A Christian mother concerned about her child’s school incorporating LGBTQ lessons into its curriculum faced intense backlash this week when she told a gay man on live television his lifestyle is “a choice.”
Izzy Montague of South London appeared on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” Thursday, when she debated the topic with gay father and blogger Tom Cox. The two held the discussion after schools in Birmingham suspended lessons on LGBTQ relationships following protests from Muslim parents, according to BBC News.
What were their arguments?
Montague made the case schools shouldn’t be teaching lessons on the LGBTQ lifestyle because that should be left up to parents to decide how to educate their own children on the controversial matter.
“I’m Christian,” she explained at one point, “so we have our own ways of teaching about the world. It’s not about living in a vacuum. It’s not about saying, ‘This person doesn’t exist,’ it’s nothing like that. It’s our opinions of the world around us.”
Cox, of course, disagreed vehemently with Montague’s perspective, telling the conservative mom she’s “doing a child a disservice by not allowing them to have that education to see that families come in all different shapes and sizes.”
“We live in such a diverse time,” he continued. “Gay people are everywhere, so they’re going to get on a bus and that bus driver is going to be gay. They’re going to be served food in a restaurant by a gay woman. A gay person may be delivering your child’s baby one day. We are everywhere.”
Montague reiterated she would never advocate isolating children from the world around them, reassuring Cox her children will certainly understand there are people who live out LGBTQ lifestyles.
What sparked the backlash?
In the middle of the 11-minute discussion between the two diametrically opposed guests, Montague revealed she does not, in fact, believe people are born with innate sexual preferences. Instead, she argued, acting on such orientations is a choice.
“I don’t agree with that you’re born, you know, anything, no,” she said. “Of course I believe it’s a choice. I’ve made a choice on what I think is right or wrong. I don’t remember ever thinking to myself, ‘Am I gay, am I straight?’ It’s something that I have done based on how I believe.”
Montague continued, “Even if I was gay, I do personally believe — based on my belief — that I feel that a heterosexual relationship is the right course of action for me.”
After Cox rebuffed her suggestion, the Christian mother differentiated sexual orientation from race and age, two biologically fixed human characteristics. Montague went on to say there’s “no gene that has determined I’m heterosexual.”
She also pointed out the difference between experiencing same-sex attraction and choosing to act on those feelings.
“It’s not about being gay. There’s two things to this,” Montague said. “There’s the feelings of being gay, where you say, ‘Well, I have an attraction to the same sex,’ and there’s the actual going and having a homosexual lifestyle. … It’s not the same thing.”
Cox, for his part, said he wished lessons on LGBTQ relationships would have been incorporated into his grade-school curriculum because it would have affirmed his sexual orientation earlier in life.