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04/19/2007


Campaign for Premier Job in Ontario, Canada Gets Homophobic

Hudak

Canadian Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak, campaigning for Ontario's top job, is under fire for a homophobic campaign flyer that misleads voters about the education curriculum in place under Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty.

The Globe and Mail reports:

The Tories are quoting from a Toronto District School Board curriculum guideline that says, "Sending a school newsletter home at the beginning of each term is a best practice for keeping parents informed of all upcoming equity topics in the classroom."

Still, the PC flyer warns parents against classrooms that would introduce concepts such as “cross dressing for six year olds” and “reclaiming Valentine’s Day [by celebrating] sexual diversity with a kissing booth.”

The statements aren't based on what was proposed, however. The Valentine's Day example was an idea to give chocolates to students who complete a "school climate" survey. As for cross-dressing, the Liberals said "there is no such thing." The page cited in the PC flyer is a list of "Significant International" gay and lesbian individuals, including Ellen Degeneres, Rosie O'Donnell, Virginia Woolf and Harvey Milk.

Other candidates associated with the flyer are running from it, literally.


Transgender Worker Told to Get Off Premises of 'Family Friendly' Farmer's Market in Ontario, Canada

A transgender worker for True2You, a candle and incense vendor at Trail's End Farmer's Market in London, Ontario, was disturbing the "family friendly atmosphere" there according to the market's owner and would not be allowed back on the premises.

Trailsend True2You owner Karen Clarke tells AM890 she got a call from one of the market's managers:

"Everything was fine when I left and it wasn't until five to 8 on Saturday night that I got a call from the management at Trails End. Basically they said if I was going to have those people there anymore I'm invited to take my business elsewhere....He said it made everyone uncomfortable and it just wasn't right. This is a family place, a family market and this just isn't right. I just kept insisting what happened that was wrong and he said you walk up to the person and they're dressed like a woman and they've got big hands, a deep voice and tattoos and it's just not right. It's just not a family place he kept repeating that over and over again. And I kept trying to get from him what was wrong, what was so not right, what was it that people were complaining about and there was no details forthcoming that way. He called them 'those people' several times."

Said the market's owner Ed Kikkert: "Why would I be discriminating? I'm not discriminating at all. I'm just asking which washroom would they use? How can you go into a men's washroom dressed as a lady, how can you go into ladies washroom when you're a man. That's the difficulty I have. It's not discriminating at all. The issue is at hand."

A complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission has been filed.


Halton Catholic School Board Lifts Ban on 'Gay-Straight Alliances', But Resists Allowing Them to be Called That

Halton

The ban on Gay-Straight alliances at Halton Catholic School, where controversy erupted earlier this year after board chair Alice Anne LeMay (pictured, below) compared GSAs to Nazi groups, has been lifted, Xtra reports

Lemay In a 6-2 vote, trustees have decided to rescind the ban and shelve the equity and inclusive education policy. While a new policy is drafted, the board will use the Catholic “template." The template is a version of Ontario’s equity policy that’s written specifically for English Catholic boards by the Ontario Education Services Corporation.

When asked by Xtra whether the board will allow groups to be called gay-straight alliance clubs, board chair Alice Anne LeMay refused to answer the question.

“I can’t answer that tonight, the policy will go to senior administration and will be implemented in the schools,” she says.

The Spec.com is reporting that the vote was 8-2.

Students and activists are demanding that the groups be called Gay-Straight Alliances, but the board is resisting:

Although the ban is now lifted, the HCDSB may follow suit with other Catholic school boards in Ontario and adopt a broad “diversity group” policy, creating space for anti-discrimination groups, which allow students to discuss a number of social justice issues, such as racism, sexism, poverty and homophobia.

Students says the banning of the word "gay" is extremely problematic:

Sarah Kelly, a master's of teaching student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), who started the Facebook page “Fight the Halton Catholic Board’s ban on Gay Straight Alliances,” leads a group of students and activists making emotional pleas to trustees. 

“The fact remains one in three gay and lesbians will attempt suicide due to the damaging attitudes and policies such as this very ban,” she told the board.


Ontario Catholic School Board to Reconsider Ban on Gay-Straight Alliances Following Board Member's 'Nazi' Remarks

The Halton District Catholic School Board in Ontario is reviewing a ban on Gay-Straight alliances enacted on November 2, following an Xtra story published in early January which caused widespread outrage over a board member's remarks comparing gay groups to Nazi groups.

The National Post reports: Lemay

Board chairperson Alice Anne LeMay said Monday the ban was enacted as the board created an equity and inclusive education policy, as required by new equity legislation from the Ontario Ministry of Education.

"When we worked through it and it was passed on Nov. 16, some things were added about the exclusion of certain groups, particularly a [gay-straight alliance] group and that's the way it was passed," she said. (Ms. LeMay was forced to apologize Monday for saying earlier that gay alliances, like "Nazi groups," would not be allowed in Halton's Catholic schools because they "don't fall within the teachings of the Catholic church.")

A board meeting is scheduled for this evening:

Reached on Monday evening, Ms. LeMay said she didn’t know yet whether she would vote to support the ban or to repeal it at Tuesday’s meeting. Several new members who were elected to the board in October didn’t participate in the November vote, including an openly gay trustee, 22-year-old Paul Marai.

