Toronto Catholic board to debate if religion trumps rights of gay students

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Maysie Maysie's picture
Toronto Catholic board to debate if religion trumps rights of gay students

Yell

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Maysie Maysie's picture

 

Quote:

Parents, church groups, students and members of the public are expected to pack the boardroom for a heated Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) meeting Aug 31.

Quote:

The meeting is expected to be attended by a vocal contingent of people objecting to homosexuality being taught in any way in Catholic schools, including bullying prevention and peer support.

Trustees will vote on amendments that aim to tighten up the policy to put an "emphasis on Catholic faith and the Catholic Church's moral and doctrinal teachings."

One amendment reads: "Where there is an apparent conflict between the [ministry's policy] and the denominational aspect of Catholic schools, the protection of the denominational aspect take precedence."

The meeting takes place at the TCDSB offices at 80 Sheppard Ave at 7 pm. No one from the board could be reached for comment.

Quote:

Roman Catholic schools have repeatedly denied students’ requests for GSAs, saying supports are already in place and church doctrine condemns gay sex as “sinful and immoral.” One example of the “supports” given to gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans students is community groups like Courage International, an organization that claims to “cure gays.”

Full article at xtra.ca

 

Unionist

Maysie wrote:

Quote:

One example of the “supports” given to gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans students is community groups like Courage International, an organization that claims to “cure gays.”

Pity there aren't similar support groups to help cure people suffering from Catholicism.

 

Fidel

There must be a cream or ointment for it. Fundamentalism that is.

Caissa

I await the human rightscomplaints and charter challenges.

6079_Smith_W

Yeah, I saw both threads. 

It's a bit harder than if it were a public school, and I find it kind of annoying, because the simplest solution to dealing with these organizations is to starve them into submission.

But I do feel for the poor students who are stuck in those places and run against the grain of their horrible system of dogma, and the few parents who are apparently trying to change things. I have a couple of friends who have either sent their kids there, or who are thinking of it because apparently they have a great arts program (and I suppose they do, so long as you don't make any pro-choice posters there).

That said, I didn't expect the board to come up with any other answer- even on the small compromise WRT bullying -  and I agree with Caissa. Clearly the only way these institutions will be reformed is by being compelled to do so by the law.

 

greener greener's picture

Why is this not becoming an election issue? 

 

I guess the Catholics are too powerful.  TOTM.

lil.Tommy

I'm adding this to the long list of reasons why we have to eliminate this entire "seperate" school board. They are about to break the law.. and worst say that its cause its God's will... it just angers me to no end.

I went through the catholic school system, there was nothing in place to protect Queer students in the late 90's, especially in the small towns. One vivid manditory mass that i had to attend was filled with such love for your fellow man "gays and pregnant teens are evil sinner..." was the theme.

more fodder for the fight i suppoe

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Defund the catholic schools.  Teaching homophobia is not acceptable especially when done with public funds. 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Northern Shoveler.... can we defund competitive team sports in schools too? (I am only half joking...)

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Sure if you want. I am serious that religious schools not just catholic schools should get no public money.  In Ontario they have to deal with the constitution to defund the separate schools.  

In BC we fund every type of religious fundamentalist or elitist school one can think of.  Cutting those schools off the public purse is never an election issue out here either.  Politicians are afraid of the religious lobbies in all the major cultural groups.  No party wants active enemies in BC from the evangelicals, Catholics, Sikhs and all the private non denominational schools because they will mount nasty negative campaigns that would take other social justice issues off the front burner.

Vansterdam Kid

That's unfortunate, because I don't want my money going to support a system that actively undermines the public system and tries to indoctrinate their graduates with crazed thinking. It's kind of astounding when one comes to think of it just how much public money goes into subsidizing private schools. One would think since we're in a budget crunch this (cutting these subsidizes to non-public and non-secular schools) could be made into a winnable issue.

Unionist

[url=http://www.xtra.ca/public/Toronto/Confronting_Ontarios_Catholic_schools-... Ontario's Catholic schools[/url]

Quote:
The modernization of Ontario’s education system is possible and could be on the horizon.

The story that began in Catholic high schools, where students have been fighting to create gay-straight alliances (GSAs), could very well conclude in a courtroom or on Parliament Hill.

