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

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lil.Tommy

I do know there was a legal challenge initiated against the whole idea of a catholic board... which in my mind is even better than going after them one issue at a time. The problem is the board itself shouldn't be legal.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/01/13/ontario-woman-launches-legal-challenge-to-catholic-schools-taxpayer-funding/

 

 

Nationhood

Mr. Tea, I see nobody has provided a suffient rebutle to your comments, so I will. You raise some valid observations about Gay Straight Alliances, even if, officially, they're there for all different minorities, but your main point is off.

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

No, you're missing the fundamental reason Catholic schools don't want these Gay Straight Alliances to be called Gay Straight Alliances. They don't want it named at such because of thoughtfulness and reflection, rather it's the homophobic and archaic doctrine of the Catholic church. That's exactly why it's being framed as religious rights versus freedom of expression - because that's exactly what it is. Should their religion be more relevant than what's actually relevant - today and now.

I agree and recongize your observations about the mere notion of a Gay Straight Alliance of not being inclusive enough, and sexuality isn't the exclusive area for bullying in schools. But, that does not justify baning the formation or naming of these clubs as such. Especially if you're using xenophobic mythology to back it up.

Furthermore, remember, I don't just have to argue this from a philosophical perspective - I can argue this from a legal one, since in Ontario Catholic Schools are... the government. They recieve public funding and are subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It could be argued that prohibiting Gay Straight Alliances is unconstitutional (freedom of expression, no discrimination against gays, for example). So there's a legal qualme here along with the philsophical and moral.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Yay!

College asked to investigate Catholic principal who banned gay-straight alliance 

Quote:

Ontario's College of Teachers has been asked to investigate a Catholic principal for professional misconduct after students were banned from starting a gay-straight alliance at their Mississauga high school.

In a formal complaint, teacher Thomas McCue asks that the college look at the alleged "actions or inactions" of Frances Jacques, principal of St. Joseph Catholic high school last year, that could have "put certain groups at increased risk, which is contrary to the code of conduct of members."

McCue is referring to a group of students led by Leanne Iskander, who asked to form a gay-straight alliance but were turned down. They said the principal instead offered talks with the school's chaplain or that they join other groups already running at the school.

Even though gay-straight alliances are common in public schools, Catholic boards have not allowed them, given the Vatican's stance against homosexuality.

 

 

MegB

Welcome Nationhood and thank you for your incredibly lucid and perceptive summing up of the issue.  I sincerely hope that you'll continue to post at babble.

CanadaApple

Just wondering, but did anyone here go to a Catholic School in Ontario? I did.

Red Tory Tea Girl

I went to Catholic School in Alberta. Sex education was awful, and I definitely learned that I don't like catholicism, or organized religion in general, from it, and honestly, LGBT kids were invisible in both systems in my day... now there are trans kids at the aforementioned catholic high schools. I take this as a measure of progress, Bill 44's home schooling lite or no.

Unionist

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CanadaApple

Red Tory Tea Girl wrote:

I went to Catholic School in Alberta. Sex education was awful, and I definitely learned that I don't like catholicism, or organized religion in general, from it, and honestly, LGBT kids were invisible in both systems in my day... now there are trans kids at the aforementioned catholic high schools. I take this as a measure of progress, Bill 44's home schooling lite or no.

I don't remember much about Sex Education, other than we learned it all in Elementary School, I only remember having one class on it in high school, and that was in religion class. The only things I can really remember learning about were "how babies are made" and something about STD/STIs. I can only ever remember one of my teachers talking about being gay, and he seemed to act like he was fine with it. He also said it was okay if we didn't wait until we were married to have sex, just so long as we waited until we were ready. Granted, I only graduated from there a few years ago, I'm not sure what it would be like their now to be LGBT, but their were certainly a few students there who were and didn't try to hide it.

Unionist

[url=http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/Ontario_tightens_Bill_13_so_school_bo... tightens Bill 13 so school boards can't reject GSAs[/url]

 

infracaninophile infracaninophile's picture

I doubt we've heard the last of this. The Catholic school boards can take the case to court and they stand a good chance of winning.

A key precedent here with many common factors is the case of Trinity Western University v. British Columbia College of Teachers about a decade ago.  Because TWU expressly taught that homosexuality was sinful (etc.), its teacher education graduates were not certified by the BC College of Teachers because of the discriminatory nature of the school's teachings. The lower courts ruled in favour of the BCCT decision but the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of Trinity Western and said that the religious freedom charter rights overruled the human rights issue of the school's anti-gay beliefs.

