Welsh Government: Catholic Schools must promote pro-gay marriage campaign to ensure political balance

image courtesy of Ros Asquith

A Welsh Government investigation into PinkNews.co.uk’s revelation that the Catholic Education Service encouraged schools to promote a petition against same-sex marriage has concluded that this may have led to schools breaking laws on political balance.

The Government has also asked that any schools which promoted the petition now make pupils aware of ‘the converse view’, in other words promoting the opposing Coalition for Equal Marriage and other campaigns that support equal marriage for gay and straight couples.

Sections 406-7 of the Education Act 1996 forbids ‘the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school’, and requires balanced treatment of political issues. The Catholic Education Service confirmed to PinkNews.co.uk that it had written to at least 359 Catholic state secondary schools in England and Wales last month asking them to draw attention to a letter by senior archbishops which told Catholics of their “duty” to do “all we can to ensure that the true meaning of marriage is not lost for future generations”.

It also asked schools to “draw attention” to the Coalition for Marriage campaign and petition against civil marriage equality, which now has over 460,000 signatures.

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