Since January, when the Halton Catholic District School Board banned GSAs and the board chair compared the student clubs to Nazi groups, there have been calls for Ontario to abolish public funding for Catholic schools. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) says denying students GSAs tramples on fundamental human rights.

“Our focus at the CCLA, for almost a year now, has been what is happening in Catholic schools in relation to how they are treating their [lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer] students,” says Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, director of CCLA’s equality program.

The position of the CCLA has remained the same: “The government should stop funding Catholic schools altogether,” Mendelsohn Aviv says. “Our concern is that these students are being abandoned by the Catholic school authorities who are supposed to be watching out for their well-being and safety.”

Maysie Maysie's picture

New anti-bullying legislation in Ontario, but the Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association won't allow GSAs to be called GSAs.

Quote:

Nov 30: Education Minister Laurel Broten tells Xtra there is “no more debate” on GSAs. “If students want a GSA, it must be provided.”

Until now, most Ontario Catholic schools have banned GSAs. Broten says Bill 13 will require school boards to allow students to start queer support groups and name them whatever they wish, including gay-straight alliance, Broten vows. A “general equity group,” which is what some Catholic schools have offered students, is not sufficient, she says. 

“I’m confident our Catholic schools will work with students on this,” she says. “'Gay-straight alliance’ is language and terminology we all understand and support. Students will call the groups what they want.”

.....

Dec 1: Nancy Kirby admits that the Liberals' new anti-bullying legislation makes boards legally required to approve student-led support groups that promote gender equity, anti-racism, respect for people with disabilities and people of all sexual orientations and genders with groups called gay-straight alliance "or another name."

For Kirby, the words, "or another name" means Catholic boards can overrule students and force them to rename the groups, even if they specifically request GSAs. "We can have other names," she told Xtra on Dec 1. 

Upon hearing that Education Minister Laurel Broten told Xtra, unequivocally, that students can use the words gay-straight alliance, Kirby says, "Then that is a discussion I will have to have with her."

"Our concern is that the name [GSA] has become so controversial,” Kirby says. “What it means to some people means something different to other people. What we're trying to do is get away from the controversy and get to the heart of the matter, which is to support all the students, especially the LGBTQ students, who are having real problems."

Kirby spoke passionately about the need to address youth bullying and suicide and admits it's a growing concern, but she says she doesn't understand the importance of using the word "gay."

 

Mr.Tea

I'm normally not one to agree with the Catholic church but I see the point here.

I don't see why there should be Gay Straight Alliances specifically versus clubs to address bullying and equity issues that affect everyone.

There was a funeral in Quebec yesterday for a girl who committed suicide after enduring excessive bullying. She wasn't gay, she was just the new girl in school who got picked in. A few weeks ago, another young girl committed suicide after bullying. She wasn't gay either. She was bullied for being overweight. Last week in Winnipeg, a girl had her hair set on fire by a bully. It was because she's Jewish.

Bullying doesn't only affect gay kids (though it may do so disproportionately). Bullying against anyone is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. Whether it's because someone is gay, Jewish, overwight, or whatever reason mean kids will invent as a reason to pick on somebody and make their life hell.

I don't see why "Gay Straight Alliance" is a better solution, as that focuses on one segment versus saying THAT every student should feel safe, accepted and welcomed in their school.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Gay Straight Alliances aren't only about bullying experienced by LGBTQ youth. GSAs aren't just for talking about homophobia and various oppressions and violence that LGBTQ students face.

From Pink Triangle Services:

Quote:

What is a Gay-Straight Alliance?

The first Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), was launched in Massachusetts through the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). It is a school-based support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning (GLBTQ) and heterosexual youth. Its focus is on creating a union of GLBTQ and straight youth, where everyone gets to have fun and learn about it between each other. Ridding society of homophobia is certainly part of a GSA. The end result is to create an atmosphere where people's differences generally become more acceptable. The groups are lead for youth by youth, with limited teacher/administration facilitation.

A GSA allows students whom identify as gay or are struggling with their sexual identity to explore themselves without fear of violence, discrimination and harassment. However, it is important to point out the following: no assumptions are to be made of people's sexual orientation.

People may:
• talk about their feelings and experiences regarding GLBTQ issues;
• learn about the effects of homophobia and heterosexism and how they affect everyone;
• educate the school community about homophobia, heterosexism and how they affect everyone; and
• learn from each other, go to movies and plays, attend rallies and marches, host speakers and workshops, play games and music, etc.

