LGBT group in the Philippines slams Congress’ online poll

LGBT group in the Philippines slams Congress' online poll

Some of the many protestors at the SOGIE Equality Bill rally in Quezon City. | Photo: Twitter/@tomasinoweb A coalition of LGBTI rights groups in the Philippines has slammed an online same-sex unions poll by the country’s Congress.

It was ‘misleading and irresponsible to ask for public opinion on a nuanced issue with such inadequate information and narrow choices’ the Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network (LAGABLAB) said .

‘Our Congress should not decide on our rights solely on the basis of personal opinions or mere online polls … Let our choices be informed and our voices be heard,’ it also said in a Facebook statement.

The group also slammed Civil Partnership Bill currently in the House as failing to give equal rights.

‘Are you in favor of the proposal in the House of Representatives which legalizes same-sex unions as a civil partnership in the country?’ The poll asks.

Respondents can choose between three replies:

‘Yes, because this will give equal civil rights to same-sex couples. The bill provides such couples with legal partnership status that will govern their property rights, custodial rights over children and adoption rights.’

‘No, because the underlying intention is to legalize marriage between members of the same sex and I personally believe this is wrong.’

And:

‘I am undecided.’ Civil Unions

Predominantly Roman Catholic, the Philippines does not grant LGBTI citizens equal rights.

A bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual identity or gender identity is languishing in the country’ senate.

Articles 1 and 2 of The Family Code of the Philippines defines marriage as between man and woman.

A judge on the Supreme Court in 2018 said the country’s existing constitution and civil code could allow same-sex civil partnerships.

Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez filed a bill seeking the recognition of same-sex unions in October 2017.

But, LAGABLAB on Wednesday said it will not ‘in any way be marriage equality’.

The bill ‘creates a distinction between married couples and civil partners’ the group said.

‘It further creates a secondary status for LGBTQI couples — a dangerous consequence at a time when it is still legal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.’

As of Thursday (23 May) morning, 211,399 people had cast their votes.

So far, 53% of people had voted ‘yes’. Meanwhile, 46% had voted no. But, 0% said they were undecided.

Taiwan last week became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

LGBT Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary With New Logo

LGBT Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary With New Logo

The Los Angeles LGBT Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the release of a new logo and a video. The redesign comes just in time for national Pride month in June. The logo was created using images from multiple protest signs to create a singular symbol. A video , narrated by actress Patricia Arquette, details the creative process and shows the historic protest signs.

Both the logo and the video were created by RPA, which has been working with the center on a pro bono basis for two years, says Jason Sperling, RPA senior vice president, chief, creative development.

“Our goal with this work and with our relationship is to help give the community a voice and create the kind of work that helps the LGBT Center stand apart,” Sperling tells Marketing Daily . “Given that this was a celebration of their 50 th year in Los Angeles, it felt like an opportunity to celebrate the people that fought so hard, for so long, for necessary change.”

Raconteur, a consultancy focused on a creative storytelling approach to marketing, was also involved with the logo development.

The logo aims to pay tribute to the movement’s past and convey the momentum that’s being carried into the future by using 292 images from collections at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries.

Images included those from Chuck Stallard, a photographer whose largest body of work covers the war against HIV/AIDS as seen from the battlefronts of street demonstrations; and Pat Rocco, an activist who documented the LGBTQ rights movement in film and photographs. The images were taken from protests from the past 50 years around the U.S., mainly in Los Angeles.

The "Forward for 50" logo directly speaks to the center’s 50-year commitment to moving in just one direction — toward progress, by honoring the decades of struggle that have paved the way to freedoms and acceptance, says Kelly Freter, director of marketing and communications at the center, which claims to be the largest LGBT organization in the world.

The font will be available for download on the center’s website. Additionally, stencils created out of the font easily enable people to create present-day signage of their own.

The LGBT Cente’s Anita May Rosenstein Campus, completed in April 2019, provides health and recreational programs and services as well as affordable housing for seniors and homeless youth. The mixed-use development includes a Senior Services Center for residents and other senior clients, and a Youth Academy that focuses on youth empowerment through education and employment.

