Christian teachers who tell pupils that gay marriages is “wrong” should have anti-terror banning orders used against them, a Tory MP has argued.
Mark Spencer has called on Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs), which were introduced by the Government to crack down on hate preachers and terrorist propagandists, to be used to stop children being taught that same-sex marriage is a sin.
The MP for Sherwood made the comments when responding to an email from a constituent who was flagging claims by the Christian Institute campaign group that EDOs could be used against people who believe only men and women should marry, The Telegraph reported.
Mr Spencer responded that he believes that “everybody in society has a right to free speech and to express their views without fear of persecution”, and said EDOs will “guarantee” these principals.
He then gave the example of discussing gay marriage in schools, and said the belief that same-sex marriage is wrong could constitute “hate speech” in some contexts.
The MP went on to tell his constituent that while teachers can express their own views towards marriage, they cannot specifically teach that same-sex marriage is a sin.
The Government introduced the EDOs in the Queen’s Speech in May in order to stop people in positions of authority from radicalising the young. They were previously put forward in Parliament in March, but were vetoed by the Liberal Democrats who argued they threatened free speech.
The letter has emerged as newly appointed Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron faced pressure from a Tory MP to disclose whether he believes homosexuality is a sin. She made the call after he said he supports LGBT rights but did not say whether or not being gay is sin when asked three time on Channel 4 News.
LGBT rights across the globe
LGBT rights across the globe
Russia’s antipathy towards homosexuality has been well established following the efforts of human rights campaigners. However, while it is legal to be homosexual, LGBT couples are offered no protections from discrimination. They are also actively discriminated against by a 2013 law criminalising LGBT “propaganda” allowing the arrest of numerous Russian LGBT activists. (Picture: Riot police hold an LGBT activist during a Moscow rall.)
Men who are found having sex with other men face stoning, while lesbians can be imprisoned, under Sharia law. However, the state has not reportedly executed anyone for this ‘crime’ since 1987. (Picture: Chinguetti Mosque, Mauritania.)
3/7 Saudi Arabia
Homosexuality and transgender is illegal and punishable by the death penalty, imprisonment, corporal punishment, whipping and chemical castration. (Picture: The emblem of Saudi Arabia above the embassy in London.)
Bruno Vincent/Getty Images
The official position within the country is that there are no gays. LGBT inviduals, if discovered by the government, are likely to face intense pressure. Punishments range from flogging to the death penalty. (Picture: Yemen's southern port of Aden.)
Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal and in some northern states punishable with death by stoning. This is not a policy enacted across the entire country, although there is a prevalent anti-LGBT agenda pushed by the government. In 2007 a Pew survey established that 97 per cent of the population felt that homosexuality should not be accepted. It is publishable by 14 years in prison. (Picture: The northern Nigerian town of Damasak.)
Homosexuality was established as a crime in 1888 and under new Somali Penal Code established in 1973 homosexual sex can be punishable by three years in prison. (Picture: Families use a boat to cross a flooded Shebelle River, in Jowhar.)
Although same-sex relationships have been decriminalised, much of the population still suffer from intense discrimination. Additionally, in some of the country over-run by the extremist organisation Isis, LGBT individuals can face death by stoning. (Picture: Purported Isis fighters in Iraq.)
In an interview with Pink News, Dinenage herself admitted that she regretted comments she made around the time same-sex marriage legislation was passing through Parliament.
At the time, she said it was not for Government to redefine marriage and voted against the plans on one occasion. But she stressed that she wanted represent her constituents' views, not her own.
Additional reporting by PA