Mr. Marai called the ban a divisive “waste of time” that distracted the board from the more important issue of education. He also expressed his support for Ms. LeMay.

“I do know her to be quite a tolerant and accepting individual,” he said.

Watch Sarah Kelly, a Master of Teaching student at the University of Toronto, speaks out for Gay-Straight alliances and about the Halton ban, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ontario Catholic School Board to Reconsider Ban on Gay-Straight Alliances Following Board Member's 'Nazi' Remarks" »


Canadian Lesbian Who Was Attacked in Front of School, Kids, Testifies

Attack1

You may remember last year I posted about Anji Dimitriou and Jane Currie, who were attacked by a man outside a school in front of kids while picking up their six-year-old son. 

Dimitriou told a court yesterday that Mark Scott, another student's father, punched her until her face "burst open." Scott has pleaded not guilty.

The Leader Post reports:Oshawa

"Anji Dimitriou said Scott called her and Jane Currie 'dyke bitches' and asked, 'Which one of you f—— 'men' talked to my kid?' Dimitriou, 31, said he spat on her face and punched her twice, once near her left eye and again on the left side of her head. He also punched Currie so hard her face 'burst open' and she started bleeding, Dimitriou said. Dimitriou and Currie admitted to swearing at Scott but denied ever physically attacking him. But defence lawyer Mark Jacula said Dimitriou anticipated a confrontation and waited for Scott outside her car, telling the court she punched Scott in the jaw, broke his glasses and gave him a mark on his forehead. Currie, 38, wept during her testimony when she told the court of her six-year-old son witnessing the attack. 'I remember hearing (him) crying,' she said. 'I've never heard a scream like that.'"

Dimitriou and Currie received an outpouring of support from the local community following the attack.


News: Spain, Ryan Reynolds, Google Wave, Fort Worth, Bangladesh

Road

Richard Hatch freed from prison.

Road

Why is the investigation of the police raid on Fort Worth's Rainbow Lounge taking so long?

Marcjacobs

Road

Marc Jacobs glams it up for Nars.

Road

Get ready to see Ryan Reynolds in drag.

Road

Pew poll on civil unions and same-sex marriage shows uptick in support for the former, but numbers virtually unchanged for the latter.

Road

NYT hetero-normalizes David Hockney.

Road

Senator Udall wants Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal plan from Pentagon within 30 days. Lieberman "committed".

Road

Spanish court orders new trial in brutal murder of gay couple following protests and outrage over acquittal: "Yesterday, mincing no words, the Tribunal called the lower court ruling "defective, absurd, illogical and arbitrary"and ordered a new trial, according to El Pais. The Tribunal also dismissed petitions to reduce the sentence for setting the apartment on fire. The verdict is a win for efforts by Triviño's mother, Marta Pérez Triviño, to bring her son to justice. She will still have to withstand what must be the unbearable pain of seeing her son's murder go to trial a second time."

Road

John Mayer on online outreach: "I would rather tell the world to eat my a**hole before I would delete my Twitter account."

Raynard

Road

Police: Attack on Jake Raynard not a hate crime.

Road

Queer as Folk's Randy Harrison set to play Andy Warhol in Pop at Yale Repertory Theater.

Road

Two gay Bangladesh refugees say they'll have sex to prove they are gay on their fourth attempt to get protection Visas in Australia: "A Federal Court judge recently criticised the Refugee Review Tribunal for its treatment of the pair, who first applied for asylum in 1999, finding it was deliberately biased against them. In a scathing summation, Justice Spender found three previous tribunals had unreasonably twisted facts to deny the men were homosexual, using unsubstantiated claims they were brothers who had been married to women."

Road

Gallup: Hillary Clinton now more popular than Obama.

Road

Kris Allen wants to hit you baby, one more time.

Road

Ryan Gosling had a yummy show in NY last night.

Vutt

Road

Butt Magazine to publish 54-week 2010 pin-up calendar.

Road

George Michael and Kenny Goss step out in London.

Road

Arjan presents a guilt-free download of the Magistrates remix of Mika's new single "Rain".

Road

Coalition of 17 international human rights groups strike out at Uganda: "Over the course of the last year, there’s been an increasing pattern of homophobic discourse at play in Uganda, including a conference that occurred several months ago, in which a number of US evangelical leaders came to Uganda to promote reparative therapy and other types of human rights violations against Ugandan LGBT people…and our feeling is that the bill is targeting not just LGBT people, but freedom of expression and a broad level of political discourse in general."

Road

Google Wave acts out Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting.

Road

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg again changes promises on what votes he can provide from  Senate Republicans on marriage equality: "Less than a month after defending his support for Republican state senators, saying he could get their votes for gay marriage, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said conservatives in that body will not support what the mayor termed 'our number one priority' at a recent campaign event with gay supporters. 'Those will not be the Republican votes that I will get, but they will be there for other things that are important to the city,' Bloomberg said in an hour-long interview with Gay City News and its sister papers, The Villager, Downtown Express, and Chelsea Now.


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