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Free Church of Scotland against sexuality lessons for young pupils
The Free Church of Scotland has spoken out opposing compulsory LGBTI lessons for young pupils.
The Free Church of Scotland has urged Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) to reject a petition that wants to teach about LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) issues to children as young as five.
Representatives of the Public Petitions Committee will consider a campaign from Jordan Daly to make LGBTI "issues and topics statutory in all schools" in "a positive and progressive manner" later in the week.
It is aimed at introducing education to every primary, secondary and faith school in Scotland.
But the Free Church Moderator, Revd David Robertson, said if the petition went ahead it would be a breach of Christian parents' human rights.
"At the outset we restate our view that no pupils should be bullied in school for their beliefs and for the pursuit of a particular lifestyle and morality," he said.
"We do not believe that insisting that all pupils should be subject to a particular sexual ethic, irrespective of the beliefs and desires of their parents is either the only way or the best and most obvious way of tackling this problem.
"Human rights legislation says that 'the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions'.
"The petitioner's demand for statutory teaching of such topics without provision for parents and pupils who disagree is in direct conflict with this legislation.
"If granted the results would inevitably and evidently involve the promotion of a lifestyle which we view as contrary to God's good plan for us."
He added that: "We believe that the real object of the petition is to indoctrinate school pupils with one particular perspective on moral and sexual ethics and one which is contrary to mainstream Christianity.
"We believe this is a Trojan horse to impose an ideological perspective on all pupils, whether they want it or not.
"Naturally 'equal opportunity to achieve' is something the Free Church of Scotland supports, but we disagree that the only way to achieve this is to make LGBTI+ teaching mandatory.
"It also begs the question; what about the rights of those students who would feel excluded by this teaching?
"The petitioner's demand for statutory teaching of such topics without provision for parents and pupils who disagree, since they would evidently involve the promotion of a lifestyle which we view as contrary to God's good plan for us, breaches the human rights of Bible-believing Christians in Scotland."
The petition will be heard by MSPs on the Public Petitions Committee on Tuesday.