Rebecca Millette

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Are anti-discrimination policies bullying Christian schools and families?

Rebecca Millette

June 23, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Are anti-discrimination policies bullying Christian schools and families? That’s what Legal Counsel Faye Sonier of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada asked in a recent blog post, echoing the thoughts of many Canadian parents and organizations.

“Children should not be bullied, ridiculed, attacked or intimidated under any circumstance, or for any reason, and school boards are right to address it when it occurs,” said Sonier. “But what happens when the policies themselves become the bullies?”

School boards across the country are implementing “sexual orientation and gender identity” policies focused on anti-discrimination towards youth who “are or may be” homosexual. 

The Burnaby, BC school board recently passed one such policy, despite huge outcry and demand for revisions from thousands of students and parents, and a similar debate is ongoing in Edmonton.

An heated controversy also continues in the Toronto Catholic District School Board, the largest Catholic board in Ontario, with parents demanding amendments to the provincial government’s mandated “Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy,” which entails provisions contrary to Catholic teaching.

“To provide ‘healthy’ classrooms,” said Sonier, “school boards need to recognize that they cannot ignore certain classes of human rights, such as the rights to freedom of religion, conscience and parental authority, in order to protect another, the right to be free from discrimination based on sexual orientation.”

Policies, she added, become “problematic” when Christian programs and schools are required “not just to affirm their students but to ‘affirm’ various orientations and lifestyles that are contrary to Biblical beliefs.”

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights protects the choice of parents and families in choosing their child’s education, and similar protections are contained in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, many parents have questioned where those rights fight in, in the context of the “anti-discrimination” debate.

“Balance is required,” concluded Sonier. “Christian programs and families can and do teach the importance of respect, acceptance and care for others, and – so long as they maintain a commitment to just and fair treatment of all students – should be able to do so without being required to compromise their beliefs by affirming sexual orientations or lifestyles that violate their consciences.”

The full-text article is available here.

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