Hundreds of feminist, LGBT+ and union activists turned out to protest the Murcian regional government’s decision to push ahead with its policy of allowing parents to veto attendance by schoolchildren at diversity education classes offered in public schools in the region.
Faced with the protests and a warning of possible court action by Spain’s central government, the conservative Partido Popular government in Murcia is under pressure from ultra-right VOX party in Murcia to push on with the parental veto program or face withdrawal of VOX support for approval of the regional budget.
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Opposition to the parental veto plan has grown rapidly in Murcia. In the first week since launching an online petition at Change.org calling for the repeal of the program, the Association of Families of Gays and Lesbians of the Region of Murcia (Asfagalem) and the activist group No Te Prives (‘Don’t Deny Yourself’) collected 153,000 signatures against the parental veto initiative.
As hundreds of activists staged a boisterous protest outside the regional government offices in Murcia on Tuesday, the PP-led government eased up slightly on the parameters of the veto, saying that parents will only have the absolute right to veto attendance of their children at informal classes on diversity and tolerance offered by invited guest lecturers from LGBT and feminist groups.
Spanish Education Minister Isabel Celaá has said the central government will give Murcia one month to withdraw the legislation or face a court challenge on the grounds that Spain’s national education laws reserve jurisdiction over what is taught in Spanish schools to the central.
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