England's largest group opposed to gay
marriage is urging parents to withdraw their children from sex
The UK government approved a marriage
law earlier this year and the first weddings of gay and lesbian
couples are expected to begin next summer.
The Coalition for Marriage, which
vociferously opposed the legislation, released a guide for parents
and teachers titled Respecting Beliefs About Marriage.
The guide was introduced in a nearly
two-minute Marriage Minutes video.
“It [the guide] will help schools
understand their legal duties to handle this issue in a balanced way
and it will help schools respect the various beliefs of staff,
parents and pupils,” host
Dr. Sharon James says in the video. “Many of them sincerely
believe that marriage is the union between one man and one woman.
The government has made it clear that these people should not be
bullied, sidelined or disadvantaged for holding that belief. And
this guide will clarify the legal rights of both teachers and
However, the guide argues that any
discussion about gay couples marrying is a form of sex education and
informs parents that they have a right to withdraw from such classes.
“[D]epending on the context and level
of detail covered, a parent could argue that a lesson or scheme of
work which intentionally covered marriage or same-sex marriage
constitutes sex education. Whether or not such teaching was called
sex education would not prevent such a claim being made with an
attendant request for a right of withdrawal,” the
guide states on page 17.