A documentary about kids with same-sex parents won’t be screened at a school in Sydney, Australia after parents complained, reports The Guardian.
Adrian Piccoli, the New South Wales education minister, claims he “directed” Burwood Girls High School to move a screening of Gayby Baby so that it didn’t happen during regular school hours. He told 2GB Radio, “During school hours we expect students to be doing maths and English and curriculum matters… This movie is not part of the curriculum and that’s why I’ve made that decision.”
The film was initially going to be screened as part of Wear It Purple Day, a national initiative to show support for the LGBTQ community. A disparaging piece by Piers Akerman in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph further stoked the controversy:
“Children in same-sex couple families are one in a thousand of all children in couple families (0.1 percent). Statistically, you are not in a “normal” family, no matter how many LGBTIQ-friendly docos you may be forced to watch by politically-driven school principals.”
Directed by Maya Newell, Gayby Baby sheds light on the lives of four children with gay parents. Newell, an alumni of the school, told Guardian Australia that the situation is “quite upsetting and disappointing.”
She stated in full:
“Once again on the front page of the newspaper we’ve got all sorts of messaging going out to families and kids saying, ‘You know what, your family isn’t good enough, your parents aren’t good enough.’ The film is so innocent. It’s actually much more about four kids who are traversing oncoming puberty, who are dealing with the trials and tribulations of growing up. The fact they have gay parents is really minor.”
The federal Labor senator Penny Wong lamented the backlash, too.
“How sad that a film about real kids and their families is attacked,” she wrote on Twitter. “So quick to bully, so unwilling to listen.”