Guess what’s giving NSW MLC Mark Latham sleepless nights? Latham, known for his anti-LGBTQI stances, has claimed that parents have complained to him about an all female-production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at Campbelltown Performing Arts High, which featured a kissing scene between the two lead female actors. 

Dire Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet under its SHEkspeare project, was reportedly performed at the Sydney school to students in years 8, 9 and 10.  The play, with an all female cast, had a same-sex kiss between the two protagonists. The kiss appeared to bother Latham, not exactly known for supporting the LGBTQI community.

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The MLC claimed that parents had been calling him in distress after students witnessed the same-sex kiss, though apparently the school has not received any such complaints from parents. 

Campbelltown Performing Arts High, A Sexuality School? 

In NSW Parliament during question time, Latham asked Minister For Education Sarah Mitchell as to “why on your watch has Campbelltown Performing Arts High become a sexuality school?

“Is the Minister aware of parental and student concerns that when the school organised a live production of Romeo and Juliet last month, the two lead performers were female and engaged in passionate romantic kissing in front of the children,” claimed Latham.

Latham, who earlier this year failed in his bid to get the NSW Parliament to pass two anti-trans bills, also objected to rainbow pride signs at the school. 

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“Minister, why does the school have two large signs on either side of its office building promoting lesbianism, gay, bisexuality, transgender and pansexuality. Given that our high school students are three to four years behind China in several subjects, why is sexuality such as this even needed for a good public education in New South Wales?” 

Latham Cites Working Class and Religious Parents

Dire Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet is a brand new, all female, modern interpretation, of the play.

Latham has claimed that parents were upset with the performance and about the fact that the note sent by the school did not mention the play featured two women sharing a kiss on stage. Latham added that religious and conservative parents were not given the option to opt out.

In his supplementary question before the Parliament, Latham claimed he was standing up for working class parents of Campbelltown.

“There is nothing to do with the performing arts with what happened there. If you were their parent, you would sympathise instead of being an inner city elite who could not give two hoots about working people in Campbelltown,” Latam told leader of the opposition in the upper house Penny Sharpe. 

“The working-class parents in Campbelltown want an answer as to why the school has become a sexuality school, with the theatre performance… What is the Minister’s response to these parents, who have been on the phone to me in distress about what is happening at the only high school that they have available to them in Campbelltown?” added the MLC. 

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Minister Mitchell was quoted in the Daily Mail as saying the performance was “consistent with the Department of Education’s Controversial Issues in Schools policy” and that no parents had complained to the school about it. 

So, Much Ado About Nothing? 



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