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Ontario religious groups blast GSAs at anti-bullying committee

Ontario religious groups blast GSAs at anti-bullying committee

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'People came out of there just reeling today': Horwath
Anti-gay parents and religious groups told the standing committee for social policy at Queen’s Park on May 7 that gay-straight alliances (GSAs) “promote the gay lifestyle” and that Bill 13 is tantamount to “slavery.”

More than 20 people spoke against Bill 13, the Liberals' Accepting Schools Act, during the first of four committee hearings. The committee is also looking at Bill 14, the Progressive Conservative anti-bullying legislation. Education Minister Laurel Broten says the best elements of Bill 14 will be incorporated into Bill 13.

Charles McVety, president of Canada Christian College, was the first to speak and said Bill 13 “embraces a radical sex education agenda” and children will be taught “about oral and anal sex.”

“My daughter is a precious little 14-year-old girl. I beg you not to do this to my daughter,” he said. “This bill goes against the Bible. The Bible is a very important document.”

Ekron Malcolm, director at the Institute for Canadian Values, called Bill 13 “a form of slavery” because students will be exposed to positive messages about being gay. “You are forcing your ideas on my family values, my black family values
. . . How dare you take away my right to teach my children my heritage.”


Rabbi Mendel Kaplan, from the Chabad Flamingo synagogue, said the government is forcing schools to go against religious doctrine. “I was bullied in school. I don’t believe sexual orientation is a cause of bullying.”

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who didn’t attend the hearing in person, told Xtra afterward that the committee was a “very unpleasant space for a lot of people.

“People came out of there just reeling today, and I think it really speaks to why we need to have this bill in the first place,” she said.

Throughout the nearly three hours of presentations it became clear to committee members that many of those present misunderstood Bill 13 or had not read it. The bill is aimed at tackling bullying, including anti-gay bullying, in Ontario schools. Many told the committee the reason they oppose Bill 13 is because it will teach radical sex and gender education to their children.

At several points committee members challenged the speakers, asking them to point to any section of the legislation that mentions sex education.

“So, the GSA component in the bill is the sex education you’re referring to? When you talk about sex education, you mean the word gay?” NDP MPP Peter Tabuns asked. “Gay means sex?”

To this, presenter Jim Kwan, from the Markham Voice website, replied, “Yes.”

Liberal MPP Kevin Flynn asked if Kwan had actually read Bill 13. Kwan said he had not, adding, “GSAs promote the gay lifestyle.”

GSAs have been a lightning-rod issue in Ontario Catholic schools since Xtra revealed last year that the student support groups have been prohibited by many Catholic administrators. Since then, students in Catholic schools across Ontario have requested GSAs and been denied repeatedly.

NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo, who is also a United Church minister, said the speakers do not represent the majority of faithful Ontarians. “This is a particular faction of these faiths. They do not represent the mainstream of any of those groups, and we have to keep that in mind.”

Meanwhile, Kim Galvao, the director of Concerned Catholic Parents of Ontario, rejected the idea that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans youth are bullied more than other students, like “fat kids, short kids or kids with glasses.” She said Bill 13 “smacks of social engineering.”


“Bill 13 provides too much sexually focused information,” she said. “Our children don’t need more sex education. They need less.”

Galvao attempted to downplay the bullying experienced by queer youth by pointing to a 2006 Toronto District School Board student census for grades 7 to 12 that found students were primarily bullied for other reasons, including their physical appearance and cultural background.  

Casey Oraa, vice-chair of Queer Ontario, says the study is not accurate because it did not include data from Catholic schools. Egale's 2009 Canadian Climate Survey on Homophobia states that more than 60 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans students reported they felt unsafe at school.

Egale, too, says the numbers could be much higher because the survey doesn’t include Catholic schools. “We were not given permission to implement the survey in any Catholic school divisions,” the document states.

“LGBT youth are at great risk of bullying and suicide, and they need explicit protections,” Egale executive director Helen Kennedy has said.

Committee hearings continue May 8 at 4pm. The list of speakers can be found here. It’s not too late to get on the list.

This Saturday, members of the Ontario GSA Coalition are planning a 1pm rally at Queen’s Park to show support for Bill 13.

For anyone interested in reading Bill 13, a copy of the legislation can be found here.


