A government report in Ireland may recommend all primary and secondary students be taught about LGBTI sexual health and relationships, “without distinction as to their heterosexual counterparts”.
The primary school curriculum would only be taught in an “age and developmentally appropriate manner”.
Per the Irish Independent, the draft report from the Oireachtas Education Committee includes a recommendation that legislation be changed to ensure schools owned by the Catholic Church are required to teach the updated sex education curriculum.
The Department of Education would provide direction as to how the new program would be implemented by schools under religious patronage.
The committee said the new program should be “fully inclusive of LGBT relationships and experiences, including sexual orientation, gender identity and the spectrums thereof”, calling for the curriculum to reflect significant changes in Irish society.
Back in 2015 Ireland became the first country to legalise marriage equality through a popular vote during a national referendum to amend their constitution, which is said to have seen a spike in young people coming out. And in 2017 the country elected its first openly gay Prime Minister.
Other recommendations in the report include classes on consent, a curriculum tailored to people with intellectual disabilities, and a system to record incidences of homophobic and transphobic bullying.
These recommendations come on the heels of Scotland becoming the first country in the world to embed a LGBTI inclusive curriculum across all subjects, without exemptions.
The proposal that religious schools be required to provide a LGBTI inclusive sex education in Ireland is in stark contrast to the current debate on religious freedoms happening here in Australia.
Former Attorney-General Philip Ruddock, who headed up the government’s review into religious freedoms, said the review “didn’t find a lot of evidence” of discrimination, and recommended that religious schools be allowed to discriminate if it’s founded on religious precepts.
Former Prime Minister John Howard also stated that “nobody wants to expel gay kids and to my knowledge it’s not happening”, in reference to the debate. Despite these claims the full review included a number of hearings from people who experienced exactly that.
Earlier this month Prime Minister Scott Morrison failed to deliver on his promise to remove religious discrimination exemptions for LGBTI students in schools by the end of 2018.