MegB

Mr.Tea wrote:

I'm normally not one to agree with the Catholic church but I see the point here.

I don't see why there should be Gay Straight Alliances specifically versus clubs to address bullying and equity issues that affect everyone.

There was a funeral in Quebec yesterday for a girl who committed suicide after enduring excessive bullying. She wasn't gay, she was just the new girl in school who got picked in. A few weeks ago, another young girl committed suicide after bullying. She wasn't gay either. She was bullied for being overweight. Last week in Winnipeg, a girl had her hair set on fire by a bully. It was because she's Jewish.

Bullying doesn't only affect gay kids (though it may do so disproportionately). Bullying against anyone is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. Whether it's because someone is gay, Jewish, overwight, or whatever reason mean kids will invent as a reason to pick on somebody and make their life hell.

I don't see why "Gay Straight Alliance" is a better solution, as that focuses on one segment versus saying THAT every student should feel safe, accepted and welcomed in their school.

What Maysie said.  Consider yourself educated.

Caissa

Students should have the right to organize without interference from the administration.

Unionist

Caissa wrote:

Students should have the right to organize without interference from the administration.

I think that kind of sums it up. And it's particularly important where the administration happens to be linked to an institution which opposes fundamental human rights, such as the rights of women, of queer people, etc.

 

Mr.Tea

I'm not challening students' right to start such a club. I'm questioning whether it's the best approach to dealing with a much wider issue.

I think the problem with ofcusing so much on "Gay Straight Alliances" is that it frames the issue of bullying as a "gay issue" when, in fact, bullying affects kids from all backgrounds, all walks of life, all of whom deserve support.

A gay straight alliance focuses it on one segment of the student population, whereas a braoder "equity" group is for everyone. A gay straight alliance does nothing for the kid who gets bullied for being overweight or for being perceived as a "nerd" or for the kid like me who got teased for having an accent or for all teh other kids who are affected by bullying. There are suicides every day in this country. Many by young people. Most of whom aren't gay. Addressing the issue through a specifically gay lens makes it seem like a gay issue when mental health, depression, bullying and suicide affect everybody.

Unionist

I'm sure the Catholic Church and its homophobic underlings running Ontario schools would be pleased to invite Mr. Tea as a guest speaker to explain to these very demanding students why there's a better approach to whatever it is they're demanding, oh, life is so so difficult when you're just trying to run a morally pure academic environment on taxpayers' money, oh my goodness, whatever will they think of next.

 

6079_Smith_W

I do understand your argument, Mr. Tea. 

On the other hand, it's not an anti-bullying campaign. It is a gay-straght alliance. As I understand it, the focus is on mutual support and education on issues of gender and orientation.  

Orientation is something which is sidestepped, ignored, and oppressed and outlawed in very specific ways.It is opposed by religious and cultural tradition, and criminalized.  People are bullied, beaten  and killed because of it daily, and people who commit these crimes get excused as often as not. 

I have seen and heard advertising (some, not all) promoting the anti-homophobic bullying campaign in schools, but which for some reason makes no mention of homophobia. Why is that?

I think your idea about not ignoring other forms of bullying and depression is a good one. I am sure there are a lot of areas of mutual support, and that if someone started a group in a school about other aspects of depression and abuse and lack of inclusion it would be quite complementary. 

But there is a good reason why this campaign has developed in this way, and around this issue. A lot of people don't want to face or even talk about homophobia, which is the reason people organized in this way in the first place, and why  it needs to be at the forefront.  Trying to generalize it may seem like being more inclusive, but what it actually does is give people an excuse to sweep this most central point of misunderstanding and hatred under the rug.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Mr Tea, if you had read the link you would have a better understanding of the intent and purpose of GSAs.

If you choose to not read about or understand what GSAs are for, there's a limit to the quality of your participation in a discussion of this issue.

MegB

Mr.Tea wrote:

I'm not challening students' right to start such a club. I'm questioning whether it's the best approach to dealing with a much wider issue.

I think the problem with ofcusing so much on "Gay Straight Alliances" is that it frames the issue of bullying as a "gay issue" when, in fact, bullying affects kids from all backgrounds, all walks of life, all of whom deserve support.

