By Patrick B. Craine

TORONTO, Ontario, September 7, 2010 ( – Assurances that Catholics’ constitutionally-guaranteed denominational rights will be respected under Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s equity and inclusive education strategy are a “distraction” and a “clever tactic” to stave off rebuke from Catholic leaders, says Campaign Life Coalition, which is waging