- (Photo: Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes)
It was recently announced in France that primary school children will be taught about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as the government prepares to vote on legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage.
In October, France's Education Ministry revealed that it was considering applying changes to school's curriculum in an effort to combat teenage suicides related to LGBT bullying. In this way, they claimed, France could become a "world leader in the fight against homophobia."
But the proposal has hit buffers following a strong reaction from conservative politicians and religious leaders in France, who say that promotion of homosexuality is not the course that would quell the rising tide of negativity geared towards gays.
Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, France's Minister for Women's Rights, insisted that the French government is pushing forward its coverage of LGBT issues, which includes teaching primary school children about issues specifically attributed to the LGBT community.
The latest proposals are in line with the French government's plans to legalize same-sex marriage, as recent reports indicate that any change to French law to legalize gay marriage would have to include plans to provide for "assisted procreation" for homosexual couples.
There is limited support for gay marriage in France, and the large Catholic presence the country is urging followers to do what is right while they have been highlighting the importance of traditional family values.
The French bishops' conference had also asked priests to read a prayer recently that asked the people of France show the importance of "the love of a father and a mother" during the Aug. 15 Assumption holiday, according to the Associated Press.
Currently, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden allow same-sex marriage.
"The church's teaching on marriage is unequivocal: It is uniquely the union of a man and a woman and it is wrong that governments, politicians or parliaments should seek to alter or destroy that reality," read a letter published by the Roman Catholic Church.