Peter Baklinski

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Toronto school trustee called ‘homophobic’ for questioning nudity at ‘family friendly’ Pride parade

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski

TORONTO, February 17, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Homosexual activists have slammed him as a ‘homophobic a**hole’ and an ‘outrageous bigot,’ but Toronto District School Board trustee Sam Sotiropoulos says that he’s just concerned about children viewing illegal public nudity at the city’s annual Pride parade.

Sotiropoulos created a firestorm on Twitter last week after he tweeted the Toronto Police force asking if it would enforce Canadian law against public nudity.

“As #TDSB participation raises questions of age-appropriateness, do you enforce Canada's public nudity laws at Pride?” he asked.

Sotiropoulos, who says he has nothing against “LGBTQ” people and says he would attend the Pride parade if invited, was immediately accused on twitter of insulting and hating gays and was labeled “homophobic.”

“Interesting to remark how readily those who don't want to be labelled cast labels and slander at others,” Sotiropoulos responded. “To think, these are the folks who are ‘inclusive’?! I'd say, ‘Shame on you,’ but there's no suggestion they'd understand what it is.”

Under Canada’s Criminal Code it is illegal to be nude in a “public place.” Section 174 states that a person who is “so clad as to offend against public decency or order” is “guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.”

Sotiropoulos says that city officials have a double standard when it comes to nudity at the Pride parade.

“If you were to parade naked in any of the number of parades — I don’t know how many throughout any part of the city that go on during the course of the year — I’m sure that you’d be post-haste dealt with by the police,” he said on the Tarek Fatah Radio Show Sunday morning.

Sotiropoulos said as a TDSB trustee, he has no problem with the board promoting the Pride parade. He agrees with the “very nature of the parade,” saying that the TDSB having a float in the parade is “part of our social justice piece.”

“We produce posters, send them out to schools, we send out flyers as well promoting the event as ‘family friendly,’” he said.

His main concern is that people parading naked in the Pride event “raises the question of age appropriateness.”

“Where’s the disclaimer?” he asked.

Sotiropoulos also does not like that students at the parade see Canadian law openly “flouted.”

Photos of the 2012 Toronto Pride parade (Warning: explicit) show completely nude men and women walking down the street.

Students are “seeing the breaking of the laws of Canada,” he said.

Sotiropoulos said that he does not understand “how being naked [in public] is part of being gay. I get stuck on that question. Why is that a necessary element to parade naked in the streets of Toronto to express what? I’m not sure, except for the flouting of the laws of this country.”

Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews that public nudity, sadomasochism, and mock sex acts in the annual Pride parade are all part of the “edge-pushing” inherent to homosexual activism. Public nudity at the Pride parade just scratches the surface of what is normative for many within the gay lifestyle, he said.

“Within that lifestyle, especially as far as the men are concerned, one finds mind-blowing rates of promiscuity, multiple partners and anonymous sex, in comparison with heterosexual relationships,” he said.

Homosexual activist Patti Ettelbrick, former legal director for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, once said that “being queer” is “more than setting up house, sleeping with a person of the same gender, and seeking state approval for doing so. … Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex and sexuality, and in the process transforming the very fabric of society.”

Realizing that he had unwittingly stirred up a hornet’s nest with his original tweet, Sotiropoulos turned to Twitter to defend himself against his outspoken accusers.

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“One of the most divisive influences in Canada today is homosexism it’s disseminators are maliciously rabid,” he tweeted on Thursday, adding moments later: “We must fight ALL forms of discrimination if we're to be truly inclusive, that includes #homosexism as well.”

Toronto city councilor Shelley Carroll, a known supporter of the homosexual movement, tweeted back: “Dumbest Yet.”

Sotiropoulos was not impressed: “How dare she? How dare she? She just involved herself in my Tweet stream … and insults me out of the blue,” he told the National Post. He demanded an apology.

City councillor Gord Perks defended the nudity at Pride in a tweet, saying that the permit issued by the city allows for “expressions of sexuality.”

“I just want you to produce the ‘permit’ you claimed licenses folk to parade naked in public at Pride?” Sotiropoulos tweeted back.

Despite a flood of criticism, the trustee has received some support for his stance.

“Thank you for supporting families Sam. It's about time someone speaks up for the ordinary family!” tweeted Sébastien Bertrand.

Sotiropoulos has also seen humor in the situation, tweeting yesterday: “Brrr It's cold outside today. I bet there wouldn't be anyone parading naked in this weather! #TDSB floats or not.”

Toronto city officials are not the only ones to turn a blind eye to nudity in the Pride parade. Last year both Vancouver police and city officials announced they had no issues with public nudity at the city’s annual gay Pride parade, expressing no interest in upholding the law in this regard.

Sotiropoulos said his next step will be to put a motion to the board questioning the TDSB’s participation in the Pride parade if city officials will not uphold the country’s laws.

Contact info:

Sam Sotiropoulos, TDSB Trustee, Ward 20 Scarborough-Agincourt
Ph: 416-397-3066
sam.sotiropoulos@tdsb.on.ca

Toronto District School Board
5050 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario M2N 5N8
TTC: North York Centre Station
Ph: 416-397-3000
Email: GeneralInquiries@TDSB.on.ca

Toronto Police Service
40 College Street
Toronto, ON M5G 2J3
Ph: (416) 808-2222
Send email using this online form.

Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto
Office of the Mayor
Toronto City Hall, 2nd Floor
100 Queen St. West
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Ph: (416) 397-3673
mayor_ford@toronto.ca

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Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

Vatican pressing forward with reform of US feminist nuns: Cardinal Müller

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican is pressing forward with plans to reform the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

In an interview published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said that the reform of the LCWR, which was undertaken after an assessment of the group found serious doctrinal problems, will be carried out with the goal of helping them "rediscover their identity.”

“Congregations have no more vocations and risk dying out," Müller said. "We have first of all tried to reduce hostility and tensions, partly thanks to Bishop Sartain whom we sent to negotiate with them; he is a very gentle man. We wish to stress that we are not misogynists, we are not women gobblers! Of course we have a different concept of religious life but we hope to help them rediscover their identity.”

Moreover, the cardinal said that problems specific to the LCWR are not a reflection of all the women religious in the US.

"We need to bear in mind that they do not represent all US nuns, but just a group of nuns who form part of an association,” Müller said.

“We have received many distressed letters from other nuns belonging to the same congregations, who are suffering a great deal because of the direction in which the LCWR is steering their mission.”

Cardinal Müller's remarks confirmed the assertion he and the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, made in an address to LCWR officials in Rome on April 30, that the theological drift the feminist nuns are taking constitutes a radical departure from the foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

The Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church,” Müller said in the address.

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“The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” he stated.

The LCWR has openly defied the mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church, and sexual morality.

Among the CDF’s directives, to which LCWR has strenuously objected, is the requirement that “speakers and presenters at major programs” be approved by Archbishop Sartain. This, Müller has explained, was decided in order to “avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The LCWR has invited speakers to their Annual Assembly such as New Age guru Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Sr. Laurie Brink, who is particularly noted for flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ and telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they need to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

In one of the first public statements of his pontificate, Pope Francis affirmed that the investigation and reform of the LCWR must continue.

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Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
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What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

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After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

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By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, the lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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