ACDP pickets outside Western Cape legislature over unisex toilets in schools

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The ACDP holds a picket outside the Western Cape legislature.
The ACDP holds a picket outside the Western Cape legislature.
Supplied, ACDP
  • The ACDP held a protest outside the Western Cape legislature to oppose the draft document on the inclusion of children with diverse sexual orientation and gender identities.
  • The party gathered outside the legislature on Thursday to protest the introduction of unisex toilets at schools. 
  • The basic education department's proposal suggests unisex toilets in schools, with individual cubicles for privacy.

ACDP members held demonstrations outside the Western Cape legislature on Thursday to oppose the basic education department's guidelines for the socio-educational inclusion of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, and sex characteristics in schools.

Party members gathered outside the legislature on Thursday to protest the introduction of unisex toilets at schools.

The ACDP's provincial leader, Ferlon Christians, addressed them inside the legislature during a house sitting. 

"As the ACDP, we are opposing the draft guidelines. Outside this legislature, almost 200 members came to protest against these unisex toilets they [the department of education] want to introduce," he said. 

Christians labelled diversity workshops in schools as "ungodly and blasphemes". 

"These things are unacceptable; learners are confused, and they get indoctrinated with wrong things. Our children must go through this. It hurts me as a Christian, and we are saying no to unisex toilets," he said. 

Several groups have expressed outrage over the document, which the department said was aimed at ending gender discrimination and creating welcoming environments in schools for all children.

READ | Unisex toilets at schools will help prevent bullying of gender diverse pupils - education dept

It added the document was not final, and that its contents were still under deliberation.

It is understood the proposals will be made available for public comment sometime next year.

ACDP holds picket outside WC legislature
The ACDP holds a picket outside the Western Cape legislature.

While various religious sectors have also expressed concerns at the move, the department said it was "probing relevant response mechanisms to ensure the constitutional obligation for socio-educational inclusion of sexual minorities and avoid the currently overwhelming litigation".

Western Cape Education MEC David Maynier told News24 they were aware of the national department's process to develop draft guidelines.

He said:

As the ACDP is aware, the Western Cape draft guidelines were never approved, and our position remains that having separate girls, and boys' bathrooms should remain the norm. The fact is that school governing bodies, and not the Department of Basic Education, should decide whether to add unisex bathrooms, should they wish to do so.

Maynier added whatever decision schools might take, the process should be transparent and provisions for consultation should also be made.

ACDP holds picket outside WC legislature
The ACDP holds a picket outside the Western Cape legislature.

"We will comment on the Department of Basic Education's draft guidelines as a province when asked to do so during that process," he said.



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