In the third of her series of posts about the Government’s new compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) programme, writer and researcher Belinda Brown reveals the government’s determination to promote all relationships except marriage.
FAMILY breakdown is the primary mechanism for perpetuating inequality and disadvantage. With an estimated bill of £51billion annually, it carries considerable social, economic and psychological costs too. Marriage is a tremendously powerful bulwark against family breakdown.
Almost four-fifths (78 per cent) of 14-17-year-olds in England think a lasting relationship in adult life is just as important (or even more important) than their career ambitions. Almost three quarters (72 per cent) want relationship education to help them understand how to build such relationships. When young people are asked about their long-term relationship goals almost 78 per cent of 14-18-year-olds say they want to marry. Yet the government’s sex and relationships education does nothing to reinforce or endorse those goals. It ignores them. The Centre for Social Justice, whose research revealed these findings, concluded that ‘Relationships Education shouldn’t ignore the word “marriage” and the ambition of young people to get married as adults.’
It is not just young people who hold these beliefs. The parents and others who responded to the government’s consultation on RSE also attached high importance to marriage, as the government acknowledged: ‘A large proportion of these responses referenced commitment and marriage, with some responses suggesting the guidance does not place enough emphasis on the value of marriage’, and that they specifically highlighted the importance of ‘teaching traditional marriage between a man and a woman’.
Yet, despite overwhelming support for teaching children about marriage, when it comes to the government’s guidance for schools and teachers, marriage plays a negligible role.
It is almost invisible in the resources which are being produced. The book Great Relationships and Sex Education, promoted as ‘destined to become a book on every PSHE teacher’s shelf’ appears to have nothing about marriage or family. Nor does the material produced by the NSPCC. The PSHE Association limits itself to teaching children to identify the differences between forced and arranged marriage. The Brook, the sexual health and education service for children with charitable status, appears to be completely unaware of the existence of marriage, as evidenced in this section called ‘Enduring Love?’
While it is difficult to look at the resources as they are usually behind paywalls, teaching marriage seems to be about the legal definitions of marriage, civil partnership and so on.
Perhaps this is to be expected. When it came to their own RSE submissions neither the Sex Education Forum (‘the voice of sex education in England’), the Coram Foundation, the Family Planning Association nor the PSHE Association mentioned marriage or family at all. Brook loosely mentioned family once. Several of these organisations and charities receive money either directly or indirectly from the government. It is these organisations the government have listened to when writing their guidance. Voices of parents don’t seem to have been heard.
While schools are squeamish about traditional marriage, which has been the bedrock of our society for thousands of years, with LGBT organisations, heavily funded by our government, gay ‘marriage’ explodes on the stage.
Stonewall, propped up with £640,000 in government funds, show how to weave gay ‘marriage’ skilfully into the curriculum. In geography, they use holiday brochures to choose a holiday destination for Simon and Pete. In maths they share biscuits at Fatima and Shanika’s wedding, appearing to have specifically chosen Muslim sounding names.
Educate and Celebrate, another charity which works in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London, teaches maths through the vehicle of Meryl and Daisy’s wedding. This well-funded organisation, whose mission is to transform nurseries and primary schools inter alia into ‘LGBT friendly places’, provides huge quantities of resources to promote gay families and gay marriage, a great deal of which comes free to the schools.
The problem is that whatever its virtues, gay ‘marriage’ is not marriage in the sense we understand it. Rather it is a chimera that requires neither sexual consummation nor fidelity. It separates sex from procreation, procreation from parenthood and parenthood from marriage. It destroys marriage as an institution by tearing it into its constituent parts.
This has been the persistent intention of the gay movement. For example the late LGBTQ campaigner Paula Ettelbrick explained: ‘Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality and family and in the process transforming the very fabric of our society . . . We must keep our eyes on the goals of providing true alternatives to marriage and of radically reordering society’s view of the family.’[i]
The Gay Liberation Manifesto explained how its ‘long-term goal’ was ‘to rid society of the gender role system which is at the root of our oppression. This can only be achieved by the abolition of the family unit . . . Children must be liberated from the present condition of having their role in life defined by biological accident.’
This ethos was integral to the No Outsiders project, it underpins gay pedagogy and it can be found again and again. It lies at the very heart of RSE which tears apart what should be together – committed relationships and sex.
Until recently children learnt about sex in the context of their own origins. This made sex seem special and important and as something which happened between parents it was woven together with commitment and love. Parents gained authority and love in the eyes of their children as beings with the ability to bring forth new life.
Now children are taught about parenthood through homosexual penguins in a bizarre inversion of anthropomorphism. Parenthood is separated from marriage and procreation from love.
Sex loses the architecture which transforms it into something more meaningful. Our bodies and the bodies of others are reduced to commodities where sex is in the service of pleasure rather than love.
Removing procreation from parenthood is the start of a process which will destroy the meaning of mother and father. A mother will no longer be a symbol of procreative power, able to nurture and bring forth new life. Fatherhood will lose meaning when there has never even been the notion of a mother or wife.
The aim is a brave new world where families are mixtures of individuals living together or not living together with children, where sex has nothing to do with procreation, where marriage becomes meaningless, where reproduction is separated from parenthood and where babies can be bought.
Such a world cannot be produced by men and women loving each other, getting married and having children. Those parents are more likely to produce children who will have internalised their own parents’ relationships between marriage, sex, parenthood and love.
This new constellation of relationships can be produced only outside the family. That’s why RSE as a mechanism for social engineering plays such a vitally important role.
[i] Ettelbrick, Paula: Since When is Marriage a Path to Liberation? In Baird, Rober M; & Rosenbaum, Stuart (eds) Same-Sex Marriage: The Moral and Legal Debate. New York, Prometheus Books, 1997, p.168