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Cardiff University bans speaker who says LGBT lessons are 'ideological indoctrination'

Cardiff University has banned a speaker from an event after comments she made about LGBT issues and sex education.

Dr Kate Godfrey-Faussett said LGBT lessons are "ideological indoctrination".

The psychologist is under investigation by the British Psychological Society who said her comments "have the potential to undermine the public’s confidence in the psychology profession".

The teaching of relationship and sex education in schools has been the subject of debate in recent weeks after changes were announced to the Welsh curriculum.

Dr Kate Godfrey-Faussett was due to give a talk entitled Teaching Relationships and Sex Education, hosted by the Muslim Council of Wales at the university on 13 April.

In clips of her speeches online Dr Godfrey-Faussett says children are being indoctrinated and sexualised by the new RSE curriculum which is an "assault on the family".

She continues:

"This is not education, this is ideological indoctrination that's happening. The aim is to redefine sexuality and gender and family norms."

Pride Cymru sent a letter to the university and other officials. Credit: PA

Cardiff University said the event Dr Godfrey-Fausett was due to speak at “has not followed our booking procedure” resulting in the cancellation.

LGBT charity Pride Cymru sent a letter to Cardiff University Vice Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, as well as Equalities Minister Jane Hutt AM and the Muslim Council for Wales.

The letter warned that allowing the talk to go ahead risked dividing communities.

We are concerned that hosting such a controversial figure in Wales may cause unwarranted distress and concern within our diverse and inclusive communities in Wales.

We do not wish to see a spread of the deeply divisive and damaging protests as seen most recently in Birmingham, coming to Wales especially as it would be promoted by Muslim Council for Wales. We therefore urge you to cancel this event.

– Pride Cymru letter

A Cardiff University spokesperson stressed the university had not organised the event.

"The event has been organised on behalf of an external organisation with two external speakers. The event has not followed our booking procedure."

They added:

“Differing and often controversial views can be brought forward, listened to and challenged at universities. Our processes ensures that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure that – within the law - freedom of speech is secured.

“However, as this event has not followed our procedure for carrying out relevant due diligence, we have taken the decision not to allow it to go ahead.”

Protests have been held outside a Birmingham school over sex and relationships education teaching. Credit: PA

Responding to the cancelled talk, the Muslim Council of Wales said parents are concerned about changes to relationship and sex education in schools.

In a statement it said: “As there are a number of proposed changes to RSE in Wales, many parents approached the MCW with concerns about what this means practically for their children in state schools."

The MCW is hosting Dr Kate Godfrey-Faussett, Waqqas Ali, and other local experts, in order to provide guidance on information both on the proposed changes, but also in how to deliver relationship and sex education in line is Islamic teachings.

We understand Dr Kate Godfrey-Faussett is under investigation by her professional body. We have spoken with Dr Kate and are reassured that she is committed to respectful and accurate dialogue on the sensitive topic of sex education in schools.

The MCW believes sex education is an important component of children’s upbringing, open and informed conversations between educators and parents is essential in achieving this.

There should be no question that LGBT communities in Wales should be free to live and love whom they wish, without fear of attack, censure, or abuse, and as the Muslim Council of Wales we will work to make this a reality. We believe it is possible to deliver RSE in a way that maintains the trust of all the communities of Wales.

– Muslim Council of Wales