An openly gay Birmingham councillor has slammed Labour MP Shabana Mahmood for comments she made about LGB teaching in primary schools.
Gareth Moore (Conservative, Erdington) was responding to a House of Commons speech on Monday 25 February in which Mahmood, MP for Birmingham’s Ladywood constituency, said: “Most of my constituents have been contacting me about the specifics of mandatory relationships education at primary school.
“None of my constituents is seeking particular or differential opt-outs at secondary school level.
“It is all about the age appropriateness of conversations with young children in the context of religious backgrounds.”
Mahmood’s comments came in the wake of the controversy at Parkfield community school in Saltley, a predominantly Muslim school where lessons have been taught about LGBT relationships. The teaching of the lessons has led to ongoing protests by parents.
In response to Mahmood’s comments, which have met with a significant backlash, Councillor Moore has sent an email to her in which he has urged her “to apologise for your inappropriate comments and endorse the teaching of LGBT equality and same-sex relationships in schools”.
In a blog post published on Tuesday 5 March, Mahmood wrote: “Nowhere have I said that LGBT relationships should not be taught - because that’s not my position.
“Nowhere have I backed the terrible homophobic banners and hostile protests at Parkfield school in Birmingham - because they are wrong, defeatist and feed the very prejudices I want to help eradicate.”
Mahmood also pointed to her voting record on all equalities issues, which includes her 2013 vote in favour of same-sex marriage.
In his email to Mahmood, Councillor Moore also called on the Labour MP to speak out against the increasing threat of residential development to Birmingham’s Gay Village. The councillor wrote: “It would seem you are more concerned about the books used for teaching primary school children than the loss of jobs, heritage and culture in an important and vibrant part of your constituency. You should be ashamed.”
MIdlands Zone columnist Lacey Lou has begun a petition where you can show your support for Andrew Moffatt, the teacher at the centre of the controversy, which you can sign HERE.
Birmingham comedian Joe Lycett took to Twitter to voice his view
FYI: LGBTQ+ people are in your schools. In your hospitals. We are in your families. We exist in every culture, in every religion, on every continent. You may not want your kids to know about us, but they will, because many of them are us, and we are really fucking cool. ️— Joe Lycett (@joelycett) March 6, 2019
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