There are an estimated 65,000 LGBT seniors in Los Angeles; by 2030 that number will more than double. The center’s Senior Services program has seen a 450% increase in clients over the past five years.

Almost half of LGBTI Asian-American youth are critical of their identitiy

Almost half of LGBTI Asian-American youth are critical of their identitiy

API youth face specific hardships in the US | Photo: Yang Deng/Unsplash A new report from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the University of Connecticut (UCONN) reveals the experiences of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) LGBTI youth in the United States .

Their experiences consist of high rates of mental health struggles, discrimination, and harassment, stemming from homophobia, transphobia, and racism.

The data in the report was taken from HRC’s 2018 LGBTI Youth Survey. There are 1,243 respondents included in the report, with a majority identifying as cisgender, as well as bisexual and gay/lesbian. A total of 369 of the respondents identify as not cisgender (either transgender, non-binary, or genderqueer).

Respondents range from the ages of 13 to 17.

HRC and UCONN have previously released reports specifically on California , transgender and gender-expansive , and black youth . Feeling worthless

Feelings of worthlessness, struggle sleeping, and self-criticism appeared frequently in the report.

Most of the respondents stated they had trouble getting to sleep (93%), rated their average stress a 5 or higher on a 10-point scale (84%), and usually felt depressed (77%) or worthless (71%).

These feelings and experience can come from an unsupportive home life.

30% said they’ve heard their family say negative things about LGBTI people and only 19% feel they can ‘definitely’ be themselves at home.

‘I’m already out, but my mother hates that I’m a lesbian and doesn’t want me telling anyone about my “flaw,”‘ one respondent said in the survey.

A total of 43% of respondents said their family makes them feel bad about their LGBTI identity, including 57% of non-cisgender youth and 35% of cisgender LGBTI API youth.

A lack of counseling services makes these experiences worse. Only 31% of API LGBTI youth said they’ve received counseling in the past year and, consequently, 46% said they’re critical of their own LGBTI identity. Feeling uncomfortable at school

One respondent said in the survey they attend a Catholic school.

‘Even though my counselor says we can talk to them about anything,’ they said. ‘I can’t be sure how they would respond to discussing my identity. It simply feels taboo.’

Most API LGBTI youth don’t feel comfortable at school, with only 29% saying they can ‘definitely’ be themselves there.

A third said they’ve been been bullied on school property within the last year, 65% said they’ve been verbally insulted, and a quarter said they’ve been physically threatened.

These feelings are consistent with larger reports about LGBTI youth in schools across the country. Racism compounds the issues

85% of the youth have experienced racial discrimination, with more than 1 in 5 thinking about racism on a daily basis. Only 17% believe API people have a positive reputation in the US.

These feelings compound the discrimination and harassment API youth also face for their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

‘My counselor is a straight, cis, white woman,’ one respondent said. ‘And while I wholeheartedly believe she has no issue with me, it is just hard to relate to her enough to talk at length about these topics with her.’ See also

Birmingham LGBT lessons ‘not age appropriate’ says MP

Birmingham LGBT lessons 'not age appropriate' says MP

The complaints focus on lessons for which pupils have been given books featuring cross-dressing children and gay families The MP for a primary school facing demonstrations over LGBT equality teaching has said such lessons were not always age appropriate.

Roger Godsiff, Birmingham Hall Green MP, said he did not feel four or five-year-olds "could comfortably handle" discussions about sexuality.

The protests’ leader said the lessons amounted to "social engineering".

A police chief has called for an end to the demonstrations, saying views were becoming too entrenched.

The city’s Anderton Park Primary School has seen weeks of large-scale protests over the lessons.

Labour MP Mr Godsiff said: "As a parent pointed out, some of these children are only just out of nappies.

"Is it age appropriate for them to have to engage with their own sexuality and also learn about other sexualities at that age? That is the issue." Mr Godsiff said he thought the teaching of these elements of the Equalities Act should be held until children are older Shakeel Afsar, leader of the Anderton Park protests, said a demonstration on Friday would go ahead without further mediation involving parents.

