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Labour contenders back LGBT lessons in schools

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Campaign to teach LGBT issues in schools continues to gather momentum

Labour leadership contenders Richard Leonard and Anas Sarwar are supporting calls for LGBT issues to be taught in all schools across Scotland.

Leonard has called for an end to the “bullying and harassment” of young people, while Sarwar has committed to work with Labour led councils to ensure that schools are LGBT inclusive.

The MSPs endorsed the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign, which is working with the Scottish Government to introduce a programme of LGBT inclusive education into all Scottish schools.

It is part of a new national approach to tackle high rates of homophobic and transphobic bullying.

Sarwar said: “I wholeheartedly support the campaign’s inspirational aim to tackle bullying in our schools through an inclusive educational approach. LGBT-inclusive education must - and I believe will - become a reality in Scotland.

“As Scottish Labour leader I will support the TIE campaign and work with Labour-run councils across Scotland to deliver it.”

The campaign published a report last year which found that 90% of LGBT people experience homophobia at school, while 27% reported that they had attempted suicide due to being bullied.

Leonard said: "It is time to put an end to bullying and harassment, not least in the workplace and in education. The work of everyone involved in supporting equal rights in our educational institutions is to be welcomed and celebrated.”

“When nine out of 10 LGBT people experience homophobia, biphobia and transphobia - it really is time for inclusive education and that is why the TIE Campaign is so important and gets my full support.”

The Scottish Government recently launched a national working group to take forward TIE's proposals after a majority of MSPs signed the campaign's strategy pledge, which includes calls for teacher training and new legislation on the issue.

A TIE spokesperson said: “We are delighted that both candidates in the Scottish Labour Party’s leadership contest have explicitly supported our campaign.

"The party’s previous leader, Kezia Dugdale, remains a leading advocate of our cause and so we are pleased that this support from the leadership will continue irrespective of who is elected.”