A gay straight alliance focuses it on one segment of the student population, whereas a braoder "equity" group is for everyone. A gay straight alliance does nothing for the kid who gets bullied for being overweight or for being perceived as a "nerd" or for the kid like me who got teased for having an accent or for all teh other kids who are affected by bullying. There are suicides every day in this country. Many by young people. Most of whom aren't gay. Addressing the issue through a specifically gay lens makes it seem like a gay issue when mental health, depression, bullying and suicide affect everybody.

Mr. Tea, Maysie - who is frequently more patient than I am - has kindly outlined what a Gay Straight Alliance does.  Your questions about its being "the best way to deal with bullying" are disingenuous.  Your argument conveniently leaves out the "Straight" part of the alliance, making it seem exclusive and excluding.  Before I label you homophobic, I suggest you think carefully about what it is you are really objecting to.

Maysie Maysie's picture

The issue of bullying is wider than the bullying of kids who are LGBTQ, or who are thought to be LGBTQ. Bullying, as Mr Tea has outlined, affects all sorts of students. There needs to be, and there just was, a policy-level response (in Ontario). Such a response needs to be top-down, with teeth for consequences, training for staff and teachers, etc. 

Kids of colour, Aboriginal kids, other kids who are social awkward, etc, LGBTQ kids, disabled kids, fat kids, are all targets of bullying. 

GSAs are run by and for the students, with little to no administrative involvement. There's a reason for that, which I completely support.

But bullying and harassment are a separate issue, even though of course there's some overlap.

Mr.Tea

Rebecca West wrote:

  Your argument conveniently leaves out the "Straight" part of the alliance, making it seem exclusive and excluding. 

Yes it includes "straights" but so would a broader "equity" club which implicitly includes everyone.

And if you don't realize that there are some kids (I'd argue many kids) who simply do not want to join something called a "gay straight alliance" you're kidding yourself.

I can tell you that when I was in school, I would have had big problems joining any club with "gay" in teh title as I would have feared being teased precisley for that. I was already being teased for having a "funny accent" and for coming from a country seen as "terrorist" (never mind that it was my family being terrorized, which is why we left) and for not being able to afford the cool clothes and for being behind in school initially because English wasn't my family's language.

Relying on a gay straight alliance to meet the needs of that kid, or the overweight kid, or the nerdy kid or the por kid or the Jewish kid or the black kid or teh kid who teh kids jsut decided to torment for whatever reasons they decided isn't going to cut it. It frames bullying as being primarily a gay issue when that couldn't be further from the truth. Bullying along with depression and broader mental health issues know no colour, sexual orientation, religion, class background, etc.

Mr.Tea

I'll add that I saw Maysie's post about how bullying is a separate issue. It may be but they're highly connected and I just see a lot of sense in focusing resources against any and all forms of bullying against any student in a school versus dividing the student body up further. I see a comprehensive approach for all students as providing more value.

To reiterate, I have no issue with students forming gay straight alliances. I just think that bullying is a much broader issue and these GSAs will barely make a dent in the bigger problem.

MegB

Mr.Tea wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:

  Your argument conveniently leaves out the "Straight" part of the alliance, making it seem exclusive and excluding. 

Yes it includes "straights" but so would a broader "equity" club which implicitly includes everyone.

And if you don't realize that there are some kids (I'd argue many kids) who simply do not want to join something called a "gay straight alliance" you're kidding yourself.

I can tell you that when I was in school, I would have had big problems joining any club with "gay" in teh title as I would have feared being teased precisley for that. I was already being teased for having a "funny accent" and for coming from a country seen as "terrorist" (never mind that it was my family being terrorized, which is why we left) and for not being able to afford the cool clothes and for being behind in school initially because English wasn't my family's language.

Relying on a gay straight alliance to meet the needs of that kid, or the overweight kid, or the nerdy kid or the por kid or the Jewish kid or the black kid or teh kid who teh kids jsut decided to torment for whatever reasons they decided isn't going to cut it. It frames bullying as being primarily a gay issue when that couldn't be further from the truth. Bullying along with depression and broader mental health issues know no colour, sexual orientation, religion, class background, etc.