He said he condemned any threats made to the head teacher or staff.

Andrew Moffat, assistant head of Birmingham’s Parkfield Community School which has seen similar demonstrations, previously said there had been a "misconception" about such teachings .

"It’s about community cohesion, British values, it’s about people getting along and co-existing," he said. What is in the books that Parkfield parents are protesting about? Mr Godsiff has faced criticism for not speaking earlier about the situation in his constituency, including from comedian Joe Lycett. Report The MP said he had met with the head teacher of Anderton Park, and sent his personal assistant to meet with campaigners, but felt there had been "no need" to speak earlier.

But, he said: "Some people are now beginning to turn this into a Muslim community versus the LGBT community issue and it is certainly not that." Many of the protesters claim primary school children are too young to be taught about same-sex relationships In England, relationships education will be compulsory for all primary pupils from September 2020.

Mr Godsiff said there were nine protected characteristics covered by the Equalities Act and there was "no need for them to be taught all at once".

Teaching of LGBT rights could be held until children were six or seven, he said.

"These parents do not want to change the laws of the land, they just want the lessons to be taught age-appropriately," he said.

Jess Phillips, the MP for Birmingham Yardley, who met with protesters on Monday, criticised his comments, posting on Twitter: "Shall I tell the lesbian moms I know from the school run that it’s not age appropriate that their children under five to know about them?" Report The complaints, mainly from Muslim protesters, focus on lessons for which pupils have been given books featuring cross-dressing children and gay families.

The demonstrations follow those outside the city’s Parkfield Junior School, in March. Mr Thompson said officers would help those involved in the protests to seek a solution West Midlands Chief Constable Dave Thompson expressed "growing concern" over the protests in Birmingham and said views were becoming too entrenched.

A number of alleged criminal offences related to the protests in the past 24 hours were being investigated, he said.

The protests had so far been been lawful but were causing growing concern, Mr Thompson said. Flyers have been handed out near the entrance to Anderton Park Primary School Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, Anderton Park’s head teacher, has received threatening emails and phone calls which are being investigated.

"It is very important all those involved in the dispute at Anderton Park recognise the adverse impact this is having on the reputation of the city, broader cohesion and most importantly the children at this school," Mr Thompson said.

"Views are entrenching with a determination to win this argument.

"This is creating an environment where those who seek division will have cause to celebrate and to exploit." Head teacher threatened over LGBT lessons

LGBT lessons protests spreading

Parents can’t veto LGBT lessons, schools told

Mr Thompson added the force "could not solve the problem" but would support those involved to seek a solution.

Similar teaching has been opposed in letters sent predominantly by conservative Muslims to schools across England, BBC Newsnight reported last week . MP Jess Phillips wants exclusion zone at LGBT row school Ms Phillips has called for an exclusion zone at the school to limit where people could demonstrate.

Ian Ward, Birmingham City Council leader, has asked authority officers to see whether a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) could be used to counter protests.

But Mr Afsar said the school had pulled "the shutters down" on parental engagement and was promoting LGBT lifestyles to children.

Ms Hewitt-Clarkson said she believed in "equality for everybody" and was discussing the lessons with parents at 12 meetings between now and the end of June. Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook , on Twitter , and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

‘I got death threats. My children got death threats’

'I got death threats. My children got death threats'

In 2009 Ugandan MPs tried to introduce new laws against homosexuality that would include life imprisonment and even the death penalty.

Homophobia was rife in the media with tabloid papers printing the names and addresses of gay men and lesbians.

Many activists suffered intimidation and assault.

The law was eventually overturned by the Constitutional Court in 2014 but homosexuality is still illegal in Uganda.

Victor Mukasa shares his story of fighting for LGBT rights in Uganda, first as a lesbian woman and then as a trans man.

Witness History : The stories of our times told by the people who were there.

Black Mirror released extended trailers starring Miley Cyrus and Andrew Scott

Black Mirror released extended trailers starring Miley Cyrus and Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott and Miley Cyrus in season five of Black Mirror. | Photos: Netflix Dystopian series Black Mirror has just released extended trailers for season five, starring major LGBTI celebrities.

