For the first time, a catholic priest has publicly supported the TIE campaign in Scotland, who want to see LGBT+ inclusive education in the country’s schools.
Father Paul Morton, of Saint Bride’s Parish Church in Cambuslang, has called for prejudice based bullying and discrimination to be “a thing of the past” as he offers his support to the campaign. He said:
“As a Catholic priest I have met many people who struggle with their sexuality, and I know the great harm this has done in the lives of many men and women. I want this to be a thing of the past and I believe that this is the intention behind the TIE campaign.”
Father Morton said he admired the “clarity and vision” that campaigners Jordan Daly and Liam Stevenson have, and that “in times gone by the Church was always a building which people went to for sanctuary – it is my hope that the Church can be that once again for LGBTI people.”
He has fully endorsed the TIE Campaign, who continue to work closely with the Scottish Government on a review of LGBT+ issues in education. Father Morton is the first representative of the Catholic Church in Scotland to support the campaign, and joins other faith leaders including Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth of the Scottish Episcopal Church and John Nugent, a Minister with the Church of Scotland.
The move has been welcomed by Gerard Killen, Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, who said:
“I warmly welcome these comments, which represent a very important step forward for the TIE campaign. Attitudes in society are changing and Father Morton joins teachers, trade unions, charities and politicians from all parties in recognising the need for action when it comes to the challenges facing LGBT young people at school.”
Responding to Father Morton’s support, TIE Co-founder Jordan Daly, said:
“We are delighted and encouraged by Father Morton’s support for our campaign. This is culturally and historically significant, as his stance further highlights that having gather and supporting LGBT rights are not mutually exclusive nor controversial.”
The TIE campaign published a report in 2016 which found that 90% of LGBT people experience homophobia at schools, which 27% reported that they had attempted suicide due to being bullied.