A prominent Orthodox rabbi in Manchester, England, says faithful Jews should give up their lives rather than comply with a government directive to teach about same-sex relationships in schools.
Gavriel Krausz, the former head of Manchester’s Beth Din — an organization that enforces Jewish law — made the statement in response to legislation passed by the U.K.’s Parliament that will require LGBTQ inclusion in religious and sex education courses throughout the nation beginning next September, The Jewish Chronicle reports.
Krausz, who holds the title of dayan — a religious judge — voiced his views at a recent protest meeting, and now fliers with his comments are circulating in schools that follow a strict version of Orthodox Judaism.
“One is obliged to give up one’s life rather than comply, as our ancestors did throughout the generations,” the flier reads, according to the Chronicle. It goes on to say that even if the schools are closed and resisters imprisoned, “one is not allowed to give in one iota,” and that if “we capitulate and give in, we can chas vashalom [“Heaven forbid”] say goodbye to the next generation.”
A U.K. government report, known as an Ofsted report, recently said a strictly Orthodox girls’ school near Manchester must adhere to the inclusive law. The school, although religious, receives public funding. The report said it needs improvement in teaching about same-sex relationships, while the document found that a nearby Orthodox school met all requirements in this area, “although the report did not go into detail about precisely what was taught,” the Chronicle notes.
Members of other faiths have also objected to LGBTQ-inclusive education in the U.K. Schools in Birmingham have seen protests this year, primarily from Muslim parents, over a curriculum teaching acceptance of LGBTQ people.