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Ontario, Canada Passes Anti-Bullying Bill Mandating 'Gay-Straight Alliances' Be Allowed in All Schools, Including Catholic Ones

Ontario's legislature has passed a landmark anti-bullying bill opposed by Catholics and conservatives by a vote of 65-36, the CBC reports:

McguintyOntario's anti-bullying bill, also known as Bill 13 or the Accepting Schools Act, passed through the legislature just before noon today by a margin of 65-36. Only the Progressive Conservatives voted against the legislation.

Catholic educators and church leaders oppose the bill because it requires schools to allow students to call anti-homophobia clubs gay-straight alliances if they wish.

[Ontario Premier]McGuinty (pictured) said the issue of protecting kids from bullying transcends all faiths and partisan politics. He added Catholics would understand the true significance of the bill is to build a stronger, more cohesive society.

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Comments

  1. Progressive Conservatives? Isn't that an oxymoron?

    Posted by: Laura | Jun 5, 2012 12:12:34 PM


  2. AMEN! Kudos to all who have worked so hard to bring visibility to this, including me mum :D

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jun 5, 2012 12:12:36 PM


  3. Great news! I'm from Ontario and proud to hear of this!

    Posted by: Graphicjack | Jun 5, 2012 12:13:38 PM


  4. Again!! Canada leads the way, and shows the hicks to their immediate south how a society ought to be governed.

    Posted by: Ricco | Jun 5, 2012 12:25:19 PM


  5. Canada's Progressive Conservative party was responsible for Canada allowing its LGBT Citizens (LGBT not just gay) to serve openly in our military. Since 1992. And it was signed into policy by our first female Prime Minister.

    funny, eh?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jun 5, 2012 12:29:04 PM


  6. Such a civilized place

    Posted by: Don | Jun 5, 2012 12:30:34 PM


  7. Laura... yes indeed, and there's Stephen Harper, the oxymoronic P.C. Prime Minister Of Canada.

    Posted by: bALAN | Jun 5, 2012 12:31:03 PM


  8. This is great. Anything that restrains religious hatred is a plus in my books.

    FYI federally, it's no longer the Progressive Conservative party ... Harper is leader of the Conservative Party (a merger of the Reform Party and the rump of the old Progressive Conservatives.)

    Progressive Conservatives used to be like Democrats of today, at least back in the 60s-80s. Mike Harris took them rightward in the 90s.

    Posted by: Dan | Jun 5, 2012 12:34:16 PM


  9. The federal party (of which P.M. Steven Harper is the head) dropped the word "Progressive". It is now just the Conservative Party of Canada. All of the provinces, however, still have Progressive Conservative parties.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jun 5, 2012 12:40:06 PM


  10. Balan:

    That is incorrect, Stephen Harper is the leader of the CONSERVATIVE party, his Reform/Alliance party essentially took over the federal Progressive Conservative party and one of the first acts was to change the name. The last leader of the old Progressive Conservative party (Peter MacKay, now minister of defence in Harper's government) had promised not to merge his party with the Reform/Alliance... that promise lasted less than a year with him at the helm.

    The old name is still used by most of the provincial conservative parties though, as is the case in Ontario (which is referred to in this article). The best analogy would be if the Tea Party were to be completely successful in gaining control of the Republicans on the national level (and they seem to be most of the way there) and did a name change, the state Republican parties would still differ from the federal one, both in name and in policy.

    Posted by: CanadianObserver | Jun 5, 2012 12:41:27 PM


  11. Yet another reason to love living in Ontario and to be a proud Canadian.

    Posted by: Gigi | Jun 5, 2012 12:43:07 PM


  12. This was the right thing to do but I'll save my feelings of pride for when taxpayers stop funding religious schools in Ontario.

    That would make me proud.

    Posted by: chad | Jun 5, 2012 12:49:23 PM


  13. I agree Chad, I agree. Why do we have a desperate Catholic board? Why not a separate Protestant board? A separate one-eyed bisexual board? Enough with the segregation and special privileges for a group of people. I we are all equal, we should all be educated in the same (safe) place. Leave religious teaching in churches and if the parents insist, the home.

    Posted by: Graphicjack | Jun 5, 2012 1:19:55 PM


  14. Re: The "Progressive" Conservatives: Let's not forget the name the federal party chose for themselves soon after dropping the word "progressive.". The were CRAP (Canadian Reform Alliance Party) until Prime Minister Chretien laughed at the appropriate nature of the acronym.


    As for this ruling, I'm happy to see it, though of course we all know that US regressive conservatives will twist this into "discrimination against people of faith.". They will, of course, conveniently leave out the fact that Catholicism in Ontario is unfairly favored by everyone's tax dollars.

    Posted by: Gregv | Jun 5, 2012 2:04:05 PM


  15. And once again The Greatest Country in the World(TM) is left in the dust by its neighbor to the north.

    Posted by: jomicur | Jun 5, 2012 2:12:03 PM


  16. if the catholic schoolboard and catholic parents are terribly concerned about their children learning to love and accept their LGBT peers and fellow citizens, they can get their money together and fund their own private system.
    fat chance, though.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jun 5, 2012 2:19:11 PM


  17. This is absolutely a step in the right direction in fighting bullying in schools. If the educators aren't going to step in, then let the children do it.

    Posted by: KDNA | Jun 5, 2012 2:45:52 PM


  18. It is about time that Catholics stop being given special treatment. Let them keep their cult practices to themselves and stop trying to force their agenda down everyone else's throat.

    Posted by: if the shoe fits | Jun 5, 2012 2:52:24 PM


  19. GraphicJack, there actually are separate Protestant boards in areas of the province where Protestants are in the minority, although there is only one such area right now.

    Posted by: Neil | Jun 5, 2012 2:58:26 PM


  20. regardless of how wrong we may find their beliefs to be, it's a dangerous move when we allow the government to tell religions what they may be allowed to believe. separation of church and state is not a concept that we should embrace only when it suits us.(i know, this is canada, not the u.s. but still..)

    Posted by: el polacko | Jun 5, 2012 3:47:43 PM


  21. The reforrrrrm party.. OMG Preston Manning! The shame of it all.

    Posted by: Poof | Jun 5, 2012 3:50:09 PM


  22. "regardless of how wrong we may find their beliefs to be, it's a dangerous move when we allow the government to tell religions what they may be allowed to believe."

    The TR Canadians can comment on this more fully, but the Catholic schools receive copious government funding to my understanding, so the government has every right to pass laws that address anti-gay bullying, whether the Catholic hierarchy likes it or not. If they don't like it, they can separate themselves from government funding and do what they want. And, no one is telling religions what they are allowed to believe. They can believe whatever nonsense they wish, but their students can't bully gay kids without consequences.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 5, 2012 4:26:59 PM


  23. These religious institutions have been turning our own families against us for 1000’s of years. For the first time in history it will be challenged head on at the source. This is a very big first step in the right direction. I am thrilled.

    Posted by: Jacques Rosas | Jun 5, 2012 5:10:49 PM


  24. Will this bill, now passed by the legislature, receive Royal Assent in time for the start of the school year in September?

    Posted by: DiCKster | Jun 5, 2012 5:36:08 PM


  25. Just answered my own question - from an article in The Globe & Mail http://goo.gl/Ng16i

    . . . "The bill will receive Royal Assent later this month, formally enshrining it into law in time for the new school year in September. The bill amends the province’s Education Act and every school must comply with it, regardless of whether they are public or Catholic, Ms. Broten said." . . .

    Posted by: DiCKster | Jun 5, 2012 6:04:09 PM


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