Tory MP Caroline Nokes clashes with anti-LGBTQ+ Christian over same-sex love in heated BBC debate

Photo of Conservative MP Caroline Nokes wearing a black suit standing in front of a grey brick wall

Conservative MP Caroline Nokes came out swinging for same-sex parents as she went head-to-head on the BBC with a Christian mum who is suing her son’s primary school over a Pride parade. 

The Tory chair of parliaments women and equalities committee appeared on Politics Live on Monday (February 6) to discuss the various political issues of the day. 

One topic which the panel examined was ‘Should LGBTQ+ education be compulsory’, for which anti-LGBTQ+ Christian campaigner Izzy Montague was brought in. 

Nokes and Montague butted heads over what LGBTQ+ inclusive education means in schools and the legitimacy of same-sex parents, with Nokes vehemently defending LGBTQ+ parents against Monatgue’s homophobic views. 

Last week, Montague – who alleged her son’s primary school ‘forced’ him to take part in a Pride event – said being gay is a choice and a “sexual lifestyle”

Addressing the panel via a video link, the devout Christian said the “ideologies” being taught in school – namely acknowledging LGBTQ+ people exist and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion – are “quite deep and quite disturbing”. 

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Host Jo Coburn pointed out that schools follow the curriculum set by the Department for Education and in the case of her son’s primary school they would have been following the government’s guidelines. 

Montague, however, swiftly rebuked this claim and said schools are not bound by laws over what they can teach and are thus teaching “ideologies” rather than facts. 

Caroline Nokes, the MP for Romsey and Southampton North, responded: “I simply disagree that being gay is an ideology. 

“I think the important part of the Department for Education’s statement is it’s about tolerance, and inclusivity and I’m sure that every school is championing that – certainly in my constituency – and that’s what they should be doing. 

“It’s not about ‘deeply disturbing’ ideology. I entirely reject that as any sort of factual way that the Personal, Social, Health, and Economic education (PSHE) is being taught in our schools.”

Caroline Nokes: ‘Gay relationships are reality – not an ideology’

Izzy Montague, who slammed a children’s book about gay penguins in 2019, went on to say that children could not have two parents of the same gender and saying they can is “passing your ideas on to children”. 

“Why I say it’s disturbing is because some of this is verging on what is truthful or not. Telling children that you know, some children have two mummies or two daddies.

“That is a deep, disturbing ideology. That isn’t correct.

“No one has two mums or two dads, children have a mum and a dad.”

At this, Caroline Nokes appeared exasperated: “Of course you can have children with two mums and two dads,” she said, “and I think it’s wholly disrespectful of Mrs Montague to pretend that gay relationships don’t exist and that they’re some sort of ideology, they are reality. 

“I think we should respect those families where children are being brought up in loving homes.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “We select our guests to ensure a broad range of views and all of our guests have their views robustly challenged by the presenter and the other panellists.”