Without question the two highest profile LGBTI policy aims are to change the Marriage Act and enshrine the radical Safe Schools program.

So how are they connected?

When marriage is redefined, there are consequential changes in education programs and policies in schools, and parents are increasingly excluded from having a say in the sex education of their children.

Safe Schools and similar programs are already running in Australia, exposing children to gender ideology and explicit sexual material in the name of “anti-bullying.” 

The main document used by Safe Schools, the All of Us booklet, tells students that they have two virginities, one each for male and female partners, and encourage them to consider gender as existing along a spectrum. 

Recently, a Victorian mother took to social media to express her concerns, in a video which has now had more than 4 million views:

Importantly, parents are not required to be notified that the program is in their child’s school, nor are they required to give consent. 

It is also difficult to “opt out” of these programs, because Safe Schools encourages a “whole school” approach to the promotion of sexual and gender diversity, and suggests ways to include gender diversity issues in subjects like maths and history.

It’s not just Safe Schools, but other similar programs and policies being introduced in Australian schools.   A mandatory policy for all South Australian public schools allows students to choose the bathroom, uniform, sporting team and sleeping quarters which accords with their chosen gender, without the consent, consultation or even notification of parents.

In countries where marriage has been redefined, “optional” programs like Safe Schools have become compulsory.

Following the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Canada, the school curriculum changed to introduce increasingly explicit content to children.  A description of the curriculum reads as follows:

It will teach students in Grade 1 the proper names for body parts. Grade 2 students will learn about the broad concept of consent by being told that no means no. Concepts of gender identity will be introduced in Grade 3, though the curriculum doesn't get explicit and positions sexual orientation as one of the potential qualities that distinguish people from one another.

Discussions about puberty move to Grade 4 from Grade 5, while education about intercourse will take place the following year. Masturbation and "gender expression" will be taught in Grade 6, while kids in Grades 7 and 8 will discuss contraception, anal and oral sex, preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

This program is mandatory, even in faith-based schools.

Despite initial assurances that parents would be able to remove their children from classes which did not align with their beliefs, the rights of parents to do so have now been removed, and the courts have proved unwilling to side with parents.

Steve Tourloukis sought to have his children removed from classes which presented homosexuality as normal.  The school refused, denying his request on the grounds it was impractical because LGBTI issues were embedded throughout the curriculum, and the school considered the ability to opt-out to be a form of “bullying.”  The courts, while acknowledging it was a significant imposition on his parental rights, denied his request and sided with the school.

In the United Kingdom, an unwillingness to teach homosexuality as normal have become targets of government officials and education authorities.

Earlier this year, the UK Government’s top integration advisor, Dame Louise Casey, warned that the insistence of faith-based schools to teach that marriage is between a man and a woman was an unacceptable form of extremism.  Dame Casey said:

“[I]t is not OK for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti gay marriage.  That's not how we bring children up in this country.”

More recently, UK schools which have not implemented pro-LGBTI programs have faced adverse action from education authorities.  Vishnitz Girls School, an Orthodox Jewish school in the UK for girls aged 3 to 11 years, has failed two educational authority inspections and faces closure for not teaching children about homosexuality and gender diversity. 

If you’re not sure about how changing the definition of marriage will affect what your children and grandchildren are learning in school, vote no.