Your view is a narrow one.  You make assumptions that straight kids would think they are stigmatized by belonging to such a group. By doing so, you reveal you own bias and that you haven't carefully read the mandate of a GSA kindly posted by Maysie.  There are a bunch of things being made clear here, that you're not seeing.  I urge you to educate yourself on homophobic ideas I before relieve you from your commitment to contributing to babble.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Mr Tea wrote:
 Relying on a gay straight alliance to meet the needs of that kid, or the overweight kid, or the nerdy kid or the por kid or the Jewish kid or the black kid or teh kid who teh kids jsut decided to torment for whatever reasons they decided isn't going to cut it.

That's not what GSAs are for. There's no argument here.

oldgoat

I would like to add that having a GSA in a school is a positive tide which floats all boats.  In challenging the bullying culture in such a direct and powerful way there can be little doubt that it will create a better and more supportive atmosphere for all who find themselves victims of bullying.  The light which eminates from such a movement can only offer warmth for all.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Well said, og. I just love typing og. I think of you differently than oldgoat, more like originalgangsta.

6079_Smith_W

Another thing to remember when trying to equate all these objects of bullying and discrimination is that they are not all the same. 

GSAs have been singled out by the Catholic School Board because unlike race, body image or nerdiness, it challenges church dogma, and in some places the law.

They are so threatened by them that they banned rainbows, for heaven sakes

And Mr Tea, the fact that some kids wouldn't think of joining such a group is even more reason for some brave people to stand up and do so - to make it clear there is no us and them when it comes to support and tolerance.

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Well clarified 6079. The fact the GSA'a have been singled out is the clear denominator.

Caissa

The issue is not bullying. The issue is the right to organize.

Maysie Maysie's picture

6079 wrote:
 GSAs have been singled out by the Catholic School Board because unlike race, body image or nerdiness, it challenges church dogma, and in some places the law.

While I agree this is true in Canada today, interracial couples (generally a white person with a non-white person) were (and are in the state of Kentucky) banned from certain churches. It was, in fact, illegal for interracial couples to marry until a short while ago (around the 1960s).

This is why being an ally is so important. This is why GSAs matter. Because whoever's in the target zone, you could be next. And you know, because it's the right and just and equitable thing to do. Smile

Slumberjack

More than enough reasons why people should once and for all burn their altar boy outfits.

Unionist

Actually, the more specific real issue in this thread is the stance of publicly funded Catholic school boards who refuse to have the word "gay" appear in any recognized aspect of school life, because of the dicta of the Vatican. There are lots of school boards and university administrations don't give student bodies full and unlicensed freedom to organize clubs and call them whatever they want. But few of them say:

"Ok, Jews can have a club, because the law forces us to let them - but you can't use 'Jewish' in the name because Jewishness is contrary to the moral code that we follow."

Replace "Jews" by African-Canadians or women or disabled, and you get a feeling for what's going on here.

On the other hand, the right to organize isn't absolute. If students want to organize a "Students for Hitler" club, we'd all agree to say no. If they wanted to organize a "Students for the Criminalization of all Abortion", I would fully support the school board saying "NEVER". Not everyone would.

So, the issue here really is, the homophobic anti-human stance of the Catholic Church and more specifically, the attempts of some of its devotees to attack human rights in the public sphere.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Maysie #33

True, thanks. I remember reading that unbelievable story. 

As you point out, There are some organizations which do whatever the fuck they want when their power is unchecked (right up to murder). What is more surprising is the degree to which governments and people sometimes let them get away with it, because religious dogma is somehow thought to trump everything.

 

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Trinity Western University "won" (actually they lost, in part, but more about that later) a case at the Supreme Court of Canada some years ago regarding their failure to properly prepare teachers for the public school system.

Seems that they were teaching their students in the education program that homosexuality is evil (a sin), queers are evil, etc. The matter came up in the context of the BC College of Teachers insisting that these students take their 5th year at SFU as part of their professional preparedness to become teachers. Anyway, TWU won at the SCC. The court at the time was only "grudgingly prepared to acknowledge the rights of homosexuals" (Thomas Berger) and, as has been noted upthread, if the issue were Jews or Afro-Canadians or women there would be no debate among the Justices.  The Court decided that since the BCCT hadn't provided examples where these unprepared TWU teachers were a menace to children (whatever) , therefore TWU could "prepare" their students for the full 5 years without a year at SFU.

