Parents lose legal bid to stop gender identity and sex education being taught in Welsh schools
A group of parents in Wales opposed to a new curriculum about gender identity and sex being taught in primary schools, have lost their legal battle to have it scrapped.
Campaigners against the Welsh government’s Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum sought a high court injunction to prevent the programme being taught to children from the age of seven, reports ITV.
The curriculum comes into effect next week and includes important education about relationships and identity, sexual health and well-being, empowerment, safety, and respect.
A high court judge refused the application, saying the claimants did not show any evidence of children being harmed during the injunction period.
Mrs Justice Tipples said: “Apart from the generalised objections at the root of this claim, the evidence does not actually identify whether between now and the date of the hearing in November 2022 any of the claimants’ children will be taught anything to which the claimants object.”
“There’s also no evidence before the court as to what, if any, harm it is said the claimants or any of their children are likely to suffer in the event the injunction sought is not granted,” she added.
A spokesperson for the Welsh government told PinkNews: “All schools which are rolling out the curriculum from September will teach RSE in a developmentally appropriate way as required by the legislation.
“This means all learners in these schools will receive RSE, which is critical to keeping them safe.
“We are unable to comment on the wider legal matters as they will be dealt with in proceedings in the High Court. We remain confident our reforms are proportionate and lawful and we reiterate that the claims this group makes in its literature have absolutely no basis or evidence whatsoever.”
Gender identity and sex-ed would ‘irreparably damage’ children, group claimed
The legal challenge was brought on by Public Child Protection Wales, which called the gender identity and sex education curriculum “inappropriate” for primary age children. The group states on its website that teaching young children about relationships and sex should “concern the whole of the UK”.
Representative for the claimants, Paul Diamond, said there were four mothers and a father “fighting for their children as any parent would”, and said they feel “weak and powerless”.
He also stated the claimants felt their children would be “irreparably damaged” by compulsory sex and relationship education.
It follows the Welsh government unveiling its new LGBTQ+ action plan, which aims to see the country become the most friendly for LGBTQ+ people in Europe.
It aims to devolve powers related to the Gender Recognition Act to benefit trans people and to ban all conversion therapy, while increasing support for Pride events across Wales.
The parent’s opposing the RSE curriculum wanted the judge to order a temporary ban until a judicial review had been held later this year.
They also put forward the want of an opt-out for parents to remove their children from the mandatory classes.
But the judge said the court could not order the Welsh government to excuse individual children from the classes because there is no legislative authority to do so.
The claimants were ordered to pay £12,000 towards the cost of the Welsh government defending the injunction application.
In August 2022, attorney general Suella Braverman said schools should not be teaching kids “keywords” about the LGBTQ+ community or affirming trans identities.
Braverman said, in her opinion, it wasn’t “age appropriate” for children to learn about LGBTQ+ identities or information about the queer community from education facilities.
The controversial figure also received backlash from a discrimination lawyer, who said Braverman had got equality law wrong in her controversial speech, and was simply attacking the rights of trans children in school.