TORONTO, Ontario, May 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Dalton McGuinty’s government threw down the gauntlet Friday as they announced that they will force Catholic schools to allow student clubs called “gay-straight alliances.”
The move is expected to spark a court battle with Ontario’s bishops as they defend Catholics’ denominational rights over the Catholic schools enshrined in Canada’s constitution.
Minister of Education Laurel Broten told reporters at a news conference Friday afternoon that she is introducing an amendment to the controversial homosexual anti-bullying bill that will require schools to let students name the clubs what they want.
In an address to the annual general meeting of the Ontario Student Trustees Association, Broten said her amendment will state that “neither the board nor the principal shall refuse to allow a pupil to use the name gay-straight alliance or a similar name.”
The move is a direct rebuke to Ontario’s Catholic bishops who have gone so far as to allow homosexual clubs, but drew a line in the sand over the GSA name.
The Ontario Catholic schools framework for anti-bullying clubs, Respecting Differences, specified that GSAs are “not acceptable in Catholic schools.”
Neil MacCarthy, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Toronto, which also speaks for the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario, said this week that the bishops are prepared for a legal fight if pushed.
“If Ontario legislators vote for a bill that does not permit [Respecting Difference], then the bishops will be unable to accept such a bill,” he told Catholic Insight magazine.
He expressed the hope “that politicians are wise enough not to offend four million Catholics in Ontario.”