Miley Cyrus and Andrew Scott are, in fact, among the protagonists of the new season of the beloved British show created by Charlie Brooker.

The cast also includes MCU stars Anthony Mackie and Pom Klementieff, starring in the first episode.

Black Mirror 5 will drop on Netflix on 5 June, five months after its last interactive episode Bandersnatch. Miley Cyrus plays a popstar in Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too

The pansexual singer and actress stars as Ashley O, an incredibly famous, lilac-haired popstar. Ashley is launching her own series of virtual assistant gadgets, Ashley Too.

As the trailer shows, the episode seems to deal with the AI gone bad trope, with Ashley Too showing a foul-mouthed, sassy personality. Fleabag’s Andrew Scott stars in Smithereens

Openly gay actor Andrew Scott stars in Black Mirror: Smithereens alongside Topher Grace, who plays a mysterious ponytailed character.

Scott stars as an Uber driver taking someone who works for a company called Smithereen hostage. But what does Smithereen do? Black Mirror: Striking Vipers stars Anthony Mackie

Finally, the first episode of the new season stars Avengers actor Anthony Mackie as a husband whose wife is trying to get pregnant.

However, Mackie’s character doesn’t seem too thrilled at the idea of having a baby. And what’s worse, his wife suspects he might be cheating on her. LGBTI representation in Black Mirror

The Netflix show boasts good LGBTI representation. Its most popular episode is San Junipero, centered on same-sex couple Yorkie and Kelly in the 1980s.

Furthermore, lesbian director and actress Jodie Foster directed an episode in season four, featuring La La Land’s Rosemarie DeWitt. See also

Hong Kong transport authorities approve LGBT ad after backlash

Hong Kong transport authorities approve LGBT ad after backlash

Participants hold a large rainbow flag as they take part in the annual pride parade at Victoria park in Hong Kong on November 17, 2018. (AFP/Yan Zhao) A Cathay Pacific advert featuring two men holding hands can now be displayed across Hong Kong’s transport network, after its reported ban sparked a public outcry.

Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post reported Monday that the city’s airport and MTR train operator had barred the gay-friendly ad from its crowded terminals, citing sources.

The news emerged just after Taiwan’s parliament legalised same-sex marriage last week in a landmark first for Asia, placing the island at the vanguard of the region’s burgeoning gay rights movement.

By contrast, campaigners have criticised semi-autonomous Hong Kong for lagging behind on equality issues.

Neither Cathay Pacific nor the transport authorities directly confirmed or denied the ban which triggered a massive backlash.

LGBT group Big Love Alliance launched a campaign on Monday encouraging Hong Kongers to share on social media photos of themselves holding hands with their same-sex partners or friends at the airport or the MTR.

As public pressure mounted, airport authorities said on Tuesday the advert now had their full blessing.

The ad is deemed "not in infringement of the Airport Authority’s established guidelines on advertisements displayed in the terminal", a spokesperson said in a statement.

JCDecaux, an agency that handles advertising bookings for the MTR Corporation, also appeared to have reversed course.

"We have advised… that the design can be posted at MTR stations," a JCDecaux spokeswoman in Hong Kong told AFP.

Ray Chan, Hong Kong’s first openly gay lawmaker, welcomed the move saying public and media pressure have made transport officials and their advertising agencies "right their wrong".

The city airport is operated by a Hong Kong government body, while the MTR Corporation is majority-owned by the government.

Hong Kong does not recognise same-sex marriage or civil unions and only decriminalised homosexuality in 1991.

But a British lesbian won the right to live and work in Hong Kong with her partner in a landmark ruling last year hailed by rights groups.

A separate case has been lodged by two Hong Kong men directly challenging the same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional.

Uproar Over Ad with Gay Couple Shows Hong Kong Lags in LGBT Rights

Uproar Over Ad with Gay Couple Shows Hong Kong Lags in LGBT Rights

Cathay Pacific’s print advertisement. Source: Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. Source: Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. Sign up for Next China , a weekly email on where the nation stands now and where it’s going next.

