The Archbishops’ letter was circulated to all Catholic parishes and secondary schools. The letter is a positive affirmation of marriage, as is the Coalition for Marriage’s online petition. As the letter says, Catholics believe that “marriage is a high and noble vocation”.
We reject the suggestion that Catholic schools have acted illegally. The Equality Act 2010 applies to all schools and we are fully supportive of the Act. It is central to Catholic teaching that all individuals should be treated with respect and dignity.
Catholic state schools have always been permitted by law to teach matters relating to sex and relationships education, including the importance of marriage, in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church’s view on the importance of marriage is a religious view, not a political one.
The online petition itself makes it clear that people under the age of 16 cannot sign it. We will issue new guidance for our schools to ensure that they are aware of this.