Marriage (Same Sex Couples)

Memorandum submitted by Highlight (MB 20)

HighLight is an organisation with international links which aims to inspire and equip head teachers, teachers, parents and others who work with young people by offering support, advice, training, conferences and by promoting ‘Keys for Generational Development’ – our documents on the different aspects of teaching and management. See our website below

HighLight supports the freedom of all individuals to make choices according to their conscience within the law and respects the government’s efforts to improve education in this country. In the light of the recent vote in the House of Commons which passed the Same-sex Marriage Bill, HighLight is writing, on behalf of many teachers and parents who have spoken to us, to ask the Committee to consider amendments which will protect their human right to follow their conscience.

Teachers are deeply disturbed that they can be discriminated against, even endangering their jobs, if they, in all conscience, cannot promote gay marriage to their pupils. Schools with a Christian ethos detect a double standard here: on the one hand they are told they must have a cohesive religious ethos running through all their policies and practice and, on the other, are expected to promote a redefined version of marriage to their pupils which runs completely counter to biblical teaching and their conscience.

Parents, who quite properly, have the right to withdraw their children from religious teaching if they so desire, cannot now opt out from teaching which denies the traditional Christian view of marriage.

Surely this is discrimination in another guise?

HighLight appeals to the Committee to redress this incongruous and illogical situation with amendments which will categorically protect the rights of teachers and parents and their freedom of conscience.

February 2013

Prepared 15th February 2013