Education | Religion | United Kingdom

After Coming Out to Students, Gay British Teacher Resigns in Response To Parent Complaints

When some of his 10 and 11-year-old students held up a sign saying "Gay Is Good" at a school assembly, assistant head Andrew Moffat of Chilwell Croft Academy in Birmingham - UK, not Alabama - felt it was a good time to come out to show his students that they knew someone gay. That decision wound up costing him his job.

Andrew MoffatWhen word got out, a minority of parents began loudly complaining that they didn't want Moffat teaching their children. The parents, predominantly of Muslim faith but with some Christians as well, said that they didn't want their children being taught that being gay is ok. Moffat resigned under the pressure and has accepted a teaching position outside Birmingham.

Presently, a dozen schools in Birmingham are under investigation for financial mismanagement and the introduction of Islamic religious teachings into the curriculum. Last month a document called "Operation Trojan Horse" was circulated and is allegedly a guide on how Islamic fundamentalists could take over schools.

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Comments

  1. I wish every "liberal" in America would wake up and stop defending Islam as a freedom of religion issue. What is happening in Europe is frightening, as they are taking over whole areas of countries, such as Great Britain, Amsterdam, and others, and enforcing their own Sharia court system laws. Gays are being harassed and worse in many neighborhoods.

    Posted by: freak | Apr 10, 2014 2:18:09 PM


  2. Shameful

    We saw this in toronto when there were discussions about LGBT-inclusive edudation: many parents "don't want their kids being taught that GAY IS OK"

    heck, if twitter-racism is any indication many parents don't want their kids being taught that all ethnicities are equals, either.

    i stood up during one of those schoolboard debate/discussions - as a gay man, who was once a child (duh...) I was on the receiving end of hatred from the children of parents like the ones in this story. Worse - many gay children are brought up in those homes.

    being anti-gay won't make your kids straight, just as your children learning not to hate LGBT people won't make your children gay.

    http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/plan-for-gay-centric-toronto-school-shelved-1.973410

    one of the issues i, and others, raised is that as children we often don't think we know any other gay people. we don't know that our teachers are gay, yet we're often very aware of how many of our teachers *are straight* - husbands and wives are mentioned and nobody batts an eye.

    or, as we said to a number of groups of immigrants-to-Canada who objected to our country's strong culture of diversity and inclusion: you came to Canada for a reason. If you're suddenly yearning for the religious thought-control of your cultural homeland, go back. You can't come here for freedom and then get upset when there's freedom for the people you were conditioned and taught to hate.

    same thing with the UK.

    what this teacher did would have no doubt helped and inspired and given hope to many of his closeted students.

    what happened TO him will no doubt cause many to spend more years in the closet. and sadly - some of those vocally ancti-gay parents have closeted children at home.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 10, 2014 2:21:28 PM


  3. And so begins the Islamification of Europe. It won't take too long. The Europeans have no sense of their own culture... no real commitment to liberal democracy, and the Muslims are chomping at the bit to take over.
    Europe is finished. They will slowly retreat into a dark age of islamic repression and oppression. Free thought will be attacked at every corner, and the Islamists will control what is and what is not acceptable in European society --all through bullying of the passive European peoples. This will be one of the easiest conquests in the history of the world. Islamists everywhere insist on Islam having primacy over all state laws and state functions... they cannot conceive of governance any other way. Europe is utterly lost.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Apr 10, 2014 2:51:13 PM


  4. Little Kiwi:

    Europe is too afraid of Muslims to curb their control over the levers of power. All political parties quake in their boots at the Muslims... why? Because Muslims are primitive and uncivilized people. If they don't like what you say, they stab you to death. Or put a reward on your head. I think all Muslims should be deported from all Western nations. Period. They are primitive and until the prove that they can function in the modern world, they should be deported immediately.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Apr 10, 2014 2:54:58 PM


  5. And America is too afraid of right-wing Evangelical Christians. So, yay.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 10, 2014 3:01:59 PM


  6. @ "I think all Muslims should be deported from all Western nations. Period. They are primitive..."

    Yeah. And all white hood wearing bigots should be deported from Pennsylvania to West Virginia...but we can't always have our way, can we?

    I still can't believe how long it took me to realize that "Dan Corn Cobb" was another alias of "Rick." wow.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 10, 2014 3:03:58 PM


  7. Religion: Because being a few thousand years behind the rest of the world makes us feel safe.

    Disgusting. Religion needs to evolve or die.