Comments

No discrimination
Chris: My comments were factual and cited highly relevent expert opinion. Indeed, the fact that it affects mostly heterosexuals in many places, shows the virus does not discriminate. We can also find differences in terms of many diverse illnesses including HIV, between different racial and ethnic and socio-economic groups. That's also not causality. While it's a seperate topic, and not a reason to ban GSAs when students want them, the misconceptions and outdated information on HIV seems to be inspiring the irrational reactions. This cannot be allowed to stand without challenge. The following is some more relevent authority on the subject--- Many people still believe that if HIV doesn't kill you, then HIV-related complications will. But that is not true. Managing complications from HIV is a far cry from what it was in the past. If you and your doctor are vigilant, staying healthy and living a full life with HIV are very possible. "In the current era, patients should not feel as though HIV is in any way a death sentence,” says Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH, director of the HIV Consult Service at San Francisco General Hospital. In fact, many HIV complications can be avoided, says Babafemi O. Taiwo, MBBS, an internist and assistant professor of infectious diseases at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "This is not 1985, when you had to take AZT and you had to live with anemia," he says. "The notion that you have to suffer through an HIV regimen is really archaic. You can find a regimen that best suits your lifestyle with no adverse effects." The disease still offers its challenges, say these two HIV experts. But HIV medications are much less toxic and easier to tolerate than in the past. Staying healthy with HIV is now within reach if you protect your overall health and work closely with your doctor to avoid complications. http://www.webmd.com/hiv-aids/staying-healthy-10/hiv-aids-complications?page=1
The misinformation about HIV
it's transmission, the meds and their side-effects and the uniqueness of it's (the viru$) discrimination policy against the Gays is all good fun. I especially like the one about heterosexual transmissions in Africa. That's a good one. Or how abut the doctor claiming people can have a "normal" life expectancy on meds? Or the statement that our bodies are not meant for gay sex, that's why the viru$ discriminates.rotflmao ..............It's right in front of everyone's faces but they can't see a damn thing, not a damn thing. I think people better stop drinking the water. It's making them stupid. Oh as to GSA? Shut the whole school system down, or stop govn't funding. It's NOT a gay issue. Better yet, if you've got a gay kid, take them out of the Catholic School System. To me keeping them there is CHILD ABUSE and the parents should be charged and imprisoned. I'm just sayin is all
Gay Masturbation and Artifical Inseminations Rule
Looking at the entire world, HIV affects mostly heterosexuals and more heterosexual women then men. That's been the case in Africa, which has shown how HIV can spread very easily indeed among heterosexuals. Would this indicate heteroesexuals weren't intended to have sex with each other?Sexually transmitted diseases have always been around. This reality isn't an indication that our bodies weren't "intended" for sex. Intention is subjective. Each of our body parts perform many different things under many different circumstances. Who is to say what the one purpose is? What do you think the effort to get so many young women vaccinated against HPV virus,which causes cervical cancer, is about? Does this mean their bodies weren't meant for sex with a man? Differing stats in different locations among gay and straight are not an indication of direct causation likened to smoking causes cancer(there are no variables among different smokers to lower the potential risks). To establish causality, numbers of gay men with HIV would have to be much higher in Canada/North America. Do you know that the gay or straight percentage of those with HIV will vary between regions in Canada and the U.S., with some fast growing regions having mostly heterosexuals infected? If potential disease=morality, masturbation and artificial insemination should be holy sacraments(I guess the immaculate conception kind of was, wasn't it?) Passive gay partners and female heterosexual partners should be put in the lower class because they are more at risk. Lesbians should be higher. All of this seems arbitrary, contrived and unfair prejudice though, doesn't it?
re: Bullies Aren't Victims
Clint: not all gay men have HIV but most HIV patients in Canada are gay men. Why is that? That is because our bodies are not intended for gay sexual behaviour.
Bullies Aren't Victims
A spiritual helper:It's hard to know where to begin, dealing with the utter silliness of your post. Gay people are in your schools, in your world,always were and always will be. This is recognized when the gay kids are bullied and when homophobic comments are made. Yes, being gay is an identity. Gay orientation is not consciously chosen. Have you studied the subject, are you gay? If not, what makes you an authority on the matter? Being gay doesn't mean you have HIV. It doesn't even mean you've had sex. People are bullied and discriminated against on the basis of having a gay identity. No one know what they have done in bed or if they've done anything. What do we do with people who have HIV? Do we not treat them and spit upon them? Does this only apply to the gay group who got HIV or to the heterosexuals one as well? Being gay can't be "pushed" on someone anymore than being straight can be "pushed" on gay people. If getting positive, correct education on being gay will suddenly make a straight person gay, the person wasn't heterosexual to being with. Hatred comes from insecurity. This is waht we see time after time with anti-gay people. There is no logic to their comments and they are simply bigoted as a result of their sense of insecurity. Your final comment, "a spiritual helper", is hilarious. You seem to recognize that kids are being "mean" to the gay ones. Yet you accept it, claiming nothing can be done about it. Yet you presume people have so much control over sexual orientation(when evidence and logic demonstrates they do not). People must be mean and non-empathetic to others? Really? Any challenge to this makes the mean people into victims and everyone else "evil" and "wicked" and a threat to Christianity? You don't make any sense. I doubt you represent the majority of Canadians, silent or not.
