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Toronto Catholic board to debate whether religion trumps rights of gay students

Toronto Catholic board to debate whether religion trumps rights of gay students

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The fiery meeting begins at 7pm at the TCDSB offices in North York
Parents, church groups, students and members of the public are expected to pack the boardroom for a heated Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) meeting Aug 31.

The gathering is the final debate on the board's equity and inclusive education policy, which has already passed. It is expected that the meeting will be attended by a vocal contingent of people objecting to homosexuality being taught in any way in Catholic schools, including within the context of bullying prevention and peer support.

Trustees will vote on amendments that aim to tighten the policy to put an “emphasis on Catholic faith and the Catholic Church’s moral and doctrinal teachings.”

One amendment reads, “Where there is an apparent conflict between the [ministry’s policy] and the denominational aspect of Catholic schools, the protection of the denominational aspect takes precedence.”

The meeting takes place at the TCDSB offices at 80 Sheppard Ave at 7pm. No one from the board could be reached for comment.

Clair Purdy, 16, a student at St Joseph’s College School in Toronto, says she plans to be at the meeting. Purdy, along with approximately 20 other students, is putting together a proposal to start a gay-straight alliance (GSA) at her school. The Grade 11 student says she is very interested to hear whether trustees at the TCDSB will support her proposal and all queer students.


Purdy says a GSA is needed at her school because many students still experience anti-gay bullying and are victimized regularly for being gay.

“We have already started talking to teachers and the principal about it, and we’ll start talking about it again when school starts,” she tells Xtra. “I plan to do all I can to support GSAs.”

“I want to see GSAs in every school: public, Catholic, private, whatever,” she says assertively. “Students should be able to call groups whatever they want. It must be up to the students.”

The battle for GSAs began in January when the Halton Catholic District School Board banned the groups, which are stipulated as requirements by the Ministry of Education in its equity policy.

Roman Catholic schools have repeatedly denied students’ requests for GSAs, saying supports are already in place and church doctrine condemns gay sex as “sinful and immoral.” One example of the “supports” given to gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans students is the community group Courage International, an organization that claims to “cure gays.”

In March, members of the GSA at Mississauga’s St Joseph Catholic Secondary School were blocked from forming any group with the word “gay” in the title.

Then, this summer, a letter from a priest representing Toronto’s Coptic Christian community threatened to pull thousands of students from TCDSB classrooms if homosexuality is taught in schools in any way.

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Comments

Gay Cdn Caravan
If you are interested in organizing a Gay Cdn Caravan similar to the one the women did for THEIR Rights, We can do the same from all over Canada and arrange to meet at Ottawa on ONEDAYALLATONCE. Twitter volunteers pls Fitnessexecdwh P.s Re GSA & god http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700175444/Creation-theory-may-be-wrong-collider-hasnt-found-God-particle.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter Cheers.
Revenge strategy
I say that LGBT people should adopt a revenge strategy in dealing with homophobic religions - like the Illumnati's revenge in Dan Brown's novel Angels and Demons. It may be the best way to deal with the Catholic Church - and any other homophobic religion (Islam, Mormons, fundamentalists of any stripe, etc.) that treats us as sub-human and worthy of death and Hell. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSyWqCdqCZ0
no god particle
RANDY, it IS refered to theoretical scientists as THE GOD particle. Your assumption of GODdamn particle is as incorrect and misleading as your suggestion as to my background on the HIGGS boson god particle which they search for at the LHC. It is quantum based and they DON't expect to find it in fact, another incorrect point of yours. The are searching for this particle because although it has some relevance regarding mass of everything it is more searched as it will demonstrate that the Standard model of Physics is NOT enough unlike another of your unresearched lame comment. I see you also didn't comprehend the xtra guidelines about personal attacks so I feel quite ok with going after yours too RANDY. At least try to comprehend the guidelines next time to avoid such unpleasantries and embarring counters and keep your comments relevant to the article and stop attacking. It highlights your gluttony of ignorance on both subjects.
Nothing will happen as a result of your grumbling
It's not enough that you people write these comments in XTRA. Nothing will happen as a result of your grumbling in this venue. You have to write your comments in formal letters to your members of parliament and any other political body who will listen and has power to act.
Left Behind
Actually if the Church does not keep up with humanity it will inevitably be left behind. My hope is for the next generation to see these guys as morons, just laugh and ignore this ignorance and keep the churches empty. What makes me upset is that these bigot schools are still funded by taxpayers.
Same Sex Marriage vs Catholic School Board Dogma
How would the Catholic School Board handle the legalities of Same Sex Marriage? If 2 lesbian Catholic students, or 2 Gay boys Catholic students got legally married to eachother, how would the Catholic School Board handle that or explain it away? It is legal to marry in Ontario at age 18, or age 16 with both parent's permissions. If any 2 Gay boys or Lesbian Catholic School Board students happened to be in love, or close enough, and would want to marry... That might create a perfect test case to challenge the Catholic Board Dogma vs the Legalities of Same Sex Marriage :-)
De-fund these child rapers
Get into the 21st century, Ontario. No public cash for this pedophile cult's schools.
Reason should trump
childish fear-based stupidity.
Teachign Tolerance
Rather than "teaching homosexuality," the Catholic School Board should teach tolerance. AND - as long as they continue to violate the Human Rights Codes of Canada, they should not receive public funding.
No god particle
Dakota, if you're going to talk physics, you need to research at least a little about what you're talking about. Particle physicists don't like the term "god particle", because it has nothing to do with gods. (And the name is actually short for "goddamn particle"). The Higgs boson is simply a particle they expect to find, which gives things mass (as opposed to guage bosons already found which give things electromagnetic or nuclear forces).

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