    Posted by: Marc | Apr 10, 2014 3:05:33 PM


  8. When i was living in London I used to regularly carry groceries home for a neighbor in my flat - she was in her late 60s, a Muslim woman from Iran. pre-Khomeini Iran. she didnt' cover her hair. we'd have tea, after i delivered her groceries, and she'd talk about the changes in her culture - especially the new immigrants in east london who adopted the burqa and niqab - which she didn't do. none of which are in any way mandated by "Islam" - nor the Qu'ran, but by men who seek to control women. how she was viewed as a "threat" by being a Muslim woman who did not cover herself up the way many of the new-immigrant women did, and if we're being real were FORCED TO by their husbands.

    but hey - that would require one to address basic issues of patriarchy, which i know is too hard for trolls who'd rather just spew xenophobia.

    i miss that lady. she was a peach. she even set me up with a cute guy from a neighbouring flat.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 10, 2014 3:10:51 PM


  9. It's not about Islam, it's about fundamentalism in all it's forms infecting public schools and public policy.

    Posted by: Buckie | Apr 10, 2014 3:36:12 PM


  10. @Buckie
    If fundamentals of Islam are a problem then Islam is a problem. Let's not pretend that Muslims are evenly divided on this issue.

    Posted by: Eugene | Apr 10, 2014 3:48:57 PM


  11. Eugene: can the same not be said for christian fundamentalism??

    Posted by: MATTROCKS | Apr 10, 2014 4:02:14 PM


  12. to mattrock's point - when i was at these discussions in Toronto there were no Muslims there freaking out. just "Christians"

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 10, 2014 4:08:32 PM


  13. It is Islam, and not homosexuality, that needs eradicating from schools.

    Posted by: DANSWON | Apr 10, 2014 5:02:22 PM


  14. Islam IS very anti gay. Brutally. I lived in the middle east for some time. It's not even anti gay. It's SO anti gay that in some parts there is actually no technical term for homosexuality. Like it's so taboo they don't even bring it up.

    Posted by: Junes | Apr 10, 2014 5:15:24 PM


  15. The UK is prone to Islamic pressure because of the way local councils work. There are also community relations boards. When you grant seats in gov. to religious leaders automatically because you used to believe strongly in a state religion then you're going to get religion infected politics. There are so many boards and govt. positions reserved for "bishops" in the UK that it's essentially a patronage position.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 10, 2014 5:24:57 PM


  16. Don't y'all believe that there are Muslim people who hate HATE? Who hate to see their sons, daughters, nephews and nieces murdered because they are LGBT--don't you think so?

    People who condemn entire races, nationalities, or religious groups are intellectually LAZY.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 10, 2014 5:27:53 PM


  17. I'm with Buckie--it's fundamentalism across the boards, Islam just happens to have the microphone and spotlight on it right now. There are puh-lenty of right wing "Christian" groups in this country that would be more than happy to follow the same template as "Operation Trojan Horse," but instead they tend to just pull their kids out of public schools altogether and home-school them according to their beliefs. But everyone else is right about one thing: you may have a first amendment right to practice your religion--at least in America--but the minute you start using your religion as an excuse to deny other people's freedoms (including circumcising girls, abusing women, punishing gay people, etc.), you've just crossed the line. Why do so many "true believers" fail to grasp the inherent hypocrisy of this? (Then again, I might just as well ask the pilgrims and Puritans who left England to escape religious persecution...so they could come to the New World and persecute anyone and everyone, especially Native Americans, who wasn't like them.)

    Posted by: Dback | Apr 10, 2014 7:38:52 PM


  18. The problem is that a lot of Muslims are about a thousand years behind even American Christian fundamentalists. Kind of like Ultra-Orthodox/Hasidic Jews. Both from the Middle East, both extremely patriarchal.
    Any political/social culture in an open society is more or less the sum total of everyone in the culture. Enforcement of norms from thousands of years ago by religion obviously makes these cultures more resistant to change and more dangerous.

    Posted by: emjayay | Apr 11, 2014 1:01:47 AM


  19. As an American, I'm kinda glad the British Fundie Muslims are being so public in their anti-gay bigotry.

    Because American Fundie Christians are so hugely anti-muslim, seeing muslims be anti-gay might make Fundie Christians re-think their exact same stance and move away from it.

    Posted by: lookyloo | Apr 11, 2014 9:53:47 AM


  20. BTW: That 'Operation Trojan Horse' concept the Fundie Muslims are accused of actioning in the British school district is super similar to what the Religious Right in the U.S. did starting back in the 80's nationwide - And school boards and minor local stuff was their first creeping steps in a well planned long-con - and here we are 30 years later and they've now got many important seats and puppets in state and national politics in a big way.

    It was a genius, manipulative plan - and I hope the Fundies in Britain are headed off before they get footing.

    Posted by: lookyloo | Apr 11, 2014 10:06:17 AM


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