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Monday, March 7, 2011

Ontario Politicians Shut Out Gay Press on Catholic Gay-Straight Alliance Ban

By Brandon Miller -

Ontario politicians are shutting out the gay media over the province's Catholic school boards banning gay-straight alliances (GSAs). Gay news outlet Xtra reports that they have received the silent treatment from top officials, despite the fact that public dollars fund Catholic schools in Ontario.
If you have not already done so, please sign our petition on the matter here. That is if, like me, you feel that tax dollars should not go toward teaching children to be intolerant and unjust.
Xtra broke this story a while ago with their coverage of the Halton Catholic District School Board and quickly discovered that the banning of GSAs in high schools went far beyond Halton. It is a provincial problem, as no Catholic school in Ontario is known to allow groups with the word "gay" in the title to be formed.
What is surprising is the lack of comments from the Ministry of Education. Minister Leona Dombrowsky, who is the target of our petition, has refused to speak to the newspaper. Neither will conservative education critic Elizabeth Witmer, or Rosario Marchese of the New Democratic Party, an education critic and an MPP who calls herself "The Education Advocate." Only the Green Party's education critic, Matt Richter, allowed himself to be interviewed.
“We’re really concerned that the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario are heavily influencing the curriculum and policies that receive public funding,” he says. “In essence they are discriminating.”
Minister of Education Leona Dombrowsky has a personal attachment to this issue; she is a former Catholic school trustee. And, apparently, not very good at returning phone calls. And that is exactly why we must keep this petition alive and pass it around as much as possible. Ontario is a fantastic place to live for gay people, relative to the rest of the world. They can get married, they can adopt, and they can expect legal protection against discrimination.
Unless, it seems, the "they" is Catholic, a teenager, and wants a safe haven in the madness that is high school.

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