Kenyan religious leaders have raised concerns about the inclusion of LGBTQ content in school textbooks, particularly in the Grade 7 Health Education curriculum. The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has denounced the “explicit sex education content” in the textbooks, citing that it not only sexualizes the learning environment for minors but also goes against the Ministry of Education’s policy on children’s exposure to such topics. The KCCB, along with the Catholic Schools Principals’ Association, has urged the Ministry of Education to remove the mentioned books and to consult with parents before introducing such content into the curriculum. The clerics have also called on parents to be vigilant and monitor the materials being used in schools.
The opposition to the LGBTQ content in textbooks is not limited to the Catholic leadership. Muslim clerics in Lamu have also voiced their opposition to a recent Supreme Court ruling favoring the LGBTQ community. This widespread religious opposition reflects a larger societal concern about the inclusion of LGBTQ themes in educational materials. The Kenyan government has responded to this concern by cracking down on books with gay-specific themes, following public outcry from parents and religious officials.
The controversy over LGBTQ content in school textbooks has also extended beyond Kenya. In Canada, a Catholic sex education textbook was discontinued following allegations of containing homophobic and transphobic content, indicating a broader debate within the Catholic community about the inclusion of LGBTQ+ teachings in educational materials.
The inclusion of LGBTQ content in school textbooks has sparked a heated debate among religious leaders, parents, and educational authorities in Kenya. The issue reflects a broader societal and cultural divide, with religious groups and some parents expressing strong opposition, while LGBTQ advocacy organizations emphasize the importance of accurate and affirming sexual reproductive health and rights education for young people.
By Cassidy 01.02.2024