EDMONTON, Alberta, November 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Alberta NDP government made good its promise and introduced a bill November 2 that forbids schools telling parents their child has joined a “gay-straight alliance” without the child’s consent, regardless of the child’s age.
Bill 24, or An Act to Support Gay-straight Alliances, also nixes a previous exemption for private schools, which will now have to allow gay-straight alliances (GSAs) if a student requests one, although the bill has a mechanism for “exemptions.”
Education Minister David Eggen issued a ministerial order in March to two private Christian schools demanding they establish a GSA if a student requests one.
Under Bill 24, parental notification requirements and opt-out for courses with sexual or religious content will not be in force when it comes to participation in GSAs.
The bill compels all schools to tell students they have the legal right to form a GSA, and to establish anti-bullying policies banning discrimination based on gender identity and expression and sexual orientation.
“Every single school in Alberta that receives public dollars must have a policy that clearly allows students to form a GSA,” Eggen said.
Schools that don’t comply risk losing public funds and accreditation.
Parents’ group blasts bill
Critics of “gay-straight alliances” or “queer-straight alliances” say the clubs are not neutral but pro-homosexuality, and expose impressionable children and adolescents to the LGBTQ lifestyle at school.
But that’s not why Donna Trimble, executive director of Parents for Choice in Education, blasted the bill in a critique on PCE’s website.
The law will “enforce secrecy, strip professional decision-making authority, remove sexual content opt-out provisions and replace a parent’s loving care with the strong arm of the state, all under the coercion, consultation and supervision of a select few,” she wrote.
Trimble noted Bill 24 builds on Bill 10, which the Progressive Conservatives passed in March 2015.
Bill 10 mandated that publicly funded schools, including Catholic, must establish a GSA if a student requested one.
PCE “has never opposed peer support groups in schools where the children, staff and parents deem such support systems appropriate,” Trimble wrote.
But “we recognized that Bill 10 – which became section 16.1 of the School Act – stripped authority from the adults in schools, placing total control into the hands of children as young as five.”
NDP using bill against UCP leader Jason Kenney
Observers say the NDP is using the bill to create trouble for Jason Kenney, a known social conservative just elected leader of the United Conservative Party.
Indeed, Eggen said at a Thursday press conference the legislation was a response to Kenney, reported the Globe and Mail.
“Jason Kenney suggested earlier this year that schools should be able to out LGBTQ students to their parents, and that is dangerous,” Eggen said.
“It’s unfortunate the NDP are using this sensitive matter as a partisan political wedge issue,” Kenney replied the same day in a news release.
The UCP will “comment on Bill 24 after our caucus has had an opportunity to review and discuss it.”
Kenney reiterated he’s “stated repeatedly” he does not support a repeal of Bill 10, and has “also said that the best interests and safety of children must be paramount in all matters.”
“We trust highly-trained educators to use their professional judgment to make decisions in the best interests of children, particularly given that this policy applies to children as young as five years of age,” he said.
“When dealing with complex issues like gender and sexual identity, I believe our education system should recognize that every child, and every circumstance, is unique,” Kenney said.
“In some cases informing parents would clearly be inappropriate. Longstanding laws and protocols exist to protect children from potentially abusive parents.”
Bill pushed by homosexual activists
Trimble, however, dismissed Eggen’s claim that the bill is a response to Kenney as “a lie.”
She maintains this legislation and Bill 10 are the result of relentless lobbying by homosexual activists.
And a key figure in that lobby is Dr. Kris Wells, director of the Institute for Sexual Minorities Studies and Services in the University of Alberta’s faculty of education.
Wells was standing behind Eggen when the minister introduced Bill 24, Trimble noted.
Wells “was a key influence in the promotion and content of Bill 10,” she wrote. He also co-authored the pro-homosexual Guidelines for Best Practices, and was the “driving force” behind the Alberta GSA Network website.
Parents’ rights advocate Theresa Ng discovered last spring that the Alberta GSA Network website’s list of “community services” included links to sexually graphic material, such as tips on sado-masochistic homosexual sex and advice on masturbation.
After Ng published the story, the website, which is promoted by Alberta Education, removed the community services section.
Ted Byfield, founder of the Alberta Report, and editor-in-chief of a 12-volume history of Christianity, pointed out that GSAs, or “sex clubs,” are “not confined to the provision of information and a place of social congeniality for ‘sexual minorities’.”
Rather, GSAs “will pre-eminently serve as missions to foster and perpetuate the forms of conduct which those minorities represent, and which virtually all the great religious traditions of the world denounce unequivocally,” Byfield wrote in his blog.
“What is the province’s legal position? If my son or daughter, having reached, say, the age of ten or eleven, is lured into a school sex club, is persuaded that he or she must be homosexual, acts accordingly, acquires HIV and then AIDS and remains crippled for life, whom do I sue? The government, or the minister that helped bring this tragedy upon us?”