24 Mar Mandatory sex-ed in Britain to override religious liberty
The British House of Commons recently passed a new mandatory sexual education bill that would require all schools—public, private, and religious—to include “non-judgmental” information on homosexuality, contraception, and abortion in their sex-ed courses. According to proponent’s of the bill, the new legislation does not violate any religious liberties, but only ensures students get all the necessary information.
The government’s education minister, Ed Balls, explained that the new legislation still allows faith schools to identify their position on an issue but simply requires them to present both sides of the argument. “They can explain the view of their faith,” he said, “but what they can’t do is say that they are not going to teach children about contraception, how to access contraception, or how to use contraception.”
He further explained teachers will be required to teach “different views on homosexuality, they cannot teach homophobia, they must explain civil partnership and must give a balanced view on abortion. They must explain both sides of the argument and how to access an abortion. The same is true on contraception as well.”
Faith schools, therefore, will be able to say they are opposed to abortion but they must do so without sounding judgmental and while also educating students on why abortion is acceptable and where and how they can obtain one. As one observer so adequately pointed out, “It is facilitation under the guise of information.”
It is another clear case of the push for sexual rights overriding religious rights. Under the auspice of neutrality and education, the government will be forcing faith schools to teach and reinforce within its own walls a secular view of sexuality that directly contradicts its own. Such an imposition on any person’s religious beliefs should not be tolerated by anyone who believes in freedom of religion.
The bill passed the House of Commons by a vote of 177-68 and is currently under debate in the House of Lords.