NEWS: Include homosexuals in Roman Catholic schools - Globe & Mail

Globe Editorial: Include homosexuals in Roman Catholic schools

The Globe and Mail has now written an EDITORIAL about GSAs in Halton:

Taxpayer-supported Roman Catholic education in Ontario is guaranteed by the Constitution. But a conflict in Halton Region shows the risk that Roman Catholic educational leaders take when they place their own faith ahead of the expectations of the public.

The Ontario government requires school boards to have an 'equity and inclusive education strategy,' and the Halton Catholic District School Board complies, with a policy that seeks to 'foster racial and ethno-cultural understanding and respect.'

But, for a time, understanding stopped when it came to gay teens. A policy passed in November by the outgoing board banned 'gay-straight alliances or clubs,' after Rev. Paul-André Durocher, the chair of the education commission of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario, had written a letter saying such alliances 'imply a self-identification with sexual orientation that is often premature among high school students.'

The ban sent a chilling message that homosexual teens in Catholic schools should be shunned, not recognized or supported, by their peers.

The Roman Catholic Church is in the best position to interpret its own teachings. But it is not for the Church, by itself, to run Roman Catholic education in Ontario. That is the job of school trustees, who answer to many authorities: the Roman Catholic Church, yes, but also the Ministry of Education, human-rights laws, and parents and taxpayers.

On Tuesday night, a committee of new trustees recommended that the ban on gay-straight alliances be lifted. Several showed a commendable understanding of their political duties. Paul Marai, an openly gay 22-year-old trustee, said, 'Bishops should have their input, but it’s a collective decision.'

The foundation on which publicly funded Roman Catholic education exists may be legally solid, but its political support can never be taken for granted. No board should flirt with anti-homosexual edicts, as did the former trustees of Halton.