A leaflet on schools distributed by the Coalition for Marriage. The Coalition for Marriage says legalising gay marriage would open the doors to make anti-bullying program Safe Schools mandatory in schools. The program is aimed at making schools safer and more inclusive for LGBTI students, staff and families — but some say it teaches radical and age-inappropriate ideas. So would a Yes vote in the same-sex marriage survey make Safe Schools mandatory? And what exactly does the program involve? Safe Schools Coalition Australia offers resources on issues affecting LGBTI students and the school community, including identity, ethnicity, drugs, alcohol and mental health.
Yet the new law only extends limited adoption rights to same-sex couples. The May 17 vote on same-sex marriage included a particular point on adoption which is granted as a right but only if the adopted child is biologically related to one of the parents. This means that not all children growing up in same-sex households will benefit from full legal parental protection on both sides. One such group is often called rainbow families and refers to same-sex couples who have, or plan to have and raise children together. Regardless of existing laws, religious practice, or mainstream social mores, rainbow families exist in a number of ways across the globe. Figures are difficult to obtain given the lack of legal protection in most cases, and the desire to be protected from homophobia. We have a community of gay families, I myself have two kids, and we know a few hundred such families.
Rebel Priest reported on Thursday that the Diocese of Birmingham has responded to pleas from the concerned parents protesting at Parkfield Community School in Saltley, Birmingham, over inappropriate sex education with a flat refusal to recognise their concerns. Leaving aside for the moment the diplomatic snub this represents, it is worth taking a closer look at the reasons given by the diocese for not supporting the parents' cause. Writing for the diocese and on behalf of David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, Kate Stowe, his Chaplain, contends that it is 'delivering the Equalities [sic] Act' that mandates the school's programme notwithstanding the parents' objections. But this is misleading and inaccurate as it wrongly asserts that the Equality Act obliges schools as a 'requirement of the law' to teach children about 'the right for people to choose their identity and who they wish to love.
Updated November 23, With the deadline looming for the receipt of responses to the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, campaigners on both sides of the debate continue to make their arguments. In response to an audience question, Ms Okotel said Christian schools would not be immune from "consequences that flow" from such a change. She continued: "And we've seen that just last week, when Theresa May in the UK said that one of her greatest achievements in her parliamentary career was legalising same-sex marriage.