

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