Thousands of Christians demand Church of England end LGBTQ+ child bullying protection

The Church of England's Westminster Abbey, with a background in the colours of the trans Pride flag

More than 15,000 anti-LGBTQ+ Christians have signed a petition demanding that the Church of England withdraws guidance designed to protect children from bullying. 

The petition against the guidance has been spearheaded by the anti-LGBTQ+ legal group Christian Concern. 

The suuport in question addresses how C of E primary and secondary schools can support LGBTQ+ kids, and protect them from discrimination and bullying. 

One section of the guidance reads: “In creating a school environment that promotes dignity for all and a call to live fulfilled lives as uniquely gifted individuals, pupils will be equipped to accept differences of all varieties and be supported to accept their own gender identity or sexual orientation and that of others. 

“In order to do this it will be essential to provide curriculum opportunities where difference is explored, same-sex relationships, same-sex parenting and transgender issues may be mentioned as a fact in some people’s lives.” 

 “Schools must not discriminate (either directly or indirectly) against gender variant pupils, pupils who are perceived to be gender variant or pupils with trans parents,” says another.

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“In the context of a school, indirect discrimination could include an inflexible uniform policy that creates a particular difficulty for trans pupils.” 

The guidance is laid out in the context of the Equality Act, as well as equality laws for schools and OFSTED guidance. 

But the petition, hosted by the far-right campaign site Citizen Go, described the advice as “deeply damaging and wrong”. 

Christian Concern cited the case of Nigel and Sally Rowe, who sued the Department of Education because a gender diverse child and their children’s school was allowed to wear a dress.

The group said that the couple had written to the Archbishop of Canterbury “urging the Church of England to withdraw guidance that is used in schools to promote damaging transgender ideologies”, claiming that inclusive policies “can have catastrophic outcomes for gender confused children”.

Rebecca Hunt, member of the Church of England’s General Synod, agreed with Christian Concern, and said: “Unfortunately, the “Valuing All God’s Children” document is a trojan horse for the promotion of radical gender identity ideology in schools. 

“It is being used to justify suggesting to primary school children that they may be ‘born in the wrong body’ and the use of material that is pure indoctrination.

“This is causing distress amongst parents who know it is harmful to their children. It is also being used up and down the country to bully faithful Christians into silence when they seek to question gender identity ideology or feel they cannot in all conscience condone its promotion in the schools where they work.” 

PinkNews has approached Church of England for comment. 

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