The gay news source Xtra! reports that all 29 Catholic School Boards in Ontario effectively ban the forming of Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). Some may claim this is just religious freedom, but in Ontario, Catholic schools are funded by taxpayer dollars. So LGBT people and straight allies are paying to teach kids that being gay is shameful, sinful, and something that can be avoided if swept under the rug.
Xtra! contacted the 29 Catholic school boards in the province. None of them reported having a GSA, which is contrary to what activists and politicians have been reporting.
"We support student clubs that support inclusiveness, especially for students who might otherwise feel marginalized. But all our clubs must, however, adhere to the Catholic teachings and values," Gerald Casey, Superintendent of Education for the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board, said to Xtra!.
Casey then he told the reporter that, if a student asked to start a gay-straight alliance, the answer would be no.
Ontario Catholic School curriculum comes from the Institute for Catholic Education, and the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO) is the final authority on what is and is not "Catholic" in the province. A report published by the ACBO promotes the idea that students who have same-sex attraction are not homosexual. They just need to avoid sex. That is not a reasonable option, nor something wise to be teaching students.
This needs to stop. Either Catholic Schools need to reverse their policies on gay-straight spaces in high schools, or Ontario taxpayers need to stop being forced to contribute to the promotion of intolerance and oppression. The petition below targets the latter matter. Tell the Ontario Ministry of Education that citizens should not have to contribute to schools with hateful and damaging policies that are just about as un-Canadian as you can get.
Dear Minister Dombrowsky and Ms. Moroz,
I am writing to ask you to put an end to taxpayer funding for Ontario Catholic school boards.
As I am sure you are aware, there has been outrage recently over the fact that Ontario's Catholic School Boards do not allow gay-straight alliances in their schools. Telling children that they can form equity groups, and yet not use the word gay, is both intolerant and oppressive. In fact, it goes against everything that makes Canada such a wonderful, inclusive and diverse country.
The fact that these schools operate under policies that do not even allow kids to be openly homosexual is problematic. Telling a youth that acting on their natural feelings and desires is a "mortal sin" only contributes to poor mental health, low self-esteem and overall unhappiness. Kids should not be told that they need to live a life of celibacy to be worthy. And, since this is in fact what they are being told, taxpayers should not be funding this hatred.
I urge you to put a stop to public funding of Catholic school boards in Ontario, at least until their policies start to align with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
(sign petition at the link above)