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Afzal Khan - MP for Gorton, responds to request from LGBT Foundation to stand up for LGBT Young People

Published: 10 April 2019 Tags: By Joe Nellist

On 21st March 2019, Paul Martin, Chief Exec of LGBT Foundation, wrote to political leaders in Greater Manchester setting out the reasons why LGBT inclusive education is so important for all young people. In the letter, Paul asked them to stand in solidarity with the thousands of young LGBT people, parents of LGBT children, and the 215,000 LGBT people in Greater Manchester. He also asked them to publicly state their support for LGBT inclusive education for all children

We have now received a response from Afzal Khan, MP for Gorton and we are pleased to see his commitment to ensuring that diversity remains at the heart of all children's education. Although this has been a challenging subject for many of his constituents, we welcome his support for LGBT people's right to live free discrimination.

We have published his response to our open letter in full below:

Dear Paul,

Thank you for getting in contact with me about Relationships and Sex Education (RSE).

There is nothing more important than keeping our children healthy and safe. On 27th of March I voted for the update to the RSE guidance. All children should be empowered to make healthy, informed decisions and to celebrate our diversity.

The Manchester Gorton constituency is massively diverse in terms of many different protected characteristics. As you will be aware, this has been a sensitive subject for many of my constituents and I have been contacted with a wide variety of views. I can assure you that I support the right of LGBTQ+ individuals, families and communities to live free from discrimination. Indeed, it is an essential part of my political work to tackle and breakdown all forms of discrimination, and to champion and protect freedoms for all people as is enshrined in the Equality Act and Human Rights Acts. Moreover, it is a moral issue that everyone should have the right to live free from discrimination, and I will continue to work towards this.

Protests in Manchester have been largely the result of misinformation around what the new guidance is proposing, and I am supportive of the councillors and schools who are working to communicate with those who have raised concerns. Within the constituency I know that head teachers have met with parents to discuss the proposed new guidance, and the feedback from these meetings has been predominantly positive. I have been sharing the factual information about what the new guidance proposes to reduce confusion and if there are outstanding concerns I am encouraging parents to approach their child’s head teacher in the first instance. I have also been in communication with the City Council and share their support of the excellent teaching in many schools in our rich, diverse and inclusive city.

Thank you again for writing to me and sharing your letter. You can be sure I will continue to follow developments closely.

Best wishes,

Afzal Khan MP
Afzal Khan
Member of Parliament for Manchester Gorton