Support grows in Scotland’s faith community for LGBT+ education with support of Kirk minister
THE CAMPAIGN for Scottish school children to receive an education inclusive of LGBT+ identities has received a boost from within the ranks of Scotland’s faith community today with the support of a Church of Scotland minister.
Reverend John Nugent, of Saint Fergus Church in Wick told campaigners with the Time for Inclusive Education (Tie) campaign that he is backing demands for the Scottish Government to reform school level education in order to protect children from the epidemic levels of homophobic bullying and abuse in Scotland’s schools
He also claimed it was an effort to reclaim religious faith for compassion and against bigotry.
He said: “I believe that all inhabitants of our planet have rights that go along with being human. One of those rights grants an education which will further the individual’s development so that she or he can grow into full personhood. Denial of that right is therefore unconscionable. Inclusive education is crucial to the full development of the individual and denying access to inclusion is tantamount to a denial of human rights.
“The founders of the great faith traditions left the door open to all, and it is this ancient path that must be reclaimed and promoted; the faith agenda then being seized back from the bigots and the haters.” Rev John Nugent
“Schools and other places of education, faith centres and youth organisations are the appropriate loci for this. If our young people grow in an inclusive atmosphere then gradually bigotry, prejudice and bullying will end. In this sense, the LGBTI community has led the way ahead of faith communities – which should be inclusive, but sadly aren’t.”
“Inclusivity lies in the DNA of faith. The founders of the great faith traditions left the door open to all, and it is this ancient path that must be reclaimed and promoted; the faith agenda then being seized back from the bigots and the haters. Idealistic? Maybe, but it is a goal that is worth pursuing – and it is a noble goal which we have to pursue for the sake of our young people.”
The Tie campaign demands for an education that teaches about the full range of human sexualities and sexual and gender identities in response to statistics which reveal that a majority of LGBT+ youths have experience bullying, abuse or discrimination and that huge numbers are effected by mental ill-health, self-harm and suicide attempts as a result.
The Scottish Government has voiced support for the idea of inclusive education, but advocates are frustrated by the slow rate of progress.
Nugent is part of a growing movement among Scotland’s faith leaders in support demands for LGBT+ equality. In July 2016 the year the former rector of Glasgow Cathedral Kelvin Holdsworth backed the Tie campaign. Nugent is also among the key religious figures who backed moves for the equalization of marriage rights in Scotland in recent years.
However, some religious figures have pushed back against the campaign’s demands. Reverend David Robertson of the Free Church of Scotland made a submission to the Scottish Parliament saying that inclusive education represented an attempt to “indoctrinate” pupils against “God’s good plan”.
Picture courtesy of Believe Out Loud
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