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Humanists urge action: Welsh Catholic school policy says homosexual relationships are immoral

Take action! If you live in Wales then please urgently respond to the Welsh Government’s consultation on reforming relationships and sexuality education, which closes on Monday.

Wales Humanists is calling on the public to stand up for inclusive relationships and sexuality education (RSE) in Wales after a shocking case of a Welsh Catholic school that has been caught promoting an anti-homosexual stance in its RSE policy.

The St. Joseph’s RC High School’s Sex and Relationships education policy states, ‘the Catholic Church does not accept homosexuality in practice. It does not believe that sexual acts between persons of the same sex are morally right in principle.’

Wales Humanists, which is part of the charity Humanists UK, is concerned that this school, and other faith schools, will be permitted to go on teaching an anti-LGBT stance to pupils after worrying comments by Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price who decried that faith schools in Wales are ‘given the discretion’ to teach sex education in line with their own beliefs. First Minister Mark Drakeford responded by stating that he finds it unacceptable that such views are promulgated in any classroom in Wales. But he also asserted that faith schools have certain freedoms which are not directly in the hands of Welsh Government, thus avoiding the issue.

Wales Humanists believes this is a matter for the Welsh Government, and has been urging the public to add their voice to its ‘Make Wales a world leader in Inclusive Education’ campaign. The campaign calls for compulsory, inclusive, age-appropriate RSE for all students aged 3-16 years.

The campaign has been launched in response to the Welsh Government’s proposed new education curriculum, Our National Mission: A Transformational Curriculum.

Wales Humanists coordinator Kathy Riddick said: ‘It is shocking to hear of a Welsh Catholic school espousing harmful views that same-sex relationships are morally wrong. This sends a harmful message to young LGBT people who may be at risk of mental health problems. We need to ensure that LGBT people are respected and supported in our schools so we encourage as many people to add their voice to our campaign to ensure that all pupils in Wales receive comprehensive, age-appropriate, and inclusive relationships and sexuality education.

‘This is also the time to ensure that future schoolchildren in Wales will receive objective, critical and pluralistic religious education that allows pupils to explore non-religious worldviews such as humanism and not just the major religions.’

Add your name to our campaign by visiting our Take Action page here.

NOTES:

For more information, contact Humanists UK press manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at casey@humanism.org.uk or phone 020 7324 3078.

In its submission, Wales Humanists and Humanists UK will also be calling on the Government to ensure that proposed legislation of the new curriculum structure to include humanism in Religious Education (RE) goes ahead. This comes after the Welsh Government announced in January it was planning to change the law on school RE to include humanism. They are also calling for support of the parental right to withdraw from narrowly taught RE in faith schools, especially as the majority of young people are today non-religious.

Read our previous news item on humanism in RE in Wales here: https://humanism.org.uk/2019/01/28/welsh-government-to-change-law-on-school-re-to-include-humanism/

Read more about Humanists UK’s work on Religious Education: https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/schools-and-education/school-curriculum/religious-education/

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

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