TORONTO, May 7, 2002 ( – Lawyers for Oshawa high school student Marc Hall argued on Monday that constitutional protections for Ontario’s Catholic schools are outdated and do not allow schools to prohibit homosexual behaviour at school events.  Hall’s lawyer David Corbett said that the Durham Catholic District School Board’s decision to forbid Hall from attending this Friday’s school prom with his 21-year old male boyfriend was worse than “intolerant hatred by an individual because it carries with it the whole weight of institutional authority.”  Corbett argued that, despite constitutional guarantees given to Catholics in 1867, “A lot of things have changed in the last 150 years. It isn’t sufficient to say, ‘This is what we believed in 1867.  We’re going to continue to believe it and use it as a basis for discrimination.’” Corbett alleges that the Board’s decision is a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code, and is seeking an injunction to allow Hall and his boyfriend to attend the prom together.  The Catholic board argued in a statement last month that it is “constitutionally entitled to administer its schools in a manner that is consistent with the teachings of the Church” and that ‘behaviours associated with a homosexual lifestyle are not consistent with Church teaching and our values as a Catholic school system.’’  Board lawyer Peter Lauwers said in court that “The ability to take matters of faith into account when we make decisions about the conduct of students is clearly within our denominational rights.” He said that Hall’s plans to bring his gay boyfriend to the prom were “a bad example from a Catholic perspective and what he wants to do is not consistent with teachings of the church.” Lauwers explained that school rules do not prevent Hall or any other homosexually-inclined students from attending the prom or other school events as single individuals, but said “if they manifest romance they would be stopped.”  But Hall’s lawyer argues that the Human Rights Code must not only prevent discrimination against homosexuals as individuals, but must also protect homosexual expression and activity. “The protection of the code is useless if it only applies to some innate feeling or thought. There has to be protection for acting it out and expressing your identity,” said Corbett.  Judge Robert MacKinnon warned the two parties of the expense and difficulty of a trial that could end up going to the Supreme Court of Canada, and urged them to settle out of court.  Both sides indicated that they wanted to proceed with the hearing and were prepared to fight the case.  Related Stories:

See Scripture and Homosexuality which presents thorough scriptural reasons why any sincerely Catholic institution cannot in any way condone homosexuality.   Also see The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality,, which provides compelling statistical and medical reasons for discouraging homosexual activity.