In Ontario, there’s apparently been a bit of a row over school anti-bullying clubs naming themselves Gay-Straight Alliance, or something similar. The row comes mostly from the Catholic schools — naturally — where the proposed clubs are denied on the basis that they have the word “gay” in them, where these Catholic schools consider homosexuality to be evil, sinful, et cetera. The provincial government is debating amending the education laws surrounding anti-bullying initiatives in such a way to prevent schools from denying these clubs’ existences, so an archbishop threw a shit-fit.
“Why is a piece of provincial legislation being used to micromanage the naming of student clubs?” he said.
On Friday, the Liberal government at Queen’s Park said it would introduce legislation that would require all schools to accept clubs by that name.
“Why are Catholics not free to design their own methods to fight bullying, and provide personal support to students, as long as they attain the common goal of a welcoming and supportive school?” said a statement from the bishop earlier on Monday.
Oh… I don’t know… maybe because you’re not being welcoming and supporting by denying homosexuals’ existence by sweeping them under the rug? That, maybe, just maybe, might not create a welcoming and supportive school to them! That might just, in fact, be entrenching the bullying into school policy.
The debate rages onward regardless.
It is not that the clergymen are in any way supportive of bullying. What they object to is that Bill 13, the accepting schools act, gives “particular emphasis” to “LGBTTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, two-spirited, intersexed, queer and questioning) people.” They also oppose a particular clause that would enable students to call anti-bullying groups they form at school a “gay-straight alliance.”
And this week the archbishop of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins, spoke out against the new amendments, writing that “all forms of bullying need to be addressed, and all victims of bullying need to be helped.”
In that vein, he said, “it is not helpful to propose one particular way, such as the one commonly called GSA.“
So telling Catholic schools that they’re not allowed to discriminate against a specifically named sort of group, explicitly protecting them from the sort of bigotry of which only your schools are guilty of, is legislating “one particular way”?
No, you religiously-motivated bigots. It is in fact legislating that you’re not allowed to be bigoted against a number of different groups, explicitly naming the one sort of group you’re trying to quash. This is just another instance of the religious using their privilege to defend their right to be bigoted toward a particular group of people, and calling it “bullying” when they themselves are told to stop.
Hat tip to Uncle Glenny. Sorry that you have to wade through this nonsense yet again.