Christian and Muslim communities in Ireland have penned a joint letter to the education authorities voicing criticism of “LGBT week” at a school in West Dublin last month.
A number of parents are understood to have complained that their children were asked to engage in activities at Colaiste Pobal Setanta which they did not feel comfortable doing, including the wearing of LGBT ribbons, according to the Irish Independent.
Both orthodox Christianity and Islam consider homosexuality to be a sin.
In a letter to the education board, 11 religious leaders, who claim to represent 80 pupils at the school, have called for the claims by some pupils and parents to be investigated.
“We do not feel that any LGBT week whatsoever is suitable for a school environment. If an LGBT week can be held, then a heterosexual week should be held. Would this make the LGBT people in the school feel uncomfortable? Of course it would,” the letter states.
“Why should anyone then think that an LGBT week will not make the heterosexual students feel uncomfortable? It is completely naive not to realise this basic fact. These are opposite sides of the same coin,” it adds.
The school authorities insisted the events were designed to promote equality and had nothing to do with the upcoming referendum on equal marriage.
“We thought it was important to state to all members of the school community that LGBT students are also welcome here, and that they have the same right to feel safe and happy here and to be able to concentrate on learning without any fear of bullying and discrimination,” the school stated in a letter seen by the Irish Independent.
“We did not discuss sexuality, we did not discuss the upcoming referendum and there was absolutely no propaganda of any sort involved in what we organised.”
The claims will now be examined by the body that oversees the school in question.