Before Dalton McGuinty passed his gay clubs bill – euphemistically named the Accepting Schools Act – some Catholics who supported the bill for its “anti-bullying” focus questioned how many GSAs would actually get off the ground in the Catholic schools.
Their argument is consequentialist, of course. If we admit the clubs are wrong – which indeed they are, as Ontario’s bishops and other traditional Christian leaders have affirmed – then allowing even one is a compromise with evil.
For those of us who have been watching this issue the whole way, though, it was clear that these activist groups would start popping up across the province. It’s the nature of the beast. All it takes is one student in each high school to request them.
But it’s not just the students requesting them, it’s the teachers. We got an idea where the bulk of the teachers stand when the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association started its public lobbying for GSAs.
Now the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board has become the first Catholic school board to publicly announce they’ll allow GSAs. Wait for reports of more as school gets going in September.
And the Windsor board’s already got students working to start them in at least three high schools. As we would have predicted, these students are turning to a homosexual activist group for guidance. Windsor Pride says they’ve had Catholic students at their School’s Out program for GSA training. Don’t be surprised if we see a ‘Holy Name Catholic High School’ banner in Windsor’s Gay Pride Parade next summer, maybe even with the school’s endorsement.
Besides the overall undermining of Catholic sexual teaching that these clubs will propagate, the saddest effect will be the damage to the same-sex-oriented students themselves. The schools have an opportunity to be a witness to these students; to call them, perhaps silently or through the compassionate guidance of a loved teacher, to a life of chastity and holiness. In some cases the school could even offer them hope of heterosexual potential with the aid of a skilled, faithful (and brave) counselor. I grieve that we’ve instead decided to affirm the disorder.
I was struck today by the comments of a 15-year-old girl who hopes to start a GSA at St. Joseph Catholic High School in Windsor:
“I think it will make others realize more that it’s OK to be who you are, it’s OK to be gay, to be bisexual, transgender, whatever you are,” said Adriana Unis. “I feel more accepted now. … I can be in a Catholic school and still be myself.”
This young woman deserves the fullness of the Gospel. She deserves to be told that her identity is not found in her homosexuality, but in a life lived in obedience to God.
With her heart on the line, is “acceptance” all we dare offer her?