The good part of the ruling was that the religious bigots (TWU, the Catholics, and all the rest of the misogynistic, misanthropic  lot) lost when it comes to carving out a space where their offensive views are "protected" by virtue of being their "religious" views. Berger: "... TWU, the Evangelical Free Church and the Roman Catholic Bishops had failed in the attempt to carve out of section 15 a zone of immunity for their religious beliefs." And that was the good part of the SCC ruling. Thomas Berger wrote a very good piece explaining why the court made a mistake in regard to the rest of it. 

One aspect of the Court ruling worth noting was the line that they drew between belief and conduct. Canadians can have the most despicable beliefs and the state is fine with that as long as they don't act on those beliefs. But the court made a mistake in replacing concerns about professional preparedness of teachers with demands for proof of harm to children and let "freedom of religion" trump equality rights in the Charter.

The ruling took place at a time when sexual orientation had only recently been added to the list of protected criteria in the law. And the judges, whatever their "progressive" credentials, are a conservative lot.

 

See Duelling Charter Rights in Berger, One Man's Justice: A Life in the Law

 

Unionist

[url=http://scc.lexum.org/en/2001/2001scc31/2001scc31.html]Here[/url] is the horrendous Supreme Court decision referenced above by ikosmos.

The sole dissent, by Mme Justice L'Heureux-Dubé, makes a refreshing contrast with the dinosaur logic of the majority, who actually ruled that a ban by the phony Christian "teachers' college" on homosexual behaviour on the part of students did not necessarily discriminate against homosexual students (yeah, I said dinosaur logic). She commented:

Quote:
69                              I am dismayed that at various points in the history of this case the argument has been made that one can separate condemnation of the “sexual sin” of “homosexual behaviour” from intolerance of those with homosexual or bisexual orientations. This position alleges that one can love the sinner, but condemn the sin. But, in the words of the intervener EGALE, “[r]equiring someone not to act in accordance with their identity is harmful and cruel. It destroys the human spirit. Pressure to change their behaviour and deny their sexual identity has proved tremendously damaging to young persons seeking to come to terms with their sexual orientation” (factum, at para. 34). The status/conduct or identity/practice distinction for homosexuals and bisexuals should be soundly rejected, as per Madam Justice Rowles: “Human rights law states that certain practices cannot be separated from identity, such that condemnation of the practice is a condemnation of the person” (para. 228). She added that “the kind of tolerance that is required [by equality] is not so impoverished as to include a general acceptance of all people but condemnation of the traits of certain people” (para. 230). This is not to suggest that engaging in homosexual behaviour automatically defines a person as homosexual or bisexual, but rather is meant to challenge the idea that it is possible to condemn a practice so central to the identity of a protected and vulnerable minority without thereby discriminating against its members and affronting their human dignity and personhood.

Thanks for this reference, ikosmos. It shows how far we've come, and how far we haven't.

 

6079_Smith_W

THe fact is that people then were just as intelligent and perceptive as we are now. And it hardly matters that we are talking about decades past rather than about Roman times (when  people were also just as intelligent and perceptive, and in some ways moreso).

I'm not getting my back up about heaping scorn on opinions of the past, any more than I get outraged about Tommy Douglas refering to homosexuality as a sickness, as part of an argument for decriminalizing it.

But I do think distancing ourselves from those actions is a mistake and a pointless exercise, and a denial of our own limited perspective. That is what mainstream-thinking people came up with at that time. Before we go distancing ourselves from those decisions perhaps we should consider how our actions will look in 50 years or so.

I would hope they have the compassion to realise that their (hopefully) greater insight was built on our learning process.

 

 

 

Unionist

Er, Smith, that's eloquent, but the Supreme Court decision was not "decades past" It was decade past. Canada's ban on "homosexual behaviour" was repealed in 1969. These judges just happened to have a mental fart in 2001. L'Heureux-Dubé got it right, as did the B.C. Court of Appeal. The important issue is that today, there are still publicly-funded educational authorities poisoning young minds and humiliating and marginalizing children on the basis of their sexual orientation.

 

6079_Smith_W

That notwithstanding, Unionist, we have no call to get high and mighty. Time makes no difference at all.

