The Department for Education (DfE) has issued a clarification over a tweet it sent out regarding the teaching of gay rights in schools.
The message said it was "nonsense to say schools must teach gay rights". The message elicited a strong response from gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell who said the tweet was "disgraceful homophobia".
However, the DfE responded with a series of tweets clarifying its position, explaining that schools were not being made to teach gay rights against strong opposition.
The DfE was responding to a Sunday Times interview with Education secretary Nicky Morgan with the headline "Faith schools 'must teach gay rights".
Clarification @thesundaytimes: It is complete nonsense to say that schools are being forced to 'teach gay rights' against their will. (1/5)— DfE (@educationgovuk) November 2, 2014
Ofsted are rightly ensuring that schools do not indoctrinate pupils about gay people - or any other people - being inferior. (2/5)— DfE (@educationgovuk) November 2, 2014
The same goes for schools that do things like make girls sit separately at the back of the class. (3/5)— DfE (@educationgovuk) November 2, 2014
Both are practices which go directly against the fundamental British values of tolerance and respect. (4/5)— DfE (@educationgovuk) November 2, 2014
We believe schools should prepare all pupils for life in modern Britain. A broad and balanced curriculum is vital for this (5/5)— DfE (@educationgovuk) November 2, 2014
It was not long before politicians weighed in, with outgoing Lib Dem president Tim Farron saying the tweet was "unacceptable."
Labour's shadow Education secretary Tristram Hunt, said:
LGBT rights are British values. DfE must back compulsory sex and relationship education, including LGBT rights.