TORONTO, Ontario, January 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Premier Dalton McGuinty’s controversial anti-bullying bill is “intentionally deceptive,” “utopian,” and “foolhardy,” says an Ontario politician with the opposition Progressive Conservatives.

In a strongly worded op-ed Wednesday for the Ottawa Citizen, Tory MPP Randy Hillier says McGuinty’s bill, which has been criticized by religious groups for its strong emphasis on sexual orientation, “reaches the zenith of downright stupidity” and manipulates recent suicides by homosexual teens for “political gain.”

“Bill 13 is little more than a poorly disguised pacifier intended to create a perception that not only is the government acting, but is also compassionate and sympathetic toward children who are bullied,” writes Hillier (Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington), a former provincial Tory leadership candidate and current opposition critic for both Labour and Northern Development, Mines and Forestry.

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The Accepting Schools Act, which was tabled Nov. 30th and is undergoing second reading, seeks to impose tougher consequences, including expulsion, for “bullying and hate-motivated actions.”

The bill, which comes as part of the Premier’s ongoing effort to reform the province’s attitudes on homosexuality, would require schools to support students who want to “establish and lead … organizations with the name gay-straight alliance or another name.”

Hillier argues that the bill will actually “exacerbate both the frequency and the injurious harm of bullying,” because, by highlighting differences between students rather than minimizing them, the bill will end up “painting a bull’s eye or target on [bullied students’] backs.”

“Bill 13 mandates creating a host of new school clubs which could identify people in the club as being: ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, two-spirited, intersexed, queer (or) questioning’,” he writes.

“Believing these clubs will minimize or end bullying reaches the zenith of downright stupidity,” he continues.  “Rather than minimizing differences, it helps segregate and highlight the differences between people.  The last thing a vulnerable child needs is more differentiation from others in the schoolyard.”

Advocates for the homosexual clubs envisioned by McGuinty’s government argue that they aim to provide safe environments for homosexual students.

But pro-family activists have charged that the groups encourage the normalization and affirmation of the homosexual lifestyle, tying youth into a cross-continent network of homosexual activists who encourage them to self-identify as homosexual and then get them engaged in activism.

The charge was bolstered last year when a contributor to the popular homosexual magazine Queerty wrote that the aim of such anti-bullying programs is to “recruit children.”

“Why would we push anti-bullying programs … unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?” wrote Daniel Villarreal.  “Recruiting children? You bet we are.”

In his op-ed, Hillier writes that it is “utopian and foolhardy” to suppose that legislation could “shield all children from negative personal experiences” or to presume that children’s behavior will “be altered by preventing them from experiencing adversity.”

Noting that bullying is still rampant even among adults, he says the government is applying “mature adult remedies” to children.  “Adults must remember that children don’t understand the full impact of their actions until it has been learned through life’s full spectrum of experience and observations,” he writes.  “The depth of a child’s understanding is amplified not only through reward or punishment, but by learning compassion and empathy.”

“People who try to legislate maturity into children to a level that is absent within adult society are not being honest to themselves or to the public,” he writes.

Ontario MPP Randy Hillier’s op-ed is available here: Sticks and Stones

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