Tasmanian gay community advocates have welcomed the release of a new relationships and sexuality education strategy by the state Education Department.

“We welcome the inclusion of [LGBT] issues in the new strategy because having gay and lesbian relatives, or friends with gay parents, is a fact of life for many students of all ages,” Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said,

“Students are already surrounded by public discussion about same-sex relationships, so it is appropriate for schools to provide safe and structured environments for them to ask questions and receive unbiased information about these relationships.”

Croome said the release of the new strategy complements the Education Department’s efforts to challenge homophobia in the class room.

“The Tasmanian Education Department has led the nation in clamping down on homophobic bullying and discrimination, and the new strategy will complement those efforts,”

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