Pansexual Birmingham comedian Joe Lycett has slammed his own MP, Labour's Roger Godsiff, for saying that children aged five are too young to learn about same-sex relationships.
Mr Godsiff shared the opinion in response to the escalating row over LGBT lessons being taught in the city’s schools.
Anti-LGBT protests have been taking place this week outside the predominantly Muslim Anderton Park school, which is in Mr Godsiff’s Hall Green constituency.
Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, the MP, who voted against equal marriage in 2013, said: “Having looked at what has been presented to me and hearing what the headteacher said, I was concerned about some of the things that came out [of those discussions].
“I have seen the cover of some of the books… I understand why parents have concerns.”
Mr Godsiff continued: “I have concerns about the age appropriateness of children of four and five being introduced to these ideas.”
Mr Godsiff went on to say that children learning about people with disabilities or other protected characteristics wasn't something about which he was concerned because youngsters “know and see this around them”. LGBT+ people were, in his opinion, different because children “do not know much about their own sexuality, never mind others.”
Mr Godsiff’s comments drew a response from Brummie funnyman Joe Lycett, who himself lives in Hall Green. Writing in a letter to the MP, Lycett said: “Me again! I was the constituent who emailed back in 2013 asking for you to reconsider voting against gay marriage. You dismissed my email and voted against it anyway.
“And now here we are, six years later, and protests are happening outside a school in your constituency against children being taught about LGBT relationships.
“Not sex, just relationships - that relationships aren’t always between a man and a woman. You were seemingly silent on the matter before stating today that you are actually in favour of the protests.”
Lycett continued: “Despite you voting against it, gay marriage is now legal. I have since been to some really fun gay weddings and also some incredibly boring ones (no offence to Deb and Claire, but the speeches were unbearable). But they were all loving, joyous and normal.
“To me, the LGBT community in Birmingham is just that - loving, joyous and normal. I’d love you to see that. So I’m inviting you out for a night in the gay village.
“We can start at mine for pre-drinks, in my kitchen extension if you like (it was opened last week by the Lord Mayor!).
“Then we’ll go on to The Village, preferably on a night when my mate Ginny Lemon is performing; she does an astonishing tribute to Cilla Black. Then, if you’ve got the stamina we could go to The Nightingale for a dance, or head straight to a late dinner at King Kebab.”
Lycett then added: “Of course you might not have time for all that, you must be a busy man!
“So perhaps you could just take a little time to explain, as my MP, what you are doing to make LGBT people like me in your constituency feel like they aren’t being treated as second class citizens.”
Tell us what you think below...
Join our Newsletter today!
The ex-Tory prime minister is this week publishing his memoir, For The Record
Local gay mum leads her friends in renditions of Over The Rainbow and A Beautiful World
The ex-Wales captain wants to 'break the stigma' around the condition
John Allman says he is defending a 'modern freedom'
SHOUT Festival is back in November with 12 days of LGBT arts & culture
The live tour of the TV series is visiting the Alexandra Theatre in December
The protesters will demonstrate outside the temporary exclusion zone
The 2018 edition of the event was cancelled due to time constraints
Chris Lowe & Neil Tennant have today released new single Dreamland
Season One tour of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK heading for BirminghamMore
Equality lessons row: Protests to restart outside Anderton Park primary school tomorrowMore
Equality lessons row: LGBT school protest ruling to be challenged in high courtMore
Equality lessons row: Midlands school to trial controversial LGBT-relationships materialMore
It’s back! Wolverhampton’s Pride festival makes a welcome return next monthMore
Fans in Dreamland! Pet Shop Boys to bring their greatest hits tour to Birmingham in 2020More
Equality lessons row: Anderton Park school protesters met with songs of loveMore