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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Halton Catholic Schools, Ontario, Ban Gay Clubs

By Brandon Miller -

Ontario's Ministry of Education promotes the idea of Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA) in Canadian schools. The Ministry encourages GSAs as a tool to fight homophobia. It also recognizes the impact that a GSA can have in building bridges between all students. And yet, despite this, one Catholic School Board just isn't buying it. Welcome to Halton Region!
The Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) has banned GSAs in their schools. They think they are harmful and have made it a board-wide policy not to let them formulate. According to its website, the school board serves 29,000 students in a variety of suburbs -- Milton, Halton Hills, Burlington, Oakville. And none of those students are taught tolerance.
“We don’t have Nazi groups either,” says Board Chair Alice Anne LeMay, in what might be the most offensive quote I have heard in a long while. “Gay-Straight Alliances are banned because they are not within the teachings of the Catholic Church."
I don't see elementary schools as a place where GSAs get brought up very often, so let's focus on the district's eight high schools. Like every other school board in Ontario, this one has an "Equity and Inclusive Education" policy that is meant to encourage safe spaces for all students, including those with non-heterosexual orientations. The policy encourages GSAs. The school board, however, says that the policy only promotes GSAs as one option against homophobia. What are the other options the HCDSB are offering to deal with the issue? Insert cricket noise here.
“Dialogue groups can achieve the same kinds of objectives, but that have a broader focus on inclusion generally,” says Michael Pautler, the school board's education director. “Or a celebration of diversity, as opposed to focusing on any one particular expression of diversity.”
I don't exactly know what that means. Students can celebrate diversity, but they can't form any sort of organization or club with the word gay in the title? What kind of celebration is that? There is a place for Gay-Straight Alliances in Catholic high schools. Let's let the HCDSB know.

petition text -
Lift the ban on Gay-Straight Alliances in your schools

I am writing to ask you to please consider lifting the ban on Gay-Straight Alliances in Catholic schools in the Halton Region.
As you are likely aware, the Ministry of Education promotes Gay-Straight Alliances as effective tools in eradicated homophobia and building connections between all students. The province of Ontario is committed to educating the public and supporting all youth, including those that are not heterosexual. It is a shame that you are showing your students that some are less worthy based on something that is an ingrained trait. Your policy is homophobic, offensive and un-Canadian.
I urge you to lift your school board's ban on Gay-Straight Alliance. Take a stance on anti-gay bullying and equality for all the students you serve.
Thank you,

[Your name here] 



  1. Keep the catholic schools "catholic" in the ways taught to us by the church. I have nothing against a gay person , but what our religion stands for and taught to us by our priests, parents and teachers. You now want to change to suit you. That is NOT right. This is the way it is and the way its always been , rules and laws set many years ago. You want a gay group , then feel free to go to a public school that offers one and not press your opinions onto all other catholics in the halton area. I hope and pray that the Catholic school board stands tough with its final decision and that it truely reflects the Roman catholic way. Straight and honest, While on the topic . Last election when Mr. Paul Marai came to my door step and said he was running for trustee these are the comments he made to me.
    "I am running for Halton Catholic School Board Trustee in Oakville. Election day is October 25, 2010.
    As the only candidate who has gone through the system from K-12, I have a distinct advantage in setting the long term plan of the board.

    My three priorities for the board:
    1.Better Communication between the Board and You.
    2.More Technology in the Classroom.
    3.A Responsible and Transparent School Board Budget
    at no time did he tell me that he was gay, if you are so proud and admit your gay today , why didnt you before the election. I think it might have been because he thought , If I do then I might not win?
    I know that I would not have voted for him and I'm pretty sure at least 80% of his votes would have gone to someone else. Is that it Paul? why weren't you honest with us? I think because he wasn't that he now should step down from his position.

  2. The catholic church is dominated by homophobic closet cases, from the Pope on down. Self loathing gay closet cases. It's a shame the church has drifted so far into the haters club along with the Fred Phelps and Family Research Council. Shame on them and shame on you for your irrational hate and bigotry. Christ would be ashamed of you and any like minded "Christian".