Abbott signs petition against safe schools program

A GROUP of conservative Coalition MPs circulating a petition against the Safe Schools gender diversity program has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to intervene.

Backbenchers led by George Christensen and Senator Cory Bernardi urged Mr Turnbull yesterday to immediately suspend funding for the program.

Debate over the program, which educates children about gender diversity and sexual orientation, has exposed a divide in the Coalition between the social conservatives and liberals.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott is understood to have signed the petition this week.

Although Mr Turnbull has initiated a review of the program, the petition argues the inquiry's terms of reference are too limited and do not assess the full potential impacts of the program on students.

On Wednesday, Mr Christensen called for a "full parliamentary inquiry" into the program, which he linked to a "pedophilia advocate".