Catholic Canadians Protest Ontario’s Gay-Straight Alliance Law

CanadaFlagLawmakers in Ontario, Canada, last month passed a law requiring schools allow students to form gay-straight alliances that almost everyone can agree helps build understanding, self-esteem and general community for LGBT and heterosexual students alike, thereby reducing anti-gay bullying.

Note I said, "almost everyone." Catholic and other religious groups always opposed the bill and are now trying to start their own kind of clubs, "respecting difference clubs."

Canada's The Observer reports:

The director of Parents as First Educators said Thursday they won’t stand for the province bullying them into creating gay-straight alliance clubs in Catholic schools.

“We’re calling upon Ontario Catholic Trustees to implement ‘respecting difference’ clubs as the responsible solution to bullying in schools,” Teresa Pierre said.

They said they wanted to create respecting difference clubs, which would still address issues of students who were being bullied, but stayed true to traditional Catholic teachings on sexual behavior and values.

“PAFE is requesting the trustees to continue to implement these clubs in all Catholic schools in spite of the passing of Bill 13,” Pierre said.

Basically PAFE's proposed clubs are exactly the same, save for the explicitly LGBT-inclusive name. Meanwhile, The Observer reports that Catholic schools can reject any club they feel tarnishes their religious character, so this protest really end up being for naught.


  1. Brad says

    Traditional Catholic values on behavior and sex. Hmmmm. Is that where Catholic priests are allowed to abuse little kids and the bishops and the pope look the other way. Yeah, I’ve had about enough of Catholics taking moral/judgmental stance when they haven’t got a moral leg to stand on!

  2. Randy says

    “PAFE’s proposed clubs are exactly the same”

    No they are not. They regard being gay as a disorder. Surely you’ve visited their website:

    * the Church cannot approve the terms “homophobia” nor “heterosexism”

    * GSAs advocate peer counselling for students experiencing same-sex attraction. If parents do not want their authority over their children transferred to their children’s peers this wish must be respected.

    * the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario opposes GSAs because they reinforce the early self-identification of students as gay.

    By the way, the Observer’s article originated at the Toronto Sun, which is basically a nutty right-wing newspaper.

  3. Jeffrey says

    The solution is simple in my mind. Stop funding religious schools with tax payers money and they can have whatever kind of groups they would like.

  4. Jim says

    The law specifically states that all publicly funded schools (which means public and Catholic) MUST allow Gay-Straight Alliances UNDER THAT NAME if the students request it. There is no option for the Catholic schools to choose a different name.

  5. billywingartenson says

    the horrid catholic church teaches about catholic teachings / beliefs

    Beliefs that help drive kids to suicide.

    and still supporting the worst of the worst of humanity in the past

    the pope UNexcommuncating a holocaust denier, bishop williamson.

    Both of them should be put in a padded cell.

    BTW hitler, mussolini, franco, Dr. Mengele, and adolph Eichmann were catholics and went to catholic schools supported by their state.

    Here’s what the pope saw growing up in nazi germany in the 1930s and 40s

  6. MikeInSanJose says

    Taking marriage advice from a cathlick priest is like getting BBQ tips from a vegetarian. What are these people thinking?

    And on a related note… Why aren’t Cathlick Canadians (and Cathlicks globally) protesting pedophiles in their Cathlick church? Why are they always so worried about everyone else’s perceived problems but never their own very real ones?

  7. Matt N says

    The newspaper doesn’t report that they can legally refuse the clubs, the nutty woman who is leading the protest is the one who said that.

    If Catholic schools don’t go along with the law, they will be taken to court, and I have no doubt the court will side with the government. Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms disallows discrimination based on sexual orientation, which is what this would be.

    I really don’t think the Catholic schools want to fight this, because recent polls have shown most Ontarians want to get rid of them… And this will surely make their position worse.

  8. Malaysian Ho says

    easy problem, just pay back all the tax over the years plus interest and you can name whatever clubs you want.

    By then, you’ll probably wont even own a piece of cloth on you.

  9. Mike says

    The Catholics and the Catholic Church are the anti-gay Christian bullies who teach their children to bully gay people and anybody who is not a Catholic, these Catholics and other anti-gay Christians are guilty of the deaths of countless gay children and adults who were killed or killed themselves as a result of a bully. Of course the anti-gay Catholics are going to complain, by their very act of complaining exposes their guilt of the crime of causing the deaths of so many gay children and adults. Next the guilty anti-gay Catholics will explain how they are right for teaching Catholic children to bully and harass LGBT children and adults. There is nothing right in being involved in the death of another human being no matter what religion you claim to be.

  10. ratbastard says

    Ontario and Canada should have strict separation of church and state like we have in the U.S. No religious school should receive public funding. Then I suppose as a strictly private school they could do what they want.

    Just who are these Catholic groups protesting really? I know very, very few hardcore evangelical-type Catholics. Most nominal Catholics simply ignore a lot of church dogma.

  11. Simon says

    Exposing bigotry with the bible :

    Hatred is the greatest sin which goes against the greatest commandments of Christ. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Christ has clearly mentioned that the way to have eternal life for his followers is through his commandments to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. He has mentioned that those laws are above all other biblical laws of any other prophets.

