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Toronto Archbishop Fights 'Gay' School Bullying Mandate

On Friday I posted about an amendment to an anti-bullying bill likely to pass in Ontario, Canada that would require all schools, including Catholic ones, to accept the name "gay-straight alliance" for anti-homophobia clubs.

CollinsNot surprisingly, Catholic leaders are fighting it, the National Post reports:

Cardinal Collins said the Church was taken aback by Friday’s decision because it believed it was on the way to negotiating a compromise. He said he is puzzled as to “why a piece of provincial legislation is being used to micromanage the naming of student clubs” and “why Catholics are not free to design their own methods to fight bullying?”

Cardinal Collins said he would not speculate as to the government’s motives, and was unclear about the role teachers might play in steering a club, regardless of its name, in keeping the club’s agenda in line with Catholic teaching.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says homosexual behaviour is “intrinsically disordered” and “under no circumstance can it be approved.” However, the Catechism also teaches that homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

Earlier Monday, Marino Gazzola, president of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association, struggled to express what the practical difference would be between a GSA or a “respecting difference” club, something his group has proposed.

“GSAs are externally developed and they don’t reflect the unique values our Catholic schools are based on,” he said.

But Education Minister Laurel Broten said it well in the Star article on Friday:

...proponents argue that allowing a principal, for example, to refuse to allow an anti-homophobia club to be called a “gay-straight alliance” is in itself a form of oppression that is inappropriate under the spirit of the bill. Broten has said gay students have been more prone to bullying, which is why they get specific mention in the bill.

“If we can’t name it, we can’t address it and we must address it,” she said.

Ontario Poised to Pass Bill Mandating 'Gay-Straight Alliances' be Allowed in All Schools, Including Catholic Ones [tlrd]

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  1. The government has no right or business telling religious organizations what to do. This is a violation of basic religious liberty.

    Posted by: Lucas | May 29, 2012 11:02:15 AM

  2. trust the old white single man in the purple dress to know what affects Young People Today.

    the ontario catholic schoolboard is f***ed, and here's why - the catholic board still receives public funding: here's their quandry - give up the public funding, or give up the refusal to abide by the rules of groups that get public funding.

    if your Catholic-ness is so damned important to you, you can stop taking the money from legions of sinful damned souls and fund it yourself.

    that's all.

    and yeah, the name matters, because refusing to call it what it is is a bogus form of cowardly oppression in itself.

    oh, and the reason catholics aren't free to design their own method to combat bullying is because catholics have proven time and time again that they need to be told what to do. they're not even free to approach their religion without the guidance of a pedophile-defending Pope, so why should they expect any freedom here?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 29, 2012 11:03:15 AM

  3. So priests can go on and on abusing young boys -- but the word "gay" is strictly verboten. Such lunacy! BTW, I'm a Catholic.

    Posted by: Michael in Toronto | May 29, 2012 11:03:41 AM

  4. LUCAS: the government is NOT telling the Church what to do.
    The government is telling the Church what it CAN'T do -- and that is refuse to allow Catholic students to use the word "gay" if they so desire.

    "Basic religious liberty" my eye.

    "Basic religious intolerance" is more like it.

    P.S. What's really funny is that Cardinal Collins at some point used the words "respect diversity" -- to defend HIS actions. That's a good one.

    Posted by: Michael in Toronto | May 29, 2012 11:10:05 AM

  5. actually, you're wrong on that count Lucas - the ontario catholic schoolboard is PUBLICLY funded, NOT Privately. Therefore they have to abide by certain specific laws, policies and regulations.

    if they want to be a private religious institution they need to give up their public funding. that's how it works up North.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 29, 2012 11:12:36 AM

  6. alright, if they are publicly funded, they need to detach themselves from the public dole. their religious beliefs should be more important than a few dollars.

    Posted by: Lucas | May 29, 2012 11:18:50 AM

  7. WAKE THE F**K UP!

    The church wants to turn our families against us!

    How would you like to be a 13 year old gay kid in this exclusionary sect?

    Accept us all everywhere. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Posted by: Jacques Rosas | May 29, 2012 11:20:06 AM

  8. Miss Tomisha Collins in the purple drag needs to start worrying about all of her child-raping boyfriends. There is a reason pedophiles are attracted to the priesthood. I do not understand why parents would send their children to a school where they are at high-risk for being raped and sexually abused.

    Posted by: Tamika | May 29, 2012 11:21:12 AM

  9. Lucas, it's not just a few dollars, the Toronto District Catholic School Board is entirely funded by the public. They operate more than 200 schools in Toronto and have over 90,000 students. Their budget is enormous.

    They always whine about "outside influence" and "infringement of religious freedom" from the provincial government and the argument is tiresome. Their elementary school refuses to admit non-Catholic students already, making the argument for their continual public funding increasingly absurd.

