LGBT+ education in schools gets backing from leading Scottish priest


Former rector and provost of Glasgow Cathedral throws his weight behind efforts to help LGBT+ pupils in Scottish schools

THE FORMER rector of Glasgow Cathedral Kelvin Holdsworth has thrown his weight behind demands for LGBT+ inclusive education in Scottish schools.

Holdsworth, who is a priest in the Scottish Episcopalian church, is supporting the Time for Inclusive Education (Tie) campaign, and its demands for a school education which teaches about a range of sexualities and sexual and gender identities.

He is the latest to add his name to the campaign which was launched over a year ago to tackle the epidemic of self-harm, mental ill-health and suicide as a result of isolation and homophobic abuse experienced by LGBT+ youth in Scottish schools.

After meeting with the Tie campaign, Holdsworth said: “I am happy to endorse the Tie campaign. The next step towards removing homophobia from Scotland is to bring in fully inclusive education for every pupil in Scotland's schools.

“LGBTI teachers need to feel safe to teach in every school in the land and Scotland's kids need the whole curriculum to be inclusive of LGBTI role models and their experiences.”

The campaign has established its own training days for teachers, the first of which are set to take place in October 2016.

The training is designed to give teachers the skills they need to provide an education which gives LGBT+ pupils and their cohorts a greater understanding of the range of human sexualities and the struggles faced by LGBT+ people.

Read: How the LGBT+ Tie campaign made Scotland sit up and take notice

Responding to Holdsworth’s backing, a Tie spokesperson said: “We are thrilled that the Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth has backed our campaign – he joins a long and diverse list of supporters in doing so.

“We are keen to break down the perceived barrier that being of faith and believing in the advancement of LGBTI rights are mutually exclusive – they are not, and should not be seen as such.

“When there are young LGBTI people self-harming, attempting suicide and facing mental health issues due to prejudiced based bullying at school, it is more important than ever that people from all sections of society join us as we continue to campaign for our government to tackle this problem.”

The news came as a petition was launched against the demands of the Tie campaign, which has been signed by over 8,000 people.

The petition warns of the danger of “the LGBT ideology” and it’s use in “indoctrinating” school pupils, though the petition doesn’t mention any specific concerns over the possible effects of children being taught about the existence of LGBT+ people.

The petition was launched in defence of the former moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, David Robertson, who has campaigned against Tie’s demands, saying that they will result in people being sent to “re-education centres” in a totalitarian future society.

The petition indicates that the religious community in Scotland is split over the measures. However, the Tie campaign has built up a substantial body of support in Scottish society, including most political parties and the entire trade union movement, including teachers unions.

Picture courtesy of Tie Campaign

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