Main | Monday, February 02, 2009

Spain: Parents May Not Remove Their Children From Gay Rights Lessons

A Spanish court has ruled that parents will not be allowed to have their children opt out of civics classes that mention gay rights.
Parents in Spain who do not want their children to attend civics classes that include lessons on gay rights do not have the right to conscientiously object, a court has ruled. The Roman Catholic church is among those objecting to the new curriculum introduced in 2007 by the Socialist government of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Lessons on sexuality, human rights, the equality of men and women and the structure of political systems are taught at both primary and secondary level.

As well as the Church, the opppostion Partido Popular urged parents to boycott the lessons. The party lost last year's election on a platform of overturning gay marriage and removing the right of gay couples to adopt. Spain's Supreme Court has rejected the decision of an Andalusian court that a pupil could miss the class as a conscientious objector. Conservative and Catholic activists have pledged to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Mercedes Cabrera, the minister of education, said after the Supreme Court's ruling yesterday: "The reality of today's Spain is that there are all sorts of types of family and we have laws that recognise all kinds of relationships. People say that the state wants to occupy the territory that the church used to occupy. That's absolutely untrue."
Spanish right-wingers claim that the ruling court has no jurisdiction over Spain's autonomous provinces. And of course, American Christianist news sites are all over this story, predicting that it is a harbinger of the "indoctrination" of American children into the "homosexual lifestyle."

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