The decision can be read in full here: http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/2001/2001scc31/2001scc31.html

It was not unanimous, and Justice L’Heureux‑Dubé's dissenting opinion is also of interest. 

So we may see an Ontario reprise. The negative publicity ensuing could help erode support for funding Catholic schools with tax dollars.

infracaninophile infracaninophile's picture

I doubt we've heard the last of this. The Catholic school boards can take the case to court and they stand a good chance of winning.

A key precedent here with many common factors is the case of Trinity Western University v. British Columbia College of Teachers about a decade ago.  Because TWU expressly taught that homosexuality was sinful (etc.), its teacher education graduates were not certified by the BC College of Teachers because of the discriminatory nature of the school's teachings. The lower courts ruled in favour of the BCCT decision but the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of Trinity Western and said that the religious freedom charter rights overruled the human rights issue of the school's anti-gay beliefs.

The decision can be read in full here: http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/2001/2001scc31/2001scc31.html

It was not unanimous, and Justice L’Heureux‑Dubé's dissenting opinion is also of interest. 

So we may see an Ontario reprise. The negative publicity ensuing could help erode support for funding Catholic schools with tax dollars.

Unionist

infracaninophile wrote:

A key precedent here with many common factors is the case of Trinity Western University v. British Columbia College of Teachers about a decade ago.

We discussed this case at some length [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/lgbtq/toronto-catholic-board-debate-if-religion-....

The Catholic Church will lose - either in court, or in the acceleration of the abolition of their apartheid school system. Either way, the dustbin of history is their next stop.

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Anna Maria Tremonti hosted a segment on The Current today where they repeatedly made the assertion that "Only Ontario fully funds Roman Catholic Schools in Canada". [The quoted phrasing is lifted directly from capsule description of the piece on the program's home page (although it doesn't appear at the permalink above)]

I think it is yet another case of Central Canadian Overlord syndrome... I wrote to complain.

me wrote:
Listening to the reports on the naming of Gay/Straight Alliances in Catholic schools in Ontario, I was struck by the repeated assertion that "Only Ontario fully funds Roman Catholic Schools in Canada" (the words are taken from your website's capsule description of the segment). I question the accuracy of the assertion.

Alberta and Saskatchewan (as well as Ontario) have publicly funded Catholic school boards and schools and both do so within the same constitutional framework as Ontario (Section 93 of the Constitution Act). I have no experience of the system in Saskatchewan, but here in Alberta there is no special tuition, no distinct levy or fees to have one's child attend a school operated by any of the Catholic boards. They are publicly and fully funded by operating grants from the provincial government (roughly 28% of the money coming from Education Property Taxes, the remainder from general revenues). At present, almost one quarter (22.3%) of Alberta school children are being educated by the various Catholic school boards and all of them are receiving an education that is publicly funded.

There may be a distinction between Ontario and Alberta insofar as there are geographical areas in Alberta that are do are not within the jurisdiction of any of the Catholic boards, but (and it is a big but) the mechanisms are in place to allow for such school boards to be created through a citizen initiated process in any of these areas. In terms of population, the overwhelming majority of Albertans have access to a publicly and fully funded Catholic system.

P.S. Philosophically I am opposed to the provisions of section 93, I believe they have outlived their original purpose and confer an unwarranted privilege on a single group. My motivation in writing is totally about what I consider to be a misleading description of the facts on the ground. At the very least, the assertion that "only Ontario FULLY funds" needs a further explanation.

 

6079_Smith_W

We just got a very strange flyer in the post today which I assume (because they don't come right out and say it) is the province saying they want to cut public school funding and increase it for the Catholic system. There will be hearings in the fall.

They seem to be implying that teachers' wages are to blame - without actually saying it, of course.

 

 

Caissa

Meanwhile in New Brunswick:

The Student President at Crandall University is distancing himself from a policy that bans the hiring of gay staff members. Ian Pelkey said he's received an overwhelming number of calls from students who agree that the personal lives of their professors shouldn't affect the hiring process.

"Just because we choose to go to Crandall doesn't mean we agree with all the policies," he said. "A lot of people weren't even aware that this was a policy."

The rule in question is part of the school's Moral Code. It states staff must "be sexually pure, reserving sexual intimacy for within a traditional marriage between one man and one woman."

Pelkey said he's being urged by students and some staff to represent their views, as the policy is making headlines.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2012/06/01/nb-crandall...

