Peter Baklinski

Alberta trustee under fire for suggesting gay teens should be less open

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
Image

EDMONTON, Alberta, 23 November, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An Alberta school trustee has come under attack in the media after suggesting that “it would be helpful” if students who self-identify as homosexual were less overt about their sexual orientation.

“If children with a gay tendency appear a certain way, we know that we have to be vigilant to make sure they are not discriminated against,” Dale Schaffrick, who is the trustee for Pembina Hills Regional School Division and a farmer, told CBC News.

When asked if such students should be “less identifiable,” in the words of CBC, Schaffrick reportedly responded that “for their own benefit… it would be helpful.”

The trustee had made similar remarks during a debate over an “anti-homophobia” proposal at the Alberta School Boards Association on Monday. The policy was rejected over concerns that it unnecessarily singled out homosexual students for protection, instead of protecting all students equally.

Education Minister Jeff Johnson told media that he was “disappointed” by the comments and found them “entirely inappropriate.”

“As a parent, I find it offensive that anyone would suggest that children should hide who they are under any circumstances,” Johnson said.

Schaffrick has since apologized. “I want to apologize for my remarks at the ASBA fall general meeting,” he said Thursday. “They were inappropriate and offensive and I apologize for that. I was speaking as an individual trustee and not on behalf of my board.”

Click “like” if you want to defend true marriage.

However, pro-family activists pointed out that Schaffrick’s suggestion that teens steer clear of overtly identifying as gay has the backing of the American College of Pediatricians (ACP).

In a recent letter to school officials, ACP president Den Trumbull, MD, FCP warned that students should not be encouraged to “‘come out as gay’ and be ‘affirmed’” because of a “serious risk of erroneously labeling students” who may only be “experiencing transient sexual confusion and/or engaging in sexual experimentation.”

“Rigorous studies demonstrate that most adolescents who initially experience same-sex attraction, or are sexually confused, no longer experience such attractions by age 25,” the letter stated.

The ACP said that among adolescents who “claim a ‘gay’ identity, the health risks include higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, alcoholism, substance abuse, anxiety, depression and suicide.  Encouragingly, the longer students delay self-labeling as ‘gay,’ the less likely they are to experience these health risks.”

“Premature labeling may then lead some adolescents into harmful homosexual behaviors that they otherwise would not pursue.”

Diane Watts of REAL Women of Canada told LifeSiteNews that encouraging “young people to ‘come out’ and ‘identify’” is against the “best advice of unbiased psychologists.”

She called the media’s reaction to Schaffrick’s comment an example of the “enforcement of homosexual activist dogma.”

“This trustee, in attempting to help teens, has offended homosexual activist dogma and he is being punished.”

Watts said she believes the media is basing their attacks on Schaffrick on the unproven claims that “homosexuality is innate, as in ‘born that way’ and ‘who they are’” and “that same sex attraction does not change.”

Jack Fonseca, project manager for Campaign Life Coalition, told LifeSiteNews that he worries that in some cases teens who “come out” as homosexual “are deliberately ‘in-your-face’ and are trying to cause conflict with traditionally-principled teachers and students.”

“They know that if they can get in their face and elicit any kind of negative reaction, they can then run to the media and claim ‘discrimination’,” said Fonseca.


Contact info:
Dale Schaffrick
Ph: (780) 785-2779
Email: [email protected]

FREE pro-life and pro-family news.

Stay up-to-date on the issues you care about the most. Subscribe today. 

Select Your Edition:


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

Advertisement
Featured Image
Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

, , ,

Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook