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Kjelsdsen, Busk Madsen and Pedersen v. Denmark, (7 December 1976)

Facts: the applicants were parents with strong Christian beliefs who objected to compulsory sex education lessons in Danish state schools and challenged the policy before the Court.

Complaint: the integrated sex education curriculum violated the applicant’s right to choose the religious and moral education of their children under Article 2 of Protocol No. 1.

Holding: the ECHR ruled that there had been no violation of Article 2.

Reasoning: the court rejected parents' complaint that an integrated sex education curriculum violated their right to choose the religious and moral education of their children. However, the court stated that the State "must take care that information or knowledge included in this curriculum is conveyed in an objective, critical and pluralistic manner. The State is forbidden to pursue an aim of indoctrination that might be considered as not respecting parents' religious and philosophical convictions." However, the sex education lessons, which the legislation had intended to be imparted to pupils, did not amount to indoctrination or advocacy of a specific kind of sexual behavior.

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