Two barefoot men dressed conservatively in dark suits stroll hand-in-hand on a beach, in a print advertisement that’s part of a new Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. campaign. The tag line for the ad featuring the same-sex couple reads: “Move Beyond Labels.’’

That seemingly tame request set off a controversy in Hong Kong, where the city’s subway and airport operators initially declined to run the ad, according to a May 20 report in the South China Morning Post. With critics vowing social media action to shame subway operator MTR Corp., the government-backed company and the airport authority both released statements distancing themselves from the decision.

Hong Kong’s Airport Authority said in a statement the ad was “not in infringement of the AA’s established guidelines on advertisements.” MTR said in a separate statement that it rejects gender or sexual orientation discrimination. And the ad agency, JCDecaux, said “the design can be posted at MTR stations.’’

The initial decision to censor the ad is the latest example of the gap between Hong Kong and many other places when it comes to LGBT rights. While the former British colony debates whether it’s appropriate to show two men holding hands, Taiwan on May 17 became the first place in Asia to legalize marriage equality.

Same-sex marriage is also legal in New York, London, Sydney and other cities that, like Hong Kong, are international financial hubs. More Acceptance

Still, there are some signs of growing acceptance of same-sex relationships in Hong Kong. Ocean Park, a theme park that is the biggest local competitor to Hong Kong Disneyland, in March published an ad showing two men in boxer shorts and sleeveless white undershirts embracing, with one closing his eyes as the other kisses his neck.

The ad was an homage to the 1997 film “Happy Together,’’ a same-sex romance starring Leslie Cheung, a gay man who was one of the city’s biggest stars before his death in 2003.

Gay Rights Prevailed, Except Where They Haven’t: QuickTake

Activists have launched multiple legal challenges to promote civil rights in the Chinese special administrative region, where there is more recognition of the importance of LGBT rights than in other parts of China. The campaign is building on last year’s landmark case in which a Hong Kong court ruled foreign spouses of gay expatriate workers were entitled to the same residential visas as foreigners in heterosexual marriages.

“We were very encouraged” by the case, said Gigi Chao, vice chairman of Hong Kong-based property developer Cheuk Nang Holdings. Chao, a lesbian, is a board member of advocacy group BigLove Alliance , which launched the social-media campaign against MTR.

“The fight for equality will be spearheaded by what happens in the courtroom,’’ she said. Legal Challenges

Among the plaintiffs pushing for more rights is a civil servant in the Immigration Department who has sued the government for refusing to give spousal benefits to his husband after the two wed in New Zealand, where same-sex marriage is legal.

There are also two new challenges to the ban on same-sex marriage, according to Lisa Wong, a partner at Hong Kong-based law firm Boase Cohen & Collins . In one case, a University of Hong Kong student referred to as TF and a 31-year-old activist known as STK are arguing the government’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage violates the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution.

In another case a woman referred to as MK is calling on the government to allow her to enter into a civil partnership with her same-sex partner.

“Attitudes are changing and as the LGBTQ+ rights movement gains momentum worldwide, so the Hong Kong government is facing increasingly frequent legal challenges to its policies,’’ Wong wrote in an article published on her law firm’s website last month.

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Birmingham LGBT teaching row: How did it unfold?

Birmingham LGBT teaching row: How did it unfold?

Protests have been held outside Anderton Park School for several weeks Lessons about same-sex relationships and transgender issues have resulted in protests outside primary schools, children being removed from classes and head teachers being threatened. BBC News looks back at the origins of the Birmingham LGBT teaching row. How did it all begin?

The No Outsiders project was the brainchild of Andrew Moffat, assistant head teacher at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham.

Mr Moffat created it to teach children about the Equality Act 2010 and British values. He also wanted pupils to "be proud of who they are while recognising and celebrating difference and diversity". What is in the books that Parkfield parents are protesting about?

What is in the books that some parents are protesting about? The project used books about a dog that doesn’t feel like it fits in, two male penguins that raise a chick together and a boy who likes to dress up like a mermaid.