Caissa

Ontario's anti-bullying bill, also known as Bill 13 or the Accepting Schools Act, passed through the legislature just before noon today by a margin of 65-36. Only the Progressive Conservatives voted against the legislation.

Catholic educators and church leaders oppose the bill because it requires schools to allow students to call anti-homophobia clubs gay-straight alliances if they wish.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/06/05/ontario-anti-bully...

6079_Smith_W

And they still call themselves "Progressive"? At least Harper is a bit more honest.

 

Unionist

Caissa wrote:
It states staff must "be sexually pure, reserving sexual intimacy for within a traditional marriage between one man and one woman."

 I once tried to reserve some sexual intimacy within a traditional marriage between one man and one woman, but they turned me down.

Caissa

Which hotel were you booking with? Wink

Unionist

The Share-a-ton.

 

Caissa

Obviously you forgot about the weight restrictions.

Unionist

Yeah, well at least they put me on a weight list.

 

Caissa

I have always thought you had a pronounced list.

Unionist

Thick joke.

 

Gerryhurt

Northern Shoveler wrote:

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

 

 

  They don't teach homophobia.

Fidel

Gerryhurt wrote:

Northern Shoveler wrote:

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

  They don't teach homophobia.

I'm Catholic, and I don't agree with the Church's homophobia. And I don't usually agree with right wing think tankery. However, what about overall results? Why not lobby Catholics to consider 21st century human rights and abandoning their homophobia?

Catholic schools' test scores often better than public schools: C.D. Howe report

jjuares

Fidel wrote:

Gerryhurt wrote:

Northern Shoveler wrote:

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

  They don't teach homophobia.

I'm Catholic, and I don't agree with the Church's homophobia. And I don't usually agree with right wing think tankery. However, what about overall results? Why not lobby Catholics to consider 21st century human rights and abandoning their homophobia?

Catholic schools' test scores often better than public schools: C.D. Howe report

In Alberta the Catholic schools cherry pick students. Their scores SHOULD be better given that dynamic.

Gerryhurt

Fidel wrote:

Gerryhurt wrote:

Northern Shoveler wrote:

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

  They don't teach homophobia.

I'm Catholic, and I don't agree with the Church's homophobia. And I don't usually agree with right wing think tankery. However, what about overall results? Why not lobby Catholics to consider 21st century human rights and abandoning their homophobia?

Catholic schools' test scores often better than public schools: C.D. Howe report

 

 

  I'm Catholic, I'm Bi, and I also don't agree with the RCC's stand on homosexuality. That being said, it is something that needs to be adressed from within. It is NOT something that should be forced by the government. The School Board is NOT saying that anti bullying clubs can not be formed. I agree with the School Boards stand. There is no reason to have a club specifically targeting gays. I was bullied all the way through junior high in the PUBLIC school system. I can tell you right now, joining a club that was specific to gays would have been the last thing I did.

Gerryhurt

jjuares wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Gerryhurt wrote:

Northern Shoveler wrote:

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

  They don't teach homophobia.

I'm Catholic, and I don't agree with the Church's homophobia. And I don't usually agree with right wing think tankery. However, what about overall results? Why not lobby Catholics to consider 21st century human rights and abandoning their homophobia?

Catholic schools' test scores often better than public schools: C.D. Howe report

In Alberta the Catholic schools cherry pick students. Their scores SHOULD be better given that dynamic.

 

 

  That is bull and a lie. They do not.

jjuares

Gerryhurt wrote:

jjuares wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Gerryhurt wrote:

Northern Shoveler wrote:

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

  They don't teach homophobia.

I'm Catholic, and I don't agree with the Church's homophobia. And I don't usually agree with right wing think tankery. However, what about overall results? Why not lobby Catholics to consider 21st century human rights and abandoning their homophobia?

Catholic schools' test scores often better than public schools: C.D. Howe report

In Alberta the Catholic schools cherry pick students. Their scores SHOULD be better given that dynamic.

 

 

  That is bull and a lie. They do not.

I have been a teacher and now an administrator since the 1970's. A court ruling determined that a student was catholic if he/she said he was catholic yet catholic schools still selectively ask for baptismal cerificates to disallow students. They also do not  have sufficent services for certain categories  of special needs. The one that is most critically short is BD sites. This of course forces catholic parents to seek these services in the public system. Yeah, they cherry pick. I work with that reality on a daily basis.

onlinediscountanvils

Gerryhurt wrote:

joining a club that was specific to gays would have been the last thing I did.

