The poor persecuted Christians are in the news again. After a lengthy investigation conducted against the two Baptist schools who refused to follow Bill 10, a Progressive Conservative law that obligated all schools to permit the formation of a gay-straight alliance should the students request one, the Education Minister has finally issued a “Ministerial Order” to comply with the law.
The schools, of course, said no.
Society chair Rev. Brian Coldwell admitted last year in an interview with a social conservative publication he had worked behind the scenes with representatives of both opposition parties. He is also member of the board of Parents for Choice in Education, a supposedly non-partisan group that advocates home schooling and private schools and enjoys loud support from the Opposition parties.
So it is hard to believe there is no political side to Rev. Coldwell’s insistence the schools will never comply with the law’s requirement students be allowed to form GSAs.
Determined to proceed cautiously, even at the risk of leaving LGBTQ students vulnerable, Eggen appointed Edmonton lawyer Dan Scott in September last year to inquire into the activities of the two schools. Mr. Scott handed his report to the government in November 2016 and nothing much happened until yesterday, when the report was released to the public and Mr. Eggen ordered the schools to comply with the law.
Now, this is a rural Baptist school with little political clout other than its convenience for conservative martyrdom. The bigger problem will be what we do about the constitutionally-protected Catholics (yes, we are talking about Canada) when they, too, disclose that they intend to inject psychological abuse and misinformation into their curriculum. Politically, it would be effective self-sabotage–and yet, the only Catholic school board to have met all human rights requirements was Red Deer.
Clearly it is possible for Albertan Catholics to enjoy their special snowflake status without violating human rights laws as a matter of policy. It’s just that most are choosing not to.