© AAP Image/Mal Fairclough Activist Carolyn Cage holds as sign as thousands of Melbournians rally outside the State Library in Melbourne to support the LGBTI student program.
More than 17,000 people have signed a petition urging the NSW government to scrap the controversial Safe Schools program that targets bullying.Liberal MP Damien Tudehope will on Tuesday lodge the petition in parliament on behalf of the Australian-Chinese community, paving the way for MPs to debate whether the taxpayer-funded program should be dumped.
The conservative member for Epping, who has previously dubbed the program a "Trojan horse", said the petition was signed by people from across Sydney, and not just in his electorate.
"You could definitely say this is the beginning of the end for Safe Schools," he said.
"Any program which divides and polarises the community in such a way cannot possibly deliver the anti-bullying outcomes it proposes".
Mr Tudehope said he had also received objections from the Korean, Lebanese and Indian communities, and would not be surprised if similar petitions arose.
"One thing that our migrant communities have in common is that they won't allow anyone interfering with their parental rights and programs like Safe Schools represent an attack on the rights of all parents," he said.
The petition comes after Christian Democrat MLC Reverend Fred Nile, who holds the balance of power, reportedly met with Premier Mike Baird to urge him to axe the program.
Mr Tudehope told AAP he would keep pressing the issue in NSW.
"This is a national issue and governments would be irresponsible to continue to ignore these very legitimate and reasonable concerns," he said.
The Safe Schools program was set up to stop the bullying of gay and transgender students.
The federal government announced sweeping changes to the program earlier this year after an independent review found a number of lessons and content were inappropriate for children.
Every child comes from and needs BOTH a mother and a father. Same-sex "marriage" intentionally keeps either a mother or a father from the child. Government should protect the child through upholding traditional marriage.
There is “a time to be silent, and a time to speak”. (Ecclesiastes 3:7). Now is the time to speak, so please speak up and defend children, truth and freedom. Craig Manners
“What the world needs most is a voice that courageously speaks the truth, not when the world is right, but a voice that speaks the truth when the world is wrong.” Fulton Sheen
True marriage offers true equality for children. Every child comes from and needs BOTH a Mum and a Dad. Every human being has dignity and deserves respect. All sorts of relationships can be respected at law without having to change marriage laws. In fact that has been the case legally for many years. The simple fact remains though that not every relationship is marriage.