Over 80,000 people have signed a petition in southern Germany against an initiative to teach “sexual diversity” in schools.
The plan to teach children about LGBT lifestyles, expected to come into force in 2015, was put forward in an attempt to encourage tolerance towards sexual minorities.
The initiative has sparked a dispute in the state of Baden-Württemberg in the southwest of Germany, as thousands of teachers and parents rejected the idea.
The online petition, created by a Christian teacher, in protest of the initiative has already acquired over 82,000 signatures and the number continues to grow.
The petition will be sent to the Ministry of Culture demanding a removal of the plan, stating that education should not emphasize a specific group and interest, and should not promote a “new” sexual morality.
Critics have said the plan goes “beyond the aim of preventing discrimination” and instead actively promotes “the ideology of the rainbow.”
The petition claims that the Ministry of Culture have also neglected to consider the negative side of the LGBT community, such as the high risk of youth suicide and increased rates of HIV.
Regional Green Party head Oliver Hildenbrand responded to the signers of the petition with a statement that they have shown “a shocking amount of homophobia.”
An SPD regional education expert, Stefan Fulst-Blei, told the FAZ, “The current online petition contains a spirit of severe intolerance.”
Petitioners are hoping that the regional parliament will consider the number of people against the inclusion of sexual diversity in the education plan, and remove it from the 2015 curriculum.
Since 2001, Germany has had registered partnerships for same-sex couples that grant nearly all of the rights of marriage, including adoption of stepchildren.