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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.

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Comments

  1. 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.

    Posted by: Riverwest | Jul 6, 2012 11:48:10 AM


  2. 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?

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jul 6, 2012 12:28:04 PM


  3. 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?

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jul 6, 2012 12:28:07 PM


  4. I am unclear of the meaning of the line "so this protest really end up being for naught" due to the grammatical error.

    Posted by: Adam | Jul 6, 2012 12:46:18 PM


  5. 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.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jul 6, 2012 12:57:03 PM


  6. 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.

    Posted by: MammaBear | Jul 6, 2012 4:35:28 PM


  7. 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.

    Posted by: Jesus Christ | Jul 8, 2012 9:13:21 PM


  8. once again, religions get special rights they claim mnorities always want. i hate them all

    Posted by: Corey Mondello | Jul 12, 2012 7:38:22 PM


  9. 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.

    Posted by: Mark K. | Oct 6, 2012 7:33:08 PM


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