 

Fortunately, no one is being forced to join these clubs.

Gerryhurt

jjuares wrote:

 

I have been a teacher and now an administrator since the 1970's. A court ruling determined that a student was catholic if he/she said he was catholic yet catholic schools still selectively ask for baptismal cerificates to disallow students. They also do not  have sufficent services for certain categories  of special needs. The one that is most critically short is BD sites. This of course forces catholic parents to seek these services in the public system. Yeah, they cherry pick. I work with that reality on a daily basis.

 

 

  Where? My boys go to Catholic School here in Calgary. The schools have MANY non Catholics. I would say that you do NOT teach here in Alberta as you don't appear to know what you are talking about.

jjuares

Gerryhurt wrote:

jjuares wrote:

 

I have been a teacher and now an administrator since the 1970's. A court ruling determined that a student was catholic if he/she said he was catholic yet catholic schools still selectively ask for baptismal cerificates to disallow students. They also do not  have sufficent services for certain categories  of special needs. The one that is most critically short is BD sites. This of course forces catholic parents to seek these services in the public system. Yeah, they cherry pick. I work with that reality on a daily basis.

 

 

  Where? My boys go to Catholic School here in Calgary. The schools have MANY non Catholics. I would say that you do NOT teach here in Alberta as you don't appear to know what you are talking about.

Uhhh, actually that was my point. Your son's school has many non-catholics but have they accepted every catholic? Which non-catholics have they accepted?

Unionist

Gerryhurt - welcome to babble - and why are you attacking people one second after putting your foot in the door?

Might as well go after me. I believe that Catholic schools should be defunded AND that they should not be allowed to discriminate in any way against LGBTQ persons or lifestyles - including denial of students' rights to form gay-straight alliances should they so choose.

Gerryhurt

jjuares wrote:

Gerryhurt wrote:

jjuares wrote:

 

I have been a teacher and now an administrator since the 1970's. A court ruling determined that a student was catholic if he/she said he was catholic yet catholic schools still selectively ask for baptismal cerificates to disallow students. They also do not  have sufficent services for certain categories  of special needs. The one that is most critically short is BD sites. This of course forces catholic parents to seek these services in the public system. Yeah, they cherry pick. I work with that reality on a daily basis.

 

 

  Where? My boys go to Catholic School here in Calgary. The schools have MANY non Catholics. I would say that you do NOT teach here in Alberta as you don't appear to know what you are talking about.

Uhhh, actually that was my point. Your son's school has many non-catholics but have they accepted every catholic? Which non-catholics have they accepted?

 

 

  Hmmm.... if that was the case, really don't know why they excepted my boys. Neither excelled academically and the youngest is ADD and required to be coded, extra help, special program. So, again I say that you are full of it with your unfounded accusations.

jjuares

Unionist wrote:

Gerryhurt - welcome to babble - and why are you attacking people one second after putting your foot in the door?

Might as well go after me. I believe that Catholic schools should be defunded AND that they should not be allowed to discriminate in any way against LGBTQ persons or lifestyles - including denial of students' rights to form gay-straight alliances should they so choose.

Or if you are going to fund religious schools how about a school for Druids?

Gerryhurt

Unionist wrote:

Gerryhurt - welcome to babble - and why are you attacking people one second after putting your foot in the door?

Might as well go after me. I believe that Catholic schools should be defunded AND that they should not be allowed to discriminate in any way against LGBTQ persons or lifestyles - including denial of students' rights to form gay-straight alliances should they so choose.

 

 

   Yes, I've already picked up on the fact that to belong here you have to follow the crowd and not make any waves. Dissent from the party line is not tolerated. Got that.

jjuares

Gerry-basic point. Catholic schools can and do exclude students. Public schools can not.

Unionist

jjuares wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Gerryhurt - welcome to babble - and why are you attacking people one second after putting your foot in the door?

Might as well go after me. I believe that Catholic schools should be defunded AND that they should not be allowed to discriminate in any way against LGBTQ persons or lifestyles - including denial of students' rights to form gay-straight alliances should they so choose.

Or if you are going to fund religious schools how about a school for Druids?

I'd be ok with that - except that my kids don't look Druish.

 

Gerryhurt

jjuares wrote:

Gerry-basic point. Catholic schools can and do exclude students. Public schools can not.

