Outrage over withdrawal of LGTB books in secondary schools

The education community has condemned the ruling of a judge this week to ban certain LGTB books in Castellón secondary schools.

The Education union, Federacion de Educación de Comisiones Obreras, has called for a “united response” against the exreme measures introduced by the judge in Castellón. They described as “surprising” the decision to withdraw some 30 books with LGTBIQ themes which were to be distributed among state-run secondary schools in the city. The books were blocked following a complaint from the ultraconservative organizartion Abogados Cristianos (Christian Lawyers), who claim that the books could cause irreparable damage to minors.

Begoña Fuentes, respresentative for equality at the Fedeación, was saddened by the judge’s decision which she sees as a step backwards for fundamental rights like diversity. She said that the education sector defended the distribution of these guides not only to help to understand that there are many sexual identities and that they are all normal, but also that “they are a fundamental support to LGTBI teenagers.”

She also points out that the Valencia Region has a Trans Law and another Equality Law, as well as a pact against gender violence which supports of sexual diversity.

Spanish Minister for equality, Irene Montero, has also criticised the withdrawal of the books. She tweeted: “Reading makes us free and reading is also part of a necessary sexual education as a basis for a country without machismo or Lgtbiphobia. To withdraw these books from secondary schools is to block the way to human rights.”

Valencia’s Education Minister, Vicent Marzà and Equality Minister, Mónica Oltra, have also voiced their outrage at the books being withdrawn. Oltra pointed out that these books “talk of freedom, of diversity, of loving freely” which are “democratic values” and “human rights”.

The Educacion department and the city council have already said they will appeal against the decision.

On their website the Christian Lawyers claim that the books contain messages against Christians and other religions. They ask “Are we going to let the council use public money to promote hate and discrimination?”. On Sunday night their petition demanding the immediate withdrawal of the books in question from schools had nearly 12,000 signatures.

What do you think? Should the books be withdrawn? Or should teenagers be free to read them and inform themselves?

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