Catholic High School Bars Lesbian Comic from Anti-Bullying Event Because of Her ‘Affiliation with Gay Marriage’

A Toronto comedian has been disinvited to perform at a Catholic High School's anti-bullying event after school officials discovered she's a married lesbian, Postmedia News reports:

Whitwell Dawn Whitwell, who addresses homophobia in her material, said a teacher invited her in late May to be part of an anti-homophobia event that took place Tuesday at Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School.

Last Thursday, the teacher told her not to come. Whitwell said a school board member searched her name on the Internet and learned she is married to a woman, or, as she said she was told, has an "affiliation to gay marriage." Whitwell, who attended Catholic high school, found the phrase laughable.

"I was telling people about it, because it was funny," she said. "Then I was getting angry that they can still do this kind of thing. Not so much for me performing there, but you've got to be kidding me — I thought the tide was turning in '87."

It's the second anti-gay incident at a Canadian Catholic high school this week. Yesterday, I mentioned that The St Joseph Catholic Secondary School told the school's unofficial Gay-Straight Alliance that it couldn't display any rainbows at an anti-homophobia event on June 3, so the students responded by making rainbow cupcakes.


  1. justme says

    This is why you don’t buy into the language of oppression. This woman isn’t in a “gay marriage”. There is no such thing as a “gay marriage”. She’s married. She has a marriage. That’s it. Not qualified, not different, not other — exactly the same.

    They would never say she has an “affiliation with marriage”, would they? Because that sounds stupid and anti-marriage. Which is exactly what it is. Not anti-“gay marriage”, but anti-marriage.

    The day when we stop referring to our own marriages as anything other than marriages will be the day we finally embrace our own equality.

  2. Paulie says

    This just goes to show that even though gays can get married in Canada, it doesn’t mean things are perfect or that the fight for equality is over.

  3. says

    How about removing state subsidies of catholic schools in Canada and force the church to fund these schools. If they want Government funds they have to play with government rules. NDP and Liberal Party should advocate for this idea.

  4. Dickster says

    @ MATT Well, there’s this little problem with the British North America Act of 1867 which guarantees funding, at least in Ontario.

    What must – and will happen – is the Minister of Education to require the school boards to get with the anti-homophobia program. But that won’t happen until after the provincial election in the fall.

  5. One of the CA 36,000 says

    Well, this just reminds us that organized religion is a corrosive, destructive force in modern society, and should have no role in the civil and political worlds.

    And it’s high time Canada did something about the British North America Act of 1867, I’d say.

  6. Hue-Man says

    The Canadian Constitution is difficult to amend but it has been done on exactly this issue. The Ontario Legislature has to make it happen. From Wiki:
    “Constitution Amendment, 1997 (Newfoundland Act): allowed the Province of Newfoundland to create a secular school system to replace the church-based education system. This amendment was made using the Section 43 amending formula (Parliament and the Newfoundland legislature)”

  7. MammaBear says

    Up until 1975 the Catholic system was only funded to grade 9 in Ontario. It was extended gradually to include all of high school over the next 4 years.

    This is embarrassing and sad, but you can be sure nothing will change on the watch of our current federal government.

  8. Tony says

    I’m sure there are plenty of good Catholic people (I know a lot of them), but the Catholic establishment is nothing but a bunch of assholes. They will go down in history as the idiots that they are. And then they wonder why people are becoming less and less religious. Maybe that’s a good thing though. Maybe them being so anti-gay will make more people see how ridiculous they are.

  9. Derek Pearce says

    Well all Catholic Boards in Ontario have been forced by the Goverbnment of the Province to accept same-sex couples at Catholic High School proms, so they’ll be forced to accept GSAs and stuff too. They just decide to fight. Every. Single. Step. Of. The. Way. They got their full funding (and NO OTHER religion, not even any other Christian denomination, gets this funding) but they “sold their soul” to secular society for it. The courts have to force them each and every time be secular because they take public dollars. It’s kind of funny, they willingly let a trojan horse when they did this.

  10. bandanajack says

    what bryan said. i came to comment because the irony of using an anti-bullying event to bully a lesbian speaker was to profound NOT to point out. i hope the school is picketed as the institutional bully that it is.

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