Equivocal Government Statement Raises Section 28 Revival Fears in Scotland

Scotland’s Equality Network was asking for clarity yesterday after an equivocal statement from a Government spokesperson implied LGBT issues could be ‘censored’ from the curriculum.
It all began with right-wing Scottish lobby group Scotland for Marriage protesting outside a public forum at Renfrew Town Hall. They were there to remonstrate with SNP ministers – who wish to legalise same sex marriage – and one of their concerns was that the introduction of same-sex marriage would lead to it being “promoted to schoolchildren”.
The Government spokesperson stated:
“Same-sex marriage will not be promoted through the national curriculum framework.
“We also intend to protect the current situation whereby the faith content of the curriculum in Catholic denominational schools is determined by the Scottish Catholic Education Service.”
The government would protect freedom of expression and religious freedom, he said, and was holding a second consultation on the Bill to make sure this was the case.
Tom French of the Equality Network is concerned that this implies schools will be allowed to, or even compelled to maintain silence on same sex marriage and LGBT people. He is now seeking assurances that the Government does not intend to accept censorship of “LGBT People from the education system”.
“The suggestion that there will be some sort of same-sex marriage advertising campaign in schools is ludicrous but equally teachers must not be prevented from mentioning LGBT people or discussing same-sex relationships,” Mr French added.
“Young people must feel welcome in school and part of the community, whatever their sexual orientation.
“It would be wrong for schools to discriminate against LGBT pupils or those with same-sex parents, all young people must be treated fairly,” he said.