Textbooks must not ignore gays

A minister says school texts need reviewing because they insist on never mentioning homosexuality

22 October 2012

ALL SCHOOL textbooks should be reviewed to make sure they have an inclusive attitude towards sexual and gender minorities, a minister says.

Women’s Rights Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said in an interview with gay magazine Têtu that “today the textbooks insist on making no mention of the fact that certain historical figures or authors were LGBT [lesbian, gay, bi or trans], even when this explains a large part of their work, such as [the poet] Rimbaud.”

She added that it would be “useful for gay couples with children to be shown in the government’s general communications campaigns, so as to make the fact they exist more ordinary”.

She said France would support universal decriminalisation of homosexuality and seek a resolution by the United Nations. It would also work at European level to see that the union adopts anti-homophobia policies. French ambassadors would support LGBT campaigners, she added.

The comments come as the government gets ready to legalise marriage and adoption for same-sex couples.

The minister said she hopes to see a “big international convention against discrimination based on sexual orientation”, and noted that in some “neighbouring countries” gay pride marches were “repressed”.

She would also be instructing anti-cult agency Miviludes to stop the activities of certain evangelical groups seeking to “cure” homosexuality.

Photo: Benjamin Geminel / Wikimedia Commons

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