New Brunswick Florist Refuses Flowers, Missisauga Catholic Schools Refuse GSAs

Turns out Riverview, New Brunswick (population just over 17,000) is home to a homophobic wedding florist.

After having confirmed an order for wedding flowers, Kim Evans of Petals and Promises Wedding Flowers cancelled the agreement when she discovered it was a same-sex wedding.

Although Evans wasn’t interviewed in the articles I read, the couple’s wedding planner shared her email, which stated: “”I am choosing to decline your business. As a born-again Christian, I must respect my conscience before God and have no part in this matter.”

The thing is, while Canadians have a right to hold their own religious beliefs, the right doesn’t extend to allow people to use their religion to discriminate against others when operating a business or providing a public service. Saying your florist won’t provide flowers for gay weddings is the same as saying your coffee shop or restaurant or funeral home or bed and breakfast won’t serve members of a certain minority group.

Eldon Hay, a United Church minister and gay rights advocate interviewed by the CBC, put it well: “The shopkeeper has every right to her own convictions as long as she is a private citizen in her own house, but if she opens her doors to sell flowers, then she must be prepared to meet and deal with the public.

Missisauga Catholic high school students are trying to start a Gay-Straight Alliance

And more in the realm of Canadian homophobia this week, Missisauga Catholic students have started a Facebook group to rally support for their drive to start a Gay-Straight Alliance at St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary.

One of the main students organizing the St. Joe’s GSA told Xtra.ca that a teacher told her she and the other students were probably just confused. The teacher then offered them pamphlets for Courage International, which uses a 12-step program to try to “cure” gayness.

This ban on GSAs comes not long after another Ontario board, the Halton Catholic School Board, came under fire for comparing a ban on GSAs to banning “Nazi groups” in school. Outcry forced the board to lift the ban but they still don’t allow clubs with “gay” in their name.

At this point the Ontario NDP is the only party talking about this. They’re calling on the Liberals to address the issues with inequality in the Catholic school system, but they stop short of suggesting funding should be cut off.

If no politicians are going to even consider changing the funding subsidies to these schools, it’ll be interesting to see how the government intends to ensure public money isn’t enabling discrimination.

-Jarrah

 

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Can-Con, LGBT 5 Comments

About the author

Jarrah Hodge

Jarrah Hodge is the founder and editor of gender-focus.com. She has also written for the Huffington Post, Bitch Magazine Blogs, the Vancouver Observer and About-Face. Jarrah has B.A. in Women’s Studies and Sociology from UBC. She’s a fan of politics, Star Trek, musical theatre, and brunch.

5 Responses to New Brunswick Florist Refuses Flowers, Missisauga Catholic Schools Refuse GSAs

  1. Anonymnous

    Moncton militant homosexuals harass at the home of Kim Evans of Petals and Promises Wedding Flowers in Riverview, NB: http://metromonctonnews.com/?p=1856

     
  2. Anonymnous

    A scathing review concerning the CBC News report on Kim Evans of Petals and Promises Wedding Flowers and now-revealed information on Mario Bourgeois Leduc: http://metromonctonnews.com/?p=1959

     
    • jarrahpenguin

      Thanks, “anonymous”. Apparently the reason you disagree with the CBC News report is because they didn’t disclose the wedding planner’s sexual orientation. The news is not required to disclose people’s sexual orientation because it doesn’t inevitably constitute a bias. That’s why they didn’t say “straight florist Kim Evans” either. It’s why we don’t see articles about “straight Prime Minister Harper” or “female Cabinet Minister Rona Ambrose” or “Gay MP Scott Brison” unless it’s directly related to the story. That’s just good journalism. Just because the wedding planner is gay doesn’t mean his argument is invalid. I’m straight and if I’d had gay clients subject to that type of discrimination, I would’ve reacted the same way.

      Your other comment references “militant homosexuals”, by which you seem to mean homosexuals who don’t attempt to hide their identity. You’re entitled to hold your beliefs and write about them, but I will continue to disagree with your heterosexist views.

       
  3. Pingback: » ON Mandates “LGBT Support Groups” in Schools Gender Focus – A Canadian Feminist Blog

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