On 11th June 2019 Lord Kennedy of Southwark asked the Government “whether current statute is a sufficient deterrent in preventing homophobic and misogynistic attacks”. The Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, I am sure that Members of your Lordships’ House would expect these Benches to join in the outrage at these attacks. We do so fully, condemning them on behalf of the Church of England and of other churches and faith communities.
The Minister will know—and I admit—that the churches and other faith communities have their own debates over sexual relationships and practices, including same-sex ones. However, does she know that the Church of England has developed a set of pastoral principles aimed at eradicating the seeds of prejudice, fear and ignorance? Does she also know that that builds on the initiative of our four-year programme in schools, stopping the seeds of hate that she described germinating at a very early age?
Baroness Williams of Trafford: I acknowledge the work done by the Church of England in this area. I thank the right reverend Prelate for reminding me of the pastoral principles. The Church of England has been quite effective in its support for our trans community by actively dispelling some of the prejudices towards its members. He is right that the seeds are sown at a very young age. Relationship education is, therefore, very important to dispel those notions early on.
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