Don't Teach That Marriage Is Best Say Academics
ACADEMICS are calling for teachers to be banned from promoting marriage in the classroom.
They say homosexuality must be given equal status to stop the spread of 'bigoted' attitudes in schools and university campuses.
Current Government guidance on sex education says children must be taught 'the importance of marriage for family life'.
Teachers are also permitted to voice their opposition to homosexuality if it stems from personal or religious conviction.
This allows faith schools to teach that same-sex relationships are at odds with their religion.
But members of the University and College Union - representing 120,000 lecturers - are calling for a change in the law to stop teachers telling children that marriage is superior to gay partnerships.
This would apply to all teachers, including staff in faith schools.
Delegates at the union's annual congress in Bournemouth were critical of recently-passed gay rights laws which failed to ban teachers from expressing personal views on homosexuality.
They said the legislation, which is aimed at banning discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, did not go far enough.
Delegates unanimously backed a motion demanding an end to 'negative characterisations' of gay lifestyles.
Alan Whitaker, from Oxford and Cherwell Valley College in Oxfordshire, said: 'They (the new regulations) did nothing to stop the negative characterisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender lifestyles by teachers.
'The regulations actually say that there is nothing to stop teachers proclaiming the superiority of heterosexual marriage.
'The regulations say it's unlawful to characterise same-sex relationships as inferior. But to my mind it's rather difficult to see how you can do the one without implying you are doing the other.'He added: 'Legislation cannot 'A pretext to discriminate'
do all the work. It may remove the injustice but it cannot change attitudes. …