Pride Glasgow will fight for better education to tackle prejudice
Thousands will march in support of LGBTI education this summer following a link-up between Pride Glasgow and a prejudice-busting campaign group.
Scotland’s biggest celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) identities has endorsed Time for Inclusive Education (TIE), which advocates a governmental strategy to tackle high rates of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in Scottish schools.
The partnership means that Pride’s official parade, which takes place on Saturday, 20 August, will be themed around the campaign's aims.
Pride Glasgow chief executive Alastair Smith said: “We are delighted to be working with TIE. Inclusive education is an issue that will tug on the heart strings of every LGBTI person, allowing individuals time for reflection about their experiences in education. This issue will bring the community out in their thousands to march, demonstrate and be part of bringing about the much needed change to our education system that TIE is aiming for.”
The time to create an education system that is fully inclusive of LGBTI identities and issues is now
Since the campaign’s launch last June, TIE has argued for inclusive LGBTI education across all schools in Scotland and has highlighted teacher training as a key method in achieving this.
Its calls have been supported by political figures across Scotland, including party leaders Nicola Sturgeon, Patrick Harvie and Willie Rennie - all of whom have outlined a strategy in line with TIE’s calls in their party manifestoes during the election campaign this month.
A TIE spokesperson said: “This is a huge step forward for both our campaign and the LGBTI community. Pride Glasgow’s decision to theme their parade - which attracts thousands each year - around TIE sends a clear message to decision makers in Holyrood that the time to create an education system that is fully inclusive of LGBTI identities and issues is now.”
The SNP has committed to working with the campaigners throughout the term of the next Scottish Government to create and implement a strategy that will tackle prejudiced based bullying against LGBTI young people in schools.
However, the director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, Michael McGrath, expressed concerns around the campaign and argued that "it is not the job of the government" to promote "homosexual activity" in schools.
Recently, Patrick Harvie, co-convenor of the Scottish Greens, announced that a "coalition of MSPs" would hold the SNP to account in order to ensure that sufficient funding was provided for the move and that faith schools were not exempt from any strategy proposals.
Meanwhile, support for TIE’s campaign has continued to grow, with Harry Potter actress Emma Thompson being the latest celebrity to endorse it.