Swift action on LGBT+ education promised in Scottish Parliament


Parliamentarians demand action on inclusive education in new parliament

SCOTTISH PARTY LEADERS pledged swift action to implement anti-homophobia measures in Scotland’s schools yesterday (15 June), during a Scottish Parliament debate on the mass shooting in a Orlando gay nightclub which claimed 49 lives.

The homophobic attack prompted solidarity vigils around the world, including in Glasgow, where hundreds attended a vigil in Glasgow’s George Square.

LGBT+ inclusive education has been championed over the last year by the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign, which calls for teacher training which will enable teachers to provide education which is inclusive of the broad spectrum of sexual orientations and identities.

The charge was led in the parliament by Scottish Greens leader Patrick Harvie, who has pledged that a cross party group of MSPs will campaign on inclusive education over the parliament’s new term.

He said: “There are, sadly, still people – including young people – subjected to the ideology that says certain sexual orientations or gender identities are inherent moral defects.

“The First Minister has described herself as a huge supporter of the TIE campaign – how long will it be before all schools in Scotland actively promote the equality and dignity of all of their young people, including LGBTI young people?”

Read: The story of how two Yes activists changed each other and now want to change LGBTI+ education in schools

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon expressed concern over establishing a timetable for the reforms, but also reconfirmed her commitment to working alongside the TIE campaign to achieve its aims.

She said: “I don’t want to live in a country, yet alone be First Minister of a country, where any young person has to feel that, somehow, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, they are subject to judgement or made to feel in any way less than any other individual in our society. I have given a commitment to working with the campaign for inclusive education.

“The Scottish Government will continue to work to ensure that, whether it’s in a school or any other part of our society, the environment for any young people growing up – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity – is one in which they feel comfortable, ” she added.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said that a cross-party consensus existed on LGBT issues, and that the occasion of the Orlando tragedy should inspire implementation of equality measures.

He said: “One of the most powerful signals that we could send in this context is to accelerate our programmes on equality for all of the LGBTI community.

We all have common programmes which we want to deliver in this parliament, so let’s use this to accelerate those programmes so that we can send the strongest possible signal to these terrorists that we will not be intimidated.”

The TIE campaign’s demands will be the key theme of the forthcoming Glasgow Pride, making it the most overtly political celebration of the LGBT+ community for years.

Picture courtesy of torbakhopper

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