    Homophobes promoting hatred are antiChrist who do not believe or pretend to believe in Jesus Christ but do not acknowledge Christ’s commandments to love God and to love thy neighbor as thyself, to be the highest of all biblical laws. The antiChrist, like the devil, is a master of quoting biblical verses except those 2 top commandments of love from Christ, they avoid using Christ’s name but use other names, even ‘God’, to bring all sort of biblical verses or ‘facts’, to lie and to prove their justification to hate. AntiChrist deceive people that those 2 commandments of love were not above all laws for Christians, and they are around in many organizations pretending to be of ‘religious’ faith.

    The issue of homosexuality, same sex marriage and many other issues (sexual/non sexual) are different forms of a test of the Christian faith on that choice of who they really believe in the end, to love (Christ and His greatest commandments) or to hate (succumb to temptation of verses NOT from Christ’s greatest commandments to justify their hatred).

  12. Reality.Bites says

    Any nut can put up a website, give it a nam, claim to be a “group” and the media will pay attention to them.

    Does this website list officers, a board, how to join, meetings? Of course not.

  13. Bob says

    “Basically PAFE’s proposed clubs are exactly the same, save for the explicitly LGBT-inclusive name.”
    NONSENSE!!! Under that name, they will attract members who think it is their job to tell the Gays they are weak sinners.

  14. Amanda B. Rekendwith says

    @MikeInSanJose “Why are they always so worried about everyone else’s perceived problems but never their own very real ones?”

    I believe that’s the very definition of Catholic. 😉

  15. Jason says

    I’ve never heard of The Observer and I’ve lived in Ontario for 30 yrs. Note that they were just reprinting an article from The Toronto Sun, which is a paper with a very right-wing bias.

  16. Wyett Earp says

    Let’s clean up your pedophilia behavior before you lecture about someone else. Criminals do not get rights!! They get incarcerated. Consider yourself fortunate.

  17. says

    Oh, Catholics. Who dont’ want to be bullied into protecting LGBT students from bullying.

    Nicely played, kidfu***rs.

    Here’s the thing, Ontario Catholics – your school board is publicly funded. We’ve made this clear numerous times. You take public funds, you abide by public policy. If you’re so concerned about The Gays you can pay extra money to ensure your kids don’t learn to respect them, or admit to being one of them, and you can become a completely privately-funded school.

    But ya can’t have both. And ya never will 😀

  18. Riverwest says

    Although anyone reading the comments on this and similar stories will be able to figure out that Catholic schools in Ontario receive public funding, I think it’s important that this fact be mentioned in the articles. The vast majority of US readers will be unaware of this fact.

  19. jamal49 says

    If I read and understand the statute correctly, any school receiving public funding must permit Gay-Straight Alliances IF students, faculty or/and students’ parents request that one be formed. It does not force any school to have a GSA but it prohibits any school from denying GSA formation if so requested. The statute does NOT require anyone to attend against their will.

    So, what’s the problem again?

  20. jamal49 says

    If I read and understand the statute correctly, any school receiving public funding must permit Gay-Straight Alliances IF students, faculty or/and students’ parents request that one be formed. It does not force any school to have a GSA but it prohibits any school from denying GSA formation if so requested. The statute does NOT require anyone to attend against their will.

    So, what’s the problem again?

  21. says

    Jamal, don’t look for logic where there is none. The passed bill simply means that the schoolboard cannot deny students the right to start a GSA, and they cannot stop them from CALLING IT a GSA.

    There is no “forcing” of anything other than letting the students who want to create a GSA to do so.

    The naysayers don’t know what they’re talking about, just like when Rick Santorum talked about how “gays shouldn’t be allowed to have sex in the barracks” when asked about DADT being repealed. When they can’t address a question directly they instead make something unrelated up.

    As for the reason the Catholic board is publicly funded it goes wayyyy back to when there were the two schoolboards – Catholic and Anglican. Anglican became secular, non religious, and just a plain old school system.

  22. MammaBear says

    Little Kiwi, the Cathoic boards have had both, since the early 70’s. McGuinty drawing this line in the sand is a big deal, and good for him. Finally.

    As for what % of Roman Catholic’s disagree with allowing GSA’s, it’s probably the same group that disagrees with choice, or maybe birth control. Not a majority by any means.

    The local archbishop was particularly tongue tied when he made his pitch to the press – he couches it in terms of trying to help gay kids at the expense of all the other kids who need to be protected. Idiotic and completely wrongheaded.

  23. Jesus Christ says

    the best solution to this and the whole catholic problem in CA is to end state support for anything that reeks of religion.

    Why should our taxes go to support brainwashing of kids which is intended in part to dehumanize gays

    As for the respecting differences biz, you can bet the cath schools would find a dozen ways to drive kids from the group

    Including telling their parents of kids who dont dare come out to their parents.

    so there will be more kids kicked out of house and home thanks to catholic teaching which should be renamed catholic bigotry.

    As well as they would care less if more kids commit suicide. Because mostly those kids wont produce more kids then adults for the church to control and tithe.

    MOney is the root of all evil.

    the church’s protect life campaign is a farce when it comes to gay kids.

  24. Mark K. says

    Gay-Straight alliance has no business in any school, much less a Catholic school. Law makers are the bullies here and everyone knows it. As Jesus said “behold I am sending you as lambs among wolves”. “The Kingdom of God is at hand”. “Whoever listens to you, listens to me. Whoever rejects you, rejects me. And whoever rejects me, rejects the one who sent me.”. May God have mercey on your souls Ontario.

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