‘God created male and female’: ACDP wants gender policy for schools scrapped

The ACDP believes pupils will be forced to make decisions that'll be against the religion they were brought up with if draft guidelines on gender identity and sexual orientation were implemented.

A rainbow flag, representing equality for members of the LGBTI community. Picture: Stock.xchng.

CAPE TOWN - The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) is calling for the scrapping of draft guidelines on gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools.

On Monday, the Western Cape Department of Education accepted a memorandum from the party following a picket.

READ: ACDP pickets against LGBTI+ draft policy in public schools

The department released the document for public comment last year and said it had already received many comments in support and against the policy - as well suggested amendments.

The ACDP's Ferlon Christians believes pupils will be forced to make decisions that'll be against the religion they were brought up with.

“We were picketing outside the legislature and had boards that said, ‘God created male and female’ and ‘down with unisex bathrooms.’”

He added that allowing principals to guide pupils who were challenged by their sexual identity would rob parents of the privilege of counselling their own children at home.

The ACDP said it was against school principals managing the process of referring a pupil who questioned his or her gender identity to a social worker, psychologist or any other organisation for counselling and assistance.

The party also opposed allowing LGBTQI+ pupils to use toilets or changing room facilities which he or she felt comfortable with.

Other aspects of the draft policy include that pupils may bring a partner of their choice to school functions and matric dances, regardless of sexual orientation.

The Triangle Project's Sharon Cox said great progress was made with the guidelines, but there were concerns.

“There has been great backlash from the conservative, religious groups and this cannot be tolerated and can’t be allowed to continue to happen and be stalled this way.”

The provincial education department says the guidelines aim to create an environment that does not discriminate unfairly against gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

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