 

  Prove it. Anybody can make unfounded accusations. Catholic Schools take all Catholics, and they also take Non Catholics.

jjuares

" Non-Catholics and other non-resident students may enroll at Edmonton Catholic Schools given the adequate availability of resources

such as space and suitability of program. Contact individual schools for additional registration information."

 

Where did I get this quote? Off of Edmonton Catholics website. If the principal determines that he/she does not have a suitable program then

you don't get into your local catholic school.

 

http://www.ecsd.net/parents/registration.html

 

Game, set, match

Gerryhurt

jjuares wrote:

" Non-Catholics and other non-resident students may enroll at Edmonton Catholic Schools given the adequate availability of resources

such as space and suitability of program. Contact individual schools for additional registration information."

 

Where did I get this quote? Off of Edmonton Catholics website. If the principal determines that he/she does not have a suitable program then

you don't get into your local catholic school.

 

http://www.ecsd.net/parents/registration.html

 

Game, set, match

 

 

   Exactly, it enforces what I said. Game,set, match.

 

  Try to stay focused. What was said was that Catholic schools pick and choose both Catholics and Non. The fact is, they don't.

jjuares

Even their website admits that they cherrypick non-catholics.

Fidel

Gerryhurt wrote:

jjuares wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Gerryhurt wrote:

Northern Shoveler wrote:

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

  They don't teach homophobia.

I'm Catholic, and I don't agree with the Church's homophobia. And I don't usually agree with right wing think tankery. However, what about overall results? Why not lobby Catholics to consider 21st century human rights and abandoning their homophobia?

Catholic schools' test scores often better than public schools: C.D. Howe report

In Alberta the Catholic schools cherry pick students. Their scores SHOULD be better given that dynamic.

 

 

  That is bull and a lie. They do not.

 

How do we know they do not cherry pick?

OTOH I went to Catholic primary school along with some from less fortunate families. And there were kids from better off families attending, too. The secondary Catholic school would have cost my parents more for me to attend, and so I went to a public secondary. I cherry picked myself so as not to burden my parents with additional cost. No one objected to my decision. And I barely made it out of high school with so-so marks.

Gerryhurt

Fidel wrote:

Gerryhurt wrote:

jjuares wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Gerryhurt wrote:

Northern Shoveler wrote:

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

  They don't teach homophobia.

I'm Catholic, and I don't agree with the Church's homophobia. And I don't usually agree with right wing think tankery. However, what about overall results? Why not lobby Catholics to consider 21st century human rights and abandoning their homophobia?

Catholic schools' test scores often better than public schools: C.D. Howe report

In Alberta the Catholic schools cherry pick students. Their scores SHOULD be better given that dynamic.

 

 

  That is bull and a lie. They do not.

 

How do we know they do not cherry pick?

OTOH I went to Catholic primary school along with some from less fortunate families. And there were kids from better off families attending, too. The secondary Catholic school would have cost my parents more for me to attend, and so I went to a public secondary. I cherry picked myself so as not to burden my parents with additional cost. No one objected to my decision.

 

  In Alberta, the Catholic Separate School system is publicly funded as per the Constitution. My taxes are directed to either the Public or separate school systems. I choose the separate.

 

  As for the cherry picking, it is not up to me to prove or disprove an accusation. That is up to the someone making the accusation.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I am always impressed with the way posters in this forum respects its mandate "to discuss matters from an LGBT positive perspective." Surely it is a model to be followed everywhere on babble.

jjuares

Gerry where you direct your taxes is irrelevant. In AB the money follows the student.

MegB

Bye "Gerry".

Unionist

We were discussing Trinity Western University upthread last year, including their appearance before the Supreme Court. Now they've decided to turn out homophobe lawyers. It was featured on CBC's The Current today:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2013/03/28/would-a-law-school-at-a-... a law school at a private Christian University discriminate against gays & lesbians?[/url]

This was an op-ed in January on the same subject:

[url=http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/01/24/counterpoint-why-trinity-... Trinity Western University should not have a law school[/url]

 

Fidel

Unionist wrote:
Might as well go after me. I believe that Catholic schools should be defunded AND that they should not be allowed to discriminate in any way against LGBTQ persons or lifestyles - including denial of students' rights to form gay-straight alliances should they so choose.

Yeah but we also understand from your anti-NDP rants that you don't care whether corporate welfare programs are defunded so long as the NDP are punished for trying to earn a living in the prairies under the federally-orchrestrated neoliberalorama since 1989-94. And that makes me think your sometimes obsession with democracy is not genuine.

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