Over 1.5 million Peruvians attended marches against a proposed national curriculum of gender ideology, which teaches children that gender is chosen and has no connection with biological sex.
The demonstrations, initiated by the campaign group ‘Don’t Mess With my Children’, took place around the country on March 4 including the nation’s capital, Lima.
Parents should have the right to decide what their children are taught in schools, said the Episcopal vicar of the Family and Life Commission for the Archdiocese of Lima, Fr Luis Gaspar, during the march.
“We are in a war over morals, a spiritual war, and the battlefield is the minds of their children, and we are going to defend it till the day we die,” he added.
Peru’s new education curriculum, which came into effect on 1 January, has a significant focus on gender.
“In a situation of real equality, the rights, duties and opportunities of individuals do not depend on their gender identity,” details an introduction to the new curriculum.
The new curriculum also makes it mandatory to teach about sexual and reproductive rights, abortion and gender orientation, which includes covering homosexuality and transsexualism. Alongside the curriculum, an accompanying guide will be given to teachers to show that relationships between same-sex couples are normal.
The Peruvian Bishop's Conference has said the new curriculum promotes ‘gender ideology’ and homosexuality and has urged the government to remove “those notions coming from gender ideology”, in a statement released in January.
The UN has congratulated Peru, where more than 85 per cent of the population is considered catholic, for incorporating the “gender equality approach” into their new school curriculum, in an announcement by Peru's UN co-ordinator on 3 March.
Peruvian demonstrators have been asked to participate in the ‘March for Life,’ which will be held on 25 March in Lima.
PICTURE: Pope Francis greets Peru's President Ollanta Humala during a private audience at the Vatican November 2014