Taipei, April 27 (CNA) Elementary and junior high schools inTaiwan will include gay issues on their curriculums from Septemberthis year, when the fall semester begins, to teach students torespect and accept people of different sexual orientations, aMinistry of Education (MOE) official said Wednesday.
The decision to put gay issues on school curriculums was inaccordance with the Gender Equity Education Act and was meant topromote gender equality and raise students' awareness of diversity,said Eric Ker, section chief of the MOE's Student Affairs Committee.
However, some civic groups and parents have expressed concernthat the primary and secondary levels are "too early" to educatestudents on gay issues. It would be "inappropriate" to teach studentsat that level about gay sex and sexual desires, they argued.
Several groups have also launched an online petition against theMOE decision.
In response, Ker said that gay issues will only be a small partof sex education in schools. The focus will be concepts of genderequality rather than on details of individual sexual desires orbehavior, he said.
For example, a discussion on gay pride parades will focus on gaycivil rights, he said.
The Gender Equity Education Act was passed in 2004, banninggender discrimination in schools in Taiwan, and stipulating thatschool curriculums should include gender equality education.
(By Hsu Chih-wei and Christie Chen)