Look around you . Have we really learned anything? I could just as easily lay out an argument that we are way more fucking stupid than people were 60 or 100 years ago. At least they had the good sense to realize where  their food and water came from.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

The issue in this particular ruling, among others, is that if this had been a case of other protected criteria being violated then the justices would not have ruled the way they did. If TWU was teaching their prospective teachers that Jews were the cause of all that's wrong in "Western Civilization", or that women are inferior and belong barefood and pregnant in the kitchen, or that Africans are a mentally inferior race, there's no doubt that their ruling would have been different and they would not have waited for "evidence of harm" from such odious views before putting the boots to TWU (and insisting that part of the education of the prospective teachers be at SFU where such monstrous views are not supported by that institution).

The Province of BC has recently abolished the professional body for teachers, the BC College of Teachers (BCCT), and replaced it with a puppet organization to better represent THEIR odious views. The current Premier of BC Christy Clark was Education Obersturmführer, or Minister, in charge of attacking teachers around the time of the SCC ruling. In any case, the recent change has basically stopped BC teachers from being a self-regulating and therefore professional organization. It is important in this case because it was the BCCT that was involved in the SCC case that I've mentioned here in the credentialing issues around TWU.

Would such a case even come up now, what with the gutting of the BCCT? Who knows?

Red Tory Tea Girl

"At least they had the good sense to realize where their food and water came from."

 

Good goddess, the appeal to naturalism... this is always a fun one. Living in an age where half of us don't have to farm, (and, oh, by the by, we have much better food safety standards thanks to people writing 100 or so years ago, like Upton Sinclair) does not make us a less virtuous society, despite the easy deep ecological classism.

Yes, we should use less pesticides and fossil fuels in our farming, favour renewables and focus on reclaiming land, and there are perverse incentives that cause what would be, in purely utilitarian terms, diseconomies of scale, but Gwynne Dyer is right: Ditching the industrialization of farming would be an even bigger catastrophe than we are currently facing wrt global warming.

And my water comes treated with alum, chlorine and flouride, and filtered through sand and charcoal, (Yes, the city runs a huge Brita, I see no reason I should duplicate their work) as does most clean fresh water able to serve a significant population from the North Saskatchewan, fed by rainfall and the Columbia ice field, which is on pace to last about a century if we face a precambrian climate and if we haven't got solar powered desalination by then, we truly have failed to handle ourselves as a type 0.7 society. I don't even want to get into the misogyny frequently presenting itself in appeals to naturalism and fear of a pink planet, as though a world where 75% were female-identifed would be noticeably worse (or better on any metric other than my dating prospects) than a world where 51% are now.

Unionist

Water, water everywhere, but what's the thread about?

 

Slumberjack

Catholic hate groups?

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

Water, water everywhere, but what's the thread about?

 

It's about a month late, by my watch.

6079_Smith_W

Okay, if you don't think your food and water is a problem, let me put it terms that might be easier to relate to. 

At least they would have good sense to know how to get their cars started in -30 with no electricity. 

My point was that we may have more information than people back then in some things, and we may, thanks to them, have a more reformed society in some things

But we are no more intelligent. I seriously doubt we are more compassionate. And in many ways we are far more dependent on our society, and far less connected to the things which keep us alive.

But you can agree or not. This is as far enough off-topic as I care to go.

 

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

From the Are You Fucking Kidding Me?!?! files:

Gay-Straight Alliances Become Respecting Differences clubs.

Quote:

"This is about helping kids feel safe against bullying, not as advocacy for a lifestyle," said Nancy Kirby, president of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association. "We have nothing against homosexuals, but it's the (homosexual) act that is in contradiction of the teachings of the church."

Kirby said "gay-straight alliance" is an American-made term for groups that lobby for adult issues that go beyond the mandate of a school club. The Respecting Difference clubs can be broad-based equity groups or focus specifically on anti-homophobia, she said.

However, Mississauga student Leanne Iskander doesn't like the new term at all.

"It highlights the difference, rather than the similarities, and it should be about more than just respect - it should be about accepting people as they are," said the Grade 12 student at St. Joseph's Catholic Secondary School, who pushed unsuccessfully for a gay-straight alliance at her school. Instead, the school has allowed an anti-homophobia club called Open Arms, which Iskander said is planning some awareness events this spring.

Hooray, Leanne Iskander! 

And, Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association? I'll give you a club.

 

Caissa

Has anyone considered or initiated legal action on this issue?

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