FELGTB seeks Ombudsman ruling on diversity education

March to demand respect for rights of LGBT+ community in Murca, June 2019. Photo: Alfonso Durán/La Verdad.es
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The federation of organizations representing Spain’s LGBT+ community has called on the national Defensor del Pueblo ombudsman’s office to intercede with a dozen regional governments across Spain to ensure that all schools and institutes in those communities comply with legislation that requires family and gender diversity education be provided to students.

Spain’s Federación Estatal de Lesbianas, Gais, Transexuales y Bisexuales (FELGTB, National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals) said it is particularly concerned that some of the 12 autonomous communities with laws on the books guaranteeing diversity education are stonewalling implementation of the legislation under pressure from far-right groups and right-wing political parties.

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In addition to regional legislation in those communities, FELGTB spokesperson Visi González told Spanish news media that national legislation in the area of education, children’s rights and healthcare also required that students in public and private schools be provided with diversity education. “According to current legislation, the Ministry of Education has the obligation to ensure that all students receive training in LGBTI diversity, as well as to protect children from possible family violence or the denial of access to information motivated by LGBTI-phobia”, González said.

González cited the regions of Murcia and Andalucia as examples of autonomous communities where legislation on diversity education is not being implemented by the government and where following election of right-wing majorities in the regional legislature there is now pressure from Spain’s new ultra-right VOX party to undermine the measures contained in the legislation.

LGBT organizations in Murcia and Andalucia have stepped up calls for the regional governments to implement the legislation and oppose proposals to require schools to obtain specific parental permission in order for students to receive diversity education. In recent months, the LGBT+ communities in Cantabria and Castillo-Leon have also denounced political maneuvering by VOX and the conservative Partido Popular to scuttle proposed diversity legislation with the regional legislatures..

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