Patricia Grell, a board member of the Edmonton Catholic School Board, has been at the centre of every Catholic controversy concerning the civil and human rights of queer and trans Albertans. However, it’s for a more palatable reason than usual–she’s the trustee gunning for inclusion and equality. Amidst a climate where the ECSB is hitting the news every other week over spending scandals and self-incriminating lawsuits, Grell has disclosed at great risk to her career an email she received for supporting gay marriage.
Remember, as you read this, these are all employees of the Province’s public education.
Whether I seek re-election or not, I remain dedicated to standing up for social justice in Christ’s example and loving my gay and lesbian neighbours as myself. I am willing to leave other matters such as the superintendents contract or getting to the bottom of why the ACSTA and catholic superintendents are targeting an Academic at the U of A but I will never be silent when it comes to human rights and equal marriage and the love that we must model for our most vulnerable youth. My faith demands nothing less of me.
Here is an email that I received from one of my colleagues February 19th:
Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2017 7:28 PM
Subject: Retweet of support of gay marriage
Dear Trustee Grell,
As per our Organizational Bylaw 13.2(a) this is to notify you of “first contact.” This pertains to the retweet of your support of gay marriage as attached.
It is my intent to bring this to the attention of the Board Chair as per Organizational Bylaw 13.2(b) that you are in violation of duties as a Catholic School Trustee (public representative of the Catholic Church) as you are openly defying teachings of The Catholic Church regarding gay marriage. Therefore I will be asking the Chair to start the sanction and censure process.
Patricia, it goes without saying, that I am most disappointed in you. I wish you would keep your personal opinions to yourself until you step down as Catholic school trustee or are removed as a Catholic school trustee.
I am open to discussing this with you.
It seems that ECSB’s management is not only incompetent and likely corrupt, but is actively working to undermine Alberta human rights laws.
The question remains, of course, whether the NDP will do something about it, or let non-government organizations and Patricia Grell take the heat for doing what they won’t.