Queer comedian Joe Lycett slams Birmingham MP

Joe Lycett at the opening of his kitchen extension (Photo: Twitter)

Queer comedian Joe Lycett has slammed a Labour MP who backed anti-LGBTI protesters in Birmingham.

In an open letter, Lycett invited Roger Godsiff on a night out to see how ‘loving, joyous and normal’ the LGBT community is.

Godsiff on Tuesday said five-year-olds were too young to learn about same-sex parents.

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

Godsiff appeared to back the protesters.

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

But Lycett, who is from Godsiff’s constituency, urged the MP to explain ‘what you are doing to make LGBT people like me in your constituency feel like they aren’t being treated as second class citizens’.

Lycett, a stand-up comedian who regularly appears on BBC one and two, has talked about being bisexual and pansexual in his acts.

He previously said the LGBTI community has a ‘problem’ with the way it communicates issues.

What did Lycett write?

‘Me again!’ Lycett wrote. ‘I was the constituent who emailed back in 2013 asking for you to reconsider voting against gay marriage. You dismissed my email and voted against it anyway.’

‘And now here we are, 6 years later, and protests are happening outside a school in your constituency against children being taught about LGBT relationships.’

‘Not sex, just relationships – that relationships aren’t always between a man and a woman. You were seemingly silent on the matter before stating today that you are actually in favour of the protests.’

Lycett continued: ‘Despite you voting against it, gay marriage is now legal. I have since been to some really fun gay weddings and also some incredibly boring ones (no offence to Deb and Claire, but the speeches were unbearable). But they were all loving, joyous and normal.’

He said the LGBT community in Birmingham was also ‘loving, joyous and normal.’

‘I’d love you to see that’ he wrote, and invited the MP on a night out in Birmingham.

‘We can start at mine for pre-drinks, in my kitchen extension if you like (it was opened last week by The Lord Mayor!)’ He wrote.

‘Then we’ll go on to The Village, preferably on a night when my mate Ginny Lemon is performing; she does an astonishing tribute to Cilla Black. Then, if you’ve got the stamina we could go to The Nightingale for a dance, or head straight to a late dinner at King Kebab.’

He concluded by saying: ‘So perhaps you could just take a little time to explain, as my MP, what you are doing to make LGBT people like me in your constituency feel like they aren’t being treated as second class citizens.’

Author: Rik Glauert

The post Queer comedian Joe Lycett slams Birmingham MP appeared first on Gay Star News.

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?’

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.’

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.

Author: Rik Glauert

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Anti-LGBTI protesters allegedly egg activists outside school

Anti LGBTI education protestors outside Parkfield School (Photo: Twitter)

Anti-LGBTI protesters allegedly egged a group of activists putting up messages of support to teachers outside a school.

A group of 12 women and one man claim they were attacked while putting up banners and rainbow flags outside Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham, UK, on 19 May. The school is one of many in the area facing protests from parents for its LGBTI-inclusive education programs.

The messages on the banners included the phrase ‘Love is the answer’ and ‘no to Islamophobia, no to homophobia’.

One of the activists hanging the messages, Tracy, 49, said she felt ‘scared and intimidated’. A group of men arrived on the street and told them to get out of the community.

She told BirminghamLive: ‘It was awful. I was shaking. We had no intention of disturbing anyone – we were putting up banner and messages we had made to show solidarity with staff.

‘We wanted them to see something positive when they turned up for work and to see they had our backing.’

Both the group and nearby residents called 999 and the police arrived. The police are now reviewing videos and CCTV and try to identify the culprits.

However, most of the artwork and messages have  been torn down.

Placing the blame

Coordinator of the protests against LGBTI-inclusive lessons in Birmingham schools, Shakeel Asfar, laid the blame on the LGBTI activists.

In a series of Tweets, Asfar said they disturbed residents by turning up at night and intimidating people with rainbow flags.

One of the residents on the road spoke to BirminghamLive: ‘It looked incredibly intimidating. At one point the group putting up messages were trying to leave the street but were blocked in by the large group of men.’

Why are there protests?

This comes around continued attacks on the ‘No Outsiders’ program. Originally taught at Parkfield school in Birmingham by head teacher Andrew Moffatt, its message is acceptance to a wide range of people and families.

The teaching of No Outsiders has provoked protests across the city. The headteacher of one school told the Sunday Times that a mother told a teacher ‘It [being LGBT] is disgusting. If my child turned out like that, I would have to kill him for his honor’. 

Demonstrations have continued daily. The UK government recently passed through updated guidelines for their relationship and sex education lessons to include age-appropriate, LGBTI-inclusive relationships.

Many of the protests say it restricts their religious liberty. Also, many claim they are not homophobic, they insist they do not want to teach their children that being gay is okay.

See also

Protests resume at Birmingham school over LGBTI inclusivity lessons

Education chief says ‘huge step backwards’ if schools stop LGBTI lessons

Christian school worker fired for calling LGBTI education ‘brainwashing’

Author: Tom Capon

The post Anti-LGBTI protesters allegedly egg activists outside school appeared first on Gay Star News.