Christian Sexual Education Jeopardized by Government

Country: Austria

Date of incident: September 16, 2008

The government of Austria reinforces guidelines for sexual education that jeopardize the teaching of authentic Christian sexual values. The guidelines extend to classes of religious education.

On the occasion of a presentation on sexuality given to high school students by the Catholic NGO Human Life International, the Austrian government sent a memo to officials responsible for schools. The memo, sent on August 22, 2008, reminded officials to secure that sexual education – even if provided in classes of Catholic religious education – must correspond to official guidelines issued in 1990. These guidelines include among others, "a plurality of values, respect for same-sex partnerships, free choice by the individual and a critical debate on the diversity of arguments"; in the German original, “Pluralität der Wertvorstellungen, Achtung gleichgeschlechtlicher Partnerschaftsformen, Entscheidungsfreiheit des Einzelnen und kritische Auseinandersetzung mit der Vielfalt von Argumentationen“. In the memo, schools are informed that information brochures like those distributed by HLI as well as speakers who oppose the contents of the official guidelines will not be allowed into class any more, including classes of Catholic religious education. Letter of the Government (in German) Letter of the Lower Austrian Government (in German) For more information in German, please view:[tt_news]=68814&cHash=eab573bb94