A RELIGIOUS leader has appealed to MSPs to reject a call for schools to teach pupils about the issues affecting lesbian, gay and transgender people.

The Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) has launched a petition calling for young people to be given the chance to learn more about the gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community (LGBTI+).

The petition in the name of Jordan Daly, co-founder of TIE, will be considered by MSPs on Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee on Tuesday.

It calls on the Scottish Parliament “to urge the Scottish Government to make the teaching of LGBTI+ issues and topics statutory in all schools".

It seeks the introduction a “diverse and fully inclusive education programme” that addresses such matters “in a positive and progressive manner”.

But the Free Church of Scotland has said that any moves to enact the petition would result in a clear breach of Christian parents’ human rights.

Free Church Moderator Rev David Robertson said: “At the outset we restate our view that no pupils should be bullied in school for their beliefs and for the pursuit of a particular lifestyle and morality."

But he said said he believed that the real object of the petition was to indoctrinate school pupils with one particular perspective on moral and sexual ethics, one which was contrary to mainstream Christianity.

“We believe this is a Trojan horse to impose an ideological perspective on all pupils, whether they want it or not," he said.

Mr Daly, a Glasgow University student, argues that by refusing to acknowledge or teach about such issues “what such institutions are essentially doing is candidly ostracising LGBTI+ pupils.”

He says whilst 69.1 per cent of LGBT+ young people say they experience direct homophobic bullying in Scottish schools, only 12 per cent of schools have assemblies that address homophobic bullying.

He has said: "As a homosexual and recent student of a Roman Catholic secondary school, I have first hand knowledge of this: when I was at my lowest point in my struggle with self acceptance, there was no support available.

"Homophobic language was rampant in the hallways yet it was never addressed. I had teachers discuss the 'abomination' that is

homosexuality. Whilst we were all made aware that there was zero tolerance for discrimination or abuse on the grounds of gender, race or religion no one ever mentioned sexual orientation."

But Mr Robertson said: “We do not believe that insisting that all pupils should be subject to a particular sexual ethic, irrespective of the beliefs and desires of their parents is either the only way or the best and most obvious way of tackling this problem.

"Human rights legislation says that ‘the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions’.

"The petitioner’s demand for statutory teaching of such topics without provision for parents and pupils who disagree is in direct conflict with this legislation."