"It’s about teaching young children that we are different in reception and year one, that’s as far as this work goes," he said. "We’re just talking about being different and being friends." Andrew Moffat pioneered the programme to educate primary school children about different relationships In 2014, the project was piloted at his school in the Alum Rock area of the city and was soon adopted by schools across the country.

Three years later, Mr Moffat was made an MBE for services to equality and diversity in education. When did controversy begin to unfold?

In January this year a parent whose child attends Parkfield school raised a petition, claiming the teaching contradicted the Islamic faith.

"Children at this age don’t even know if they are coming or going, let alone knowing what sexual orientation they will become," Mariam Ahmed said.

While the writing in the Koran is open to interpretation, it includes passages which suggest homosexuality is against the will of Allah.

Meetings took place between Mr Moffat and concerned parents, but some became "personal and aggressive", the school said in a statement.

Within days, some parents began protesting outside the school at home time. Several pupils were also kept at home. How did the school respond to the growing anger?

The No Outsiders lessons were paused to allow teachers to "re-engage with our parents", Mr Moffat said.

Four other schools in the city – Leigh Primary School, Alston Primary School, Marlborough Junior and Infants School and Wyndcliff Primary School – halted their lessons.

The protests, however, did not subside. They began to be held daily. Mr Moffat, who is gay, told the BBC he had been accused of promoting "personal beliefs" and had received "nasty emails" and threats, including one which warned he "wouldn’t last long".

Protests spread to other schools in Birmingham, including Anderton Park Primary School, in Balsall Heath.

Its head teacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson told the National Association of Head Teachers’ conference protesters had waved banners with slogans such as "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" and "We have a say in what they learn".

"The lead protesters have no children at my school," she disclosed. Who is heading the demonstrations?

Amir Ahmed has co-ordinated protests outside seven Birmingham primary schools and used a loudspeaker to address parents and other campaigners at Parkfield.

Although he does not have children at any of the affected schools, he said he was motivated by his religious beliefs and concerns about what children in his community were being taught. LGBT classes protester: I am not homophobic

LGBT classes protester Amir Ahmed: "I am not homophobic" "We are a traditional community – we have traditional family values and morally we do not accept homosexuality as a valid sexual relationship to have," he told the BBC.

"We do not believe in homosexuality but that does not make us homophobic."

He told BBC Newsnight the lessons were "not about gay lesbian rights and equality". Mr Ahmed added: "This is purely about proselytizing homosexual way of life to children."

When asked if children could be recruited to become gay, he said: "Well you can condition them to accept. This has been a normal way of life. And it makes the children more promiscuous as they grow older."

The protests outside Anderton Park have been led by property developer Shakeel Afsar. He got involved after his sister’s son brought home a book about a boy who wants to dress up as a girl. MP Jess Phillips wants exclusion zone at LGBT row school

Shakeel Afsar clashed with MP Jess Phillips at the protests He said critics had "put parents into the bracket as if we are homophobic – that’s far from the truth".

"All we are concerned is we are having our children come home with material that contradicts our moral values that we are trying to instil in our children." Where have the protests spread?

An investigation by BBC Newsnight found letters opposing the teaching of relationships and sex education (RSE) and LGBT equality had been sent to schools across the country.

Schools in Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Croydon, Ealing, Manchester, Northampton and Nottingham had received the letters from conservative Muslims.

In Kent, schools received letters from Christian parents and there have been reports that some children in Bristol have been removed from school by concerned parents. What do education chiefs say?

Ofsted has backed the No Outsiders programme, with its chief inspector Amanda Spielman saying all children must learn about same-sex couples regardless of their religious background.

She said it was crucial children were exposed to differences in society, and important children knew "there are families that have two mummies or two daddies".

An Ofsted report also found there was no evidence the curriculum at Parkfield overly focused on LGBT issues or was not taught in an age-appropriate manner.

Meanwhile, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said primary schools should be able to choose what they teach about same-sex relationships, if they "consider it age appropriate".

In a letter to head teachers he suggested listening to and understanding the views of parents as a way schools can "increase confidence in the curriculum" to help children leave school "prepared for life in modern, diverse Britain".

He said head teachers should consult parents but he reassured them parents had no right to veto what was taught.

