A devout Christian mother in the U.K. is suing her son’s school for compelling her 4-year-old child to participate in an LGBT pride parade without her consent.
The case, which is the first of its kind, relates to an event in June 2018 at the Heavers Farm Primary School in South Norwood, southeast London. The school’s headmaster reportedly told the child’s mother, Izzy Montague, her son could not opt out of the pride march despite her staunch Christian beliefs.
The mother is seeking legal action against the school on the grounds of direct and indirect discrimination, victimization, and breach of statutory duty under the Education Act 1996 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
On Wednesday, the Central London County Court heard how the school sent a letter to all parents before the event detailing how the LGBT march intended to “celebrate the differences” of the school’s pupils “that make them and their family special.”
However, when Mrs. Montague replied to the letter asking for permission to excuse her son from attending school on the day in question over fears he would be “involved in a public display of adherence to views which she did not accept,” the school refused.
The presiding judge described Mrs. Montague and her husband as “devout born-again Christians, and they bear a belief that sexual relations should be abstained from or take place within a life-long marriage between a man and a woman and any activity outside those confines is sinful.”
The judge stated it was the complainant’s belief that homosexuality is “considered to be the most serious of the deadly sins.”
During the court hearing, Mrs. Montague expressed her concerns not only about the pride march, but also about the educational content being shown to her 4-year-old son during lessons. In one book the children had been reading, there had been references to a same-sex family.
When questioned by the school’s lawyer on the content of the letter detailing the pride event, the mother said she felt it was an attempt “to indoctrinate it onto us by passing it off that it was part of law or part of British values, or it was part of the national curriculum; it was trying to sell something no one wanted to buy.”
“It felt like it was lecturing me about something to do with British values and somehow we weren’t adhering to British values,” she added.
She told the court she acknowledged the importance of promoting diversity and equality, but believes this can be done without infringing on individuals’ religious beliefs. She dismissed the notion that the letter was sent out during pride month, insisting, “A month that celebrates sexual lifestyles is a problem in any month.”
Mrs. Montague is being supported during the hearing by the Christian Legal Center.
The scheduled eight-day hearing continues.