Words: Steve Brown
Parents claim a book about a gay penguin couple raising a chick could ‘confuse’ children and make them gay.
During BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme today (September 2), the host invited a primary school headteacher to give a lesson covering relationships education live on the show.
While on the show, Simon Kidwell – the headteacher at Hartford Manor Primary School in Cheshire – taught a lesson aimed at Year 5 pupils where he used the book And Tango Makes Three.
He said: “First, we want the children to know that families have different shapes.
“We also want children to know about that great British value of tolerance. Tolerance is where we accept people who are different and we respect people who disagree with us.”
However, one parent Izzy Montague said the book ‘promotes LGBTQ lifestyles’ and said they are ‘not natural’ and it’s not the ‘way of life’ – despite the book being based on a true story.
Another parent, Sally Rowe, said that young boys will be ‘confused’ at the book’s message and while learning some are gay, it would make them think they were as well.
Openly gay Conservative MP for Ribble Valley, Nigel Evans, was part of the show and said he has no problem with teaching same-sex relationships but admitted he ‘might have done 30 years ago’.
He continued: “But we’ve moved on since then. I didn’t come out as gay until I was in my 50s.
“When I was growing up in Swansea, I wish I’d been introduced to lessons just like that.
“It may well have been that I’d come out openly a gay then, not thinking that there was something wrong [with me].
“Sadly, we’ve heard a few views this morning which seem to suggest to me that there is something wrong in somebody who is either lesbian, gay or of some other, natural feelings and that does disturb me.”
Montague then hit back at the MP and went on to say she would tell her own child that it was wrong to be gay if they admitted they were.
She said: “Time and time again we keep hearing about you talking about your experiences. This isn’t about you, this is about our children.
“We’re not stopping you, we’re not stopping any child that identifies with LGBT… what we’re saying is, these are our children that we want to raise within our beliefs.
“It wouldn’t make me a bigot. It’s just what the Bible states. I’d tell them that it’s not normal.”