A spiritual helper
Dear Lord Jesus Christ: please forgive these bad politicians who care only about their own popularity and alliances with the media to get re-elected. The majority of Canadians–the silent majority–do not want the gay lifestyle in our schools. Children are easily influenced by each other's behaviour. Homosexuality is not an identity in the manner being Black, Jewish, Native, white or a woman is an identity. True, the gay and lesbian population is diverse. But lobbyists pushing for this kind of destructive legislation come from only a few groups (i.e. the few people working at this “newspaper”, AIDS groups, EGALE and groups trying to change HIV disclosure laws so people don’t have to disclose their HIV statuses). These few people are lying to the public to achieve their own means. Christians who do not want their children exposed to the eventual socialization and normalization of HIV are not fear-mongers, which the few corrupt groups listed above would tell the public they are. For example, Alan Hubley—the Ottawa City councillor whose gay son committed suicide last year—repeatedly said he did not want his son’s name being used in vain for this vile political agenda. These homosexual activist groups have no problem lying and deceiving the public because they feel the public has wronged them for far these too long. But that is far from the truth. Now, these wicked people realize they must appeal to other groups in order to push the “gay lifestyle" on innocent children, something that is destructive to society as a whole. These small numbers of people have used sophisticated techniques to destroy Christianity—committing blasphemy and deicide. We as Christians and general should no longer be forgiving of these corrupt organizations because they do not want God’s love. Children will always be mean to a select few children. The legislation proposed by these corrupt governments cannot change that. But we as spiritually healthy people can stand up to this evil. T
Let's not get distracted
This is at the core of this issue: It is the year 2012 and Ontario's publicly funded Catholic schools are still violating fundamental Charter rights by treating gays as non-persons. Lose the Mississippi-style discrimination, or lose the funding. Period. Can you think of any other public service anywhere in the free world that can get away with denying you employment for your skin colour or your sexual orientation? Welcome to Ontario. Ontario, it's time to dump this anachronistic BS. If not, then the world ought to know that we are no better than 1952 Alabama, and prospective foreign investment ought to treat us accordingly.
Stop This Ignorance
"Today, I can tell my patients with HIV that they can have a normal life expectancy," said Stefano Vella, director of drug research and evaluation at the Institute Superiore di Sanita in Rome, the equivalent of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Of course, there are some caveats, Vella told United Press International, the chief one being that the patient has to take the prescribed medicines faithfully; another, that patients have access to treatment. "We have so many medicines now and they are so good that we know we can keep the virus suppressed for years," said Vella, a former president of the International AIDS Society, the organization that ran last week's record-setting International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada. http://www.terradaily.com/reports/HIV_Life_Expectancy_Now_Normal_999.html With the availability of treatments to reduce HIV viral load and improve immune health, many people who are diagnosed early can expect to have an approximately normal life span. http://www.ehow.com/about_6171902_life-expectancy-people-aids.html This argument on disease is a fallcy. It would compel straight women to become lesbians for the reason of avoiding otherwise preventable and treatable disease alone. Worldwide HIV?AIDS affects mostly heterosexuals. Condoms were mostly used to prevent pregnancy in North America when the disease started to spread. Gay men saw no reason to use these at the time. The rate of new infections decreased dramatically during the 1990s with the use of condoms. Yes, James, I stated it has stayed mainly in the gay male community, because gay men mostly have sex with other gay men. That's how a virus spreads. In Africa, which has a far greater epidemic, it's stayed mostly in the heterosexual community. Education should be used to continue to prevent HIV. People need self-esteem and power, particularly if they are the passive partner, whether male or female, gay or straight, to negotiate safe sex.
re: check this out
the fact that homosexuals are trying to normalize HIV show that they will try and teach our children it's okay to be HIV positive. get meds. and maybe science will make it okay. Why is HIV such a problem in the gay community? Because "we are born this way"? No. Oh, right. I'm telling the truth. Err... sorry. "HATE".
check this out
Gay or straight, look at the earlier arguments for HIV. The “group of HIV-positive people” who do not replicate the virus in their system are few and far between. It is not the clap. That is no excuse to accept it as not being a harmful disease. Whether you are on HIV meds or not, if you have it your life is shortened. This is one of the arguments gays would tell our children. HIV is okay. And yeah, gay men have sex with gay men in their community because that’s what gay men do. Straight men don’t want that. So what we, both gays and straights, must do to have a real alliance is do what we can to destroy. Stop being the silent majority and hush these creeps in the same fashion they tried to hush the majority. They’re not strong. They just bang pots and pans because they're weak.

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