TORONTO, Ontario, December 22, 2011 ( – By 2013 prospective teachers in Ontario will be required to undergo focused training in “sexual orientation” and “gender diversity,” says a cabinet minister in Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government.

Glen Murray, MPP for Toronto Centre, told Xtra this week that he is heading a group that over the next year will develop new “diversity” curriculum, which will be mandatory for all new teachers in public and Catholic school boards.

The new training program for teachers will take two years rather than one.

Murray, who serves as the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, says the new teacher curriculum is connected to the government’s Accepting Schools Act, a controversial anti-bullying bill that would impose tougher consequences, including expulsion, for “bullying and hate-motivated actions,” and seeks to require all publicly-funded schools to set up student-run homosexual anti-bullying clubs.

“The Accepting Schools Act is very clear,” Murray told Xtra. “Not only can schools not discriminate against gay, lesbian and trans students, schools must create healthy and welcoming spaces for everyone. That will be the policy of Ontario.”

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The anti-bullying bill has been slammed by religious groups who say its special emphasis on “sexual orientation” makes it a direct threat to family values and religious freedom.

Murray told Xtra earlier this year that the government is planning to re-introduce a controversial sex-ed program for schools that McGuinty pulled in April 2010 after complaints from parents who objected to their children being taught about “gender identity” in grade 3 and anal sex in grade 7.  Murray complained that the parents opposing the graphic curriculum were “rightwing reactionary homophobes.”


Murray’s working group on the teacher curriculum includes self-described “queer” and “trans” activist Davina Hader, who called it “groundbreaking” and connected it to the recent effort to impose gay-straight alliance clubs on the province’s Catholic schools.

“The problem the Liberals have been up against with regard to GSAs is the separate school board,” the activist told Xtra.  “Boards have been saying ministry policies are not enforceable because Catholic schools have special rights. Well, they can’t use that card anymore. This is a push for equality in education right across the board.”

“With this we are teaching the people at the top, and they’re going to have to listen. It will be mandated as part of their curriculum. They won’t have a choice,” Hader added.