While large parts of Johannesburg were celebrating the annual Pride event this past weekend, members and supporters of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) took to the streets in protest of a more inclusive sex education curriculum in the classroom.
This is not the first time the party, who has four seats in parliament, has publicly opposed progress towards a more inclusive South African society. After voting against the passage of the Civil Union Bill that legalised same-sex marriage in 2006, they have also since blocked two related parliamentary LGBTQ-affirming motions in 2011, and in 2015, respectively.
As reported by MambaOnline, the march led all the way to the office of the Department of Basic Education in Pretoria in a bid to “put a stop to government’s plan of introducing Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) into the country’s Life Orientation syllabus.”
Two representatives from the Department of Basic Education were present at the protest to sign the memorandum.
As reported by the Sunday Times earlier this year, the department is busy looking into overhauling its textbooks to be “more inclusive of sexual and gender minorities and same-sex families”.
“A task team found that there were inconsistencies and there was a bias towards certain people [in the textbooks],” the department’s spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, told MambaOnline at the time.
“For example,” he continued to say, “we found that the concept of family is represented as being between a man and woman, whereas in the country today, we could have a man and a man with a child or a woman and woman with a child. That is also a family. But in our textbooks, that’s not reflected as such. These inconsistencies are going to be dealt with and the process has already started to fix it.”
Approached for comment at the time, ACDP President Rev Kenneth Meshoe, however, said that he believes more inclusive and progressive sexual and life orientation should be “kept out” of schools.
“Politicians are entitled to their immorality, but they must not impose it on our children. We refuse to allow government to poison the minds of our children,” he explained.
“The President of Ghana has said he will not allow CSE to be taught to his children, and we want President Ramaphosa to do the same. South African children already come last in maths and science, but first when it comes to knowledge of sex,” he concluded.