Examination of Witnesses

Part of Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 12th February 2013.

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Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Shadow Minister (Equalities) 12:00 pm, 12th February 2013

My first question is for the Secretary of State for Education. I want to pursue a little more the protections for teachers, because a lot of public anxiety has been expressed. My understanding is that teachers are required to teach about the nature and importance of marriage. I think that that is the Education Act provision. If they are teaching about the nature and importance of marriage, and this Bill is passed and becomes an Act, as I hope that it will, implicitly they will have to acknowledge that same-sex marriage is valid, whether that is contrary to their religious beliefs or not. What protection is there for a teacher—as described by the Secretary of State a moment ago—who says, “I will teach you that this is very important, but I do not believe it”?