Please help us encourage two Ontario Catholic School Boards to remain faithful to Christian teaching on sexual morality. Both the Halton and Toronto boards will soon face a vote to accept a dangerously ambiguous draft Equity policy that was written by the Ministry of Education.
This Ministry "template" contains several Trojan horse concepts that will eventually be used by activists within the school systems, as well as the Ontario Human Rights Commision, to subvert Catholic doctrine in the area of hom ose xuality. Although trustees have the authority to customize the wording of the policy to contain explicit protections for Catholic identity, they have chosen not to.
Even if you don't live within the jurisdiction of these boards, and even if you're not a Catholic ratepayer, there's good reason to take action. First, by helping to stop this radical agenda in Ontario's Catholic schools, it may help traditionally principled families in the secular, public system who will then be able to point to the religious freedom enjoyed by Catholics and say "we deserve those rights too". Secondly, Ontario Premier McGuinty's dangerous Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy is already being copied by pro-gay activists in other provinces.
#1. HALTON CATHOLIC SCHOOL BOARD
Weeks ago we alerted you to an online survey by the Halton Catholic board, requesting feedback on the board's draft Equity policy which seemed likely to permit openly hom ose xual student clubs, known as Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs).
It appears the subsequent survey feedback had an effect. This Toronto Star article reports that the board received 300 responses from concerned parents, clergy and groups opposed to GSAs and the draft policy.
Based on this feedback, the article says, the board has in effect, rejected GSAs again. Instead, it has chosen to set up broader, non-hom ose xualized equity clubs to be known as By Your SIDE spaces.
While faithful Catholic parents and ratepayers are breathing a sigh of relief, the hard work is far from over. Some problems remain:
#1. The By Your SIDE concept was developed by Administration staff and was not inserted into the trustees’ draft Equity policy. This new strategy needs to be written into the trustee document in order to acquire the full enforceability of an official board policy.
#2. While the name of these By Your SIDE clubs avoid the problem of promoting a gay identity to children (as GSAs do), they’re still deficient in that they do not mandatorily require Catechism section 2357 to become the framework for discussions about sexual orientation. Therefore, the risk of these clubs being co-opted by dissidents who disagree with, or don’t understand Church teaching, is high.
Halton’s Board of trustees will vote on the draft Equity policy the evening of Tuesday April 5. Please contact the trustees ASAP. Urge them to amend the Equity policy so it includes the By Your Side strategy in writing, and furthermore, includes a written mandate that section 2357 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church be used as a framework for all discussions on sexual orientation and so-called ‘homophobia’.
You may find contact info for Halton’s trustees here.
#2. TORONTO CATHOLIC SCHOOL BOARD
The Toronto Catholic School Board is soliciting feedback on its draft Equity policy via an online feedback form. The responses will be studied by Trustees and Senior Administration before a final vote which is anticipated to occur in mid-April.
We urgently ask Catholics and all people concerned about the moral disintegration of our public school system to fill out this survey and provide arguments for why this dangerously open-ended policy must be rejected or amended.
Following are some amendment clauses that have been suggested in the past:
(a) The policy must require the teaching of Catechism section 2357 to students whenever the topic of hom ose xuality is discussed,
(b) Must expressly prohibit gay-straight alliances (or hom ose xual clubs by another name). The TCDSB’s “student senate” has already published a document demanding that gay-straight alliances be set up in Toronto’s Catholic schools.
(c) Must prohibit partnerships by the Board with community groups that are not reflective of Catholic moral teaching;
(d) Participation by “student leadership” in forming “equity policy and practices” must be limited to those student voices which are reflective of Catholic moral teaching.
(e) A screening process must be implemented to ensure that only texts/resources/groups which do not contradict Catholic moral teaching in the area of hom ose xuality are allowed into Toronto’s Catholic schools. Ideally this screening process would be done by trustees, not the Administration, owing to the fact that trustees, as elected representatives, have a more direct obligation to uphold the interest of parents that does Administration staff who, in the sense of being unelected, are not directly accountable to parents. This lack of accountability is illustrated by the fact that Toronto's senior administration has invited a controversial activist who supports hom ose xual marriage, to promote the the Equity policy to parents and also the fact that senior Administration selected an opening prayer that attacks the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
(f) The term ‘Sexual orientation’ must be removed from the TCDSB’s draft policy as a prohibited grounds for discrimination. Keeping it in the draft policy will eventually be interpreted to mean that Catholic schools must allow practicing homosexual teachers and students, to be open about their lifestyle in the classroom or staffroom, thus giving scandal to other Catholics. Faithful Catholics will have to fight this battle either now or later. The likelihood of success in fighting it now is greater than waiting until a later time when the OHRC has sunk its roots deeper into the educational system. Besides, a 1992 Vatican document suggests that Catholics must not accept “sexual orientation” as a grounds for non-discrimination.
(g) The policy must include a revised definition of “homophobia” which contains clarifying language such as: “Homophobia must never be interpreted as applying to the sincerely held religious or moral beliefs about homo se xual acts being sinful and intrinsically disordered. This is in fact the teaching of the Church. We must never allow a secular definition of ‘homophobia’ to result in the demonization of faithful Catholics or the confusion of Catholic youth”. Note: the TCDSB ‘Student Senate’ has demanded that the McGuinty government’s secular, ambiguous definition of so-called ‘homophobia’ be included in every school’s student handbook.
Please fill out Toronto’s feedback survey form here.
Campaign Life Catholics
(a division of Campaign Life Coalition)