Leadsom: Parents Should Choose When Kids Are "Exposed" To LGBT Education
20 March 2019, 11:40 | Updated: 20 March 2019, 16:46
Andrea Leadsom waded into the row over teaching LGBQ issues when she said parents should have the right to choose if their children "are exposed to that kind of information".
The Leader of the House was on LBC as she was asked whether she agreed with the parents who have removed their children from lessons in school teaching about gay and lesbian relationships.
She said she was pleased that her own children were taught about it, but it was her choice of words when saying parents should be able to opt out of the classes that raised eyebrows.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari, she said: "I think that it's right that the government should have passed legislation that requires that relationships and sex education is taught in schools.
"But at the same time, I also agree that it's right that parents should be able to choose the moment at which their children become exposed to that information.
"And there are steps taken to enable parents to withdraw their children from classes up to a certain age."
When Nick asked if five-year-olds should receive lessons, she added: "I would be entirely happy for my children to grow up finding that their LGBT classmates are exactly the same as them.
"One of my own kids was in a class with a friend who had two mums and that was absolutely normal right from a very young age.
"I think it's important that we absolutely accept equality in every area whilst at the same time respecting that parents may have concerns about how young their children are when they become aware of these things."
Her use of words caused some controversy on social media.
Andrea Leadsom on row over teaching kids about LGBT relationships - says parents should get to decide when their children "become exposed to that information"— Esther Webber (@estwebber) March 20, 2019
In response, Ms Leadsom said: "As I said this morning, it is vital that every child is taught about the need for tolerance and respect, at home and in school, and that they demonstrate these values towards LGBT individuals at all times.
"I believe wholeheartedly in equality and ensuring children grow up accepting and respecting the diversity that shapes our country.
"Government policy allows parents to choose when their child takes part in sex education lessons of all kind, up until the age of 15.
"This unacceptable and deliberate misrepresentation of my views will have genuinely hurt my own LGBT friends and family, as well as the wider LGBT community."