    Posted by: RN | May 29, 2012 11:47:19 AM

  10. Ask yourself the question: What normal straight man would dress like Ms Collins? Aren't the Catholic schools in Canada funded with taxpayers money? Isn't it obvious to anyone with a brain that the Catholic hierarchy is made up of mostly closeted Queens?

    Posted by: andrew | May 29, 2012 11:59:11 AM

  11. If you hear anyone screaming about how the Canadian government is somehow infringing the "religious freedom" of Catholic schools, remind them that the Canadian government provides $7 BILLION per year to this "separate" Catholic school system.

    If religious agencies wish to operate in a discriminatory fashion, they'd better not do so with taxpayer funding.

    Posted by: Chuck Anziulewicz | May 29, 2012 12:12:23 PM

  12. However, the Catechism also teaches that homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

    I HATE IT when newspapers point that out and don't also mention two things: 1) there's a whole lot of dishonesty hiding behind the word "unjust" and 2) they freaking imprisoned, hung, and burned us for 1500 freaking years.

    Posted by: BobN | May 29, 2012 12:13:36 PM

  13. The bottom line is: never expect anything worthwhile from the Catholic Church. Once you get that rule, things become a lot more simple.

    I pity any child, gay or straight, that goes to a Catholic school.

    Posted by: Joel | May 29, 2012 12:13:38 PM

  14. but cases like this will, eventually, prove a very specific point: they care about money more than they care about their "faith" - if the catholic leaders involved in the schoolboard feel their religious teachings will be compromised they will cease being publicly funded.

    fat chance though, eh?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 29, 2012 12:23:34 PM

  15. Looky at all the brave Catholic bashing. I can't wait for the gay straight alliance at the madrasah. What? There isn't a branch there?! You're kidding.

    Posted by: MarkUs | May 29, 2012 12:28:45 PM

  16. @ LUCAS - Every single penny spent in the catholic school system here in Ontario is provided by the government! It's not just "a few dollars".
    If you are going to accept public money you will be governed by secular public policy.

    Posted by: Joe | May 29, 2012 12:32:40 PM

  17. I do not defend the RCC. But I wish my fellow gays, and our allies, would stop stigmatizing cross-dressers. Not only is it playing into and confirming, heterosexual prejudices, it's way beside the point. Prelates who dress in traditional garb are not cross-dressers, they are dressing in the accepted and traditional garb of their station. Do we criticize the Dalai Lama for "wearing a dress"? No, because he's an ally. Do we criticize peasants in the middle east for "wearing dresses"? No, because they're not powerful and we respect their cultural histories. Do we criticize African leaders for "wearing dresses"? No. Their colorful robes are often mimicked in western fashion.

    Ok, so "man in a dress" is funny once. Repeating the joke only illustrates a paucity of thought and substance.

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | May 29, 2012 12:38:27 PM

  18. The Catholic School Board is publicly funded by taxpayers. If Religious Liberty is important to them, they could always self fund.

    Posted by: chad | May 29, 2012 12:41:01 PM

  19. Everybody knows that the people in Germany were Catholic Nazi Germans who killed for mad man Hitler were Catholics and it looks like they still are going that way. Now about the new book written by Gianuigi Nuzzi, HIS HOLINESS: THE SECRET PAPERS OF POPE BENEDICT XVI, the Catholics are working over time to cover this up. Can anybody help me get a copy of this book? Let's expose the crimes of the Pope and the new Nazis in the Catholic church.

    Posted by: Dave | May 29, 2012 12:41:20 PM

  20. ..because Catholics have done such an EXCELLENT job dealing with bullying. RIIIIGHT.

    Posted by: qj201 | May 29, 2012 12:43:48 PM

  21. @Chuck: These men in dresses are funny because the keep telling the world that LGBT lives are sinful and that we should follow their heterosexual lifestyles. That's the funny part. Can you just imagine sitting down and having a beer with Ms Collins? Have you ever met any of these "guys"? Most of them are closet queens.

    Posted by: andrew | May 29, 2012 12:49:55 PM

  22. Of course, the government has the right (and responsibility) to tell religious organizations what to do - mostly because they are so ludicrous (and heinous, and audacious) they they feel that they can dictate what other people in the nation can do or how to behave. No thanks - that total nutjobbery needs to be kept heavily in check. I suppose it's fine to advise their own adherents, but the fact anyone else lends even the tiniest weight to their ignornace and stupidity is ridicuous.

    Posted by: Tarc | May 29, 2012 12:56:28 PM

  23. @Lucas: Those "few dollars" = $7 billion. That is how much the Catholic (or "Seperate" school system as it is called) receives in PUBLIC funding from taxpayers.

    Posted by: BOB | May 29, 2012 1:04:17 PM

  24. at this point in time i would think the church has bigger problems to deal with. like what will the butler say and who does all those extra bodies belong to and where all the brib

    Posted by: walter | May 29, 2012 1:08:50 PM

  25. Sorry it should read "separate".

    Posted by: BOB | May 29, 2012 1:12:07 PM

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