Dutch member of parliament: all schools should mention homosexuality in their sexual education lessons

AMSTERDAM - According to Dutch member of parliament Boris van der Ham, of the liberal Democrats 66 party, the government should mandate that all schools should mention homosexuality in their sexual education lessons.

"Too many children are raised with a homophobic morality," said Van der Ham. "Although this is more common in urban immigrant families, rural Dutch families also have such prejudices. Schools should correct that image."

The MP's statement was timed to coincide with a Thursday debate upon that subject. Six pro-gay organizations have sent a joint letter to the Dutch parliament asking for the inclusion of homosexuality as a mandatory topic.

In Amsterdam 82 percent of schools have been found to be silent on the subject of homosexuality in sexual education, according to Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

"Sexual education gets only a minimal mention in the national curriculum. This enables many schools to avoid it altogether," Mr Van der Ham told news website nu.nl. Publicly funded non-denominational schools also wriggle out of giving this kind of education, he says, proposing that funding is cut when schools leave the obligatory sex lessons out of the curriculum.

"The schools are free in the form of their lessons," he said, "but the core goals must be met."

A similar proposal was recently rejected by Deputy Ministers of Education Marja van Bijsterveld-Vliegenthart and Sharon Dijksma.

Boris van der Ham has previously protested against the Polish government's attitude towards gays, stressing Poland's duty to follow European Union rules. He has also supported the amendment of the Dutch constitution to include gays among groups against which discrimination is explicitly forbidden.

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