The Department for Education says lessons about relationships will become compulsory from September 2020. How do teachers feel?

The prolonged action has taken its toll on several teaching staff.

Hazel Pulley, chief executive officer of the trust which runs Parkfield school, said some staff had lost weight and could not sleep.

An emotionally-charged meeting in April between 85 head teachers, Department for Education (DfE) officials and the council in Birmingham saw some people in tears.

"We feel completely alone here and feel as if we’re getting no overt support whatsoever from the government," one head, who wanted to remain anonymous, said.

Rob Kelsall, the national secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, tweeted that the "government need to step up and sort this out". Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson said protests over lessons at her school had been "aggressive" Like Mr Moffat, the head teacher of Anderton Park says she has been repeatedly threatened in emails and phone calls.

"There’s a whole variety of emotions: embarrassment for lots of our community and our parents who think this is just awful what’s happening; frustration that it’s going on so long; frustration that great British laws like ‘you can protest peacefully’ actually are causing us a problem," Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson said.

Birmingham MP says five-year-olds ‘too young’ to learn about same-sex parents

Birmingham MP says five-year-olds 'too young' to learn about same-sex parents

Labour MP Roger Godsiff weighed in on Birmingham anti-LGBTI protests (Photo: Facebook) The Labour MP for a primary school in Birmingham facing protests over LGBT education has finally spoken out and backed the demonstrators.

‘I have concerns about the age appropriateness of children of four and five being introduced to these ideas’ Roger Godsiff, Birmingham Hall Green MP, told the Birmingham Mail.

There have been months of protests outside schools with LGBTI-inclusivity programs in Birmingham.

Protests began earlier this year against the LGBTI-inclusivity No Outsiders program taught at Birmingham’s Parkfield Community School.

‘I have seen the cover of some of the books’ Godsiff also said on Tuesday. ‘I understand why parents have concerns’.

Godsiff cited the book My Chacha is Gay. It is about a Pakistani boy who has a gay uncle.

‘I am clear that parents do not have a right to veto what is taught in schools on equality’ Godsiff also said. ‘I have voted in favour of all the legislation on relationships and equality.’

But, Godsiff voted against equal marriage in 2013.

In England, relationships education will be compulsory for all primary pupils from September 2020. MP responds

Jess Phillips, the MP for nearby Birmingham Yardley, responded.

‘Shall I tell the lesbian moms I know from the school run that it’s not age appropriate that their children under five to know about them?’ My son’s school is in Roger’s constituency, shall I tell the lesbian Moms I know from the school run that it’s not age appropriate that their children under 5 to know about them? https://t.co/dxaUFixwWA — Jess Phillips (@jessphillips) May 21, 2019 Philips on Monday also confronted protest leader, Shakeel Asfar.

Phillips said: ‘I don’t agree with the protesters. I don’t agree you get to pick and choose which equality you can and can’t have.’ Our equalities laws protect us all. I will not be called agressive for wanting to protect all of the community, Muslims too. This is doing deep damage to the Muslim community and these protestors do not represent Birmingham https://t.co/dMuTYN9zh2 — Jess Phillips (@jessphillips) May 20, 2019 Ongoing dispute

The row over LGBTI-inclusivity education in UK schools has been making headlines following a series of protests against the Parkfield Community School’s No Outsiders program earlier in the year.

Protestors in the Muslim-majority areas claim that primary school children are too young for such material, or that pro-LGBTI education stands in contrast to Islamic teachings.

A number of schools in the area also halted their LGBTI-inclusivity lessons as a result.

LGBTI rights advocates, including LGBTI Muslim groups , have condemned the campaigners’ actions.

What’s more, Government education officials and the head of the UK’s school watchdog, Ofsted, have also voiced their support for LGBTI-inclusivity lessons.

The No Outsiders program is the brainchild of Parkfield’s assistant headteacher, Andrew Moffat.

The teacher has been widely praised for his contribution to LGBTI education in UK schools, being shortlisted for a global teaching award and receiving an MBE in 2017 .

Last month it was announced that Moffat would be open and lead this year’s Birmingham Pride Parade .