Pupils Asked To Sign Anti-Gay Marriage Petition
In what some consider a misjudged reaction to the issue of gay marriage, the Catholic Church has asked children to sign a petition. All 385 state-funded Catholic secondary schools in England and Wales have been contacted.
Created by the Coalition for Marriage, the petition so far has around 466,000 signatures but is keen to gather more in order to protect the ‘true meaning’ of marriage.
One pupil from St Philomena’s in Sutton expressed her indignation at being asked to sign the petition. ‘I for one was appalled and disgusted by what they were encouraging,’ she said, adding that it was an ‘outdated, misjudged and heavily biased presentation.’
The British Humanist Association’s Richy Thompson said that the church had undermined their desire to ‘protect children from exposure’ to such matters.
The Catholic Education Service suggested their intention was much more gentle. A spokesman said that they asked schools to ‘consider’ using the letter in assemblies, and to ‘consider’ asking pupils to sign the petition. In addition, he said that schools with a religious nature are allowed to teach sex and relationships in accordance with its religious views.
Finally, he emphasized that the Catholic view of marriage is not a political view but a religious one.