Conservative Religious Groups Attack Ontario Anti-Bullying Initiatives

by | December 8, 2011
filed under Can-Con, LGBT, Politics

For those who thought this was just an American thing, check out this CTV news clip of a press conference put on by Campaign Life and the Institute for Canadian Values, in which they call Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty a bad Catholic for his new anti-homophobic bullying policy, which will also be applied to the province’s publicly funded Catholic schools. The policy includes support for Gay-Straight Alliance clubs and was brought in in the wake of the death of teen Jamie Hubley, who committed suicide a few months ago after being bullied for being gay.

In the Toronto Star, the groups called the anti-bullying initiatives a front for a “radical sex education” agenda:

But there is a time and place for everything, said Rondo Thomas, of the Toronto-based Evangelical Association, but there is no “time and place” in an 8-year-old’s mind to try to make them conceptualize something beyond “tying their shoes.”

“The anti-bullying legislation that Mr. McGuinty is proposing constitutes a violation of our religious freedoms that are guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and further to that, it violates the common law of separation of church and state,” he said.

If the Institute for Canadian Values sounds familiar, they’re the same folks who are panicked about the possibility of trans people using public washrooms and who have spent a lot of money running transphobic ads in Canadian newspapers, prompting protests and an apology from the National Post.

To their credit, the Ontario government is sticking to its guns on this policy, despite not always being so supportive of GSAs at Catholic schools in the past. According to McGuinty in the Star:

“I fully expect Catholic kids will use the word ‘gay,’ ” said McGuinty. “I fully expect Catholic teachers will use the word ‘gay’ and as a Catholic premier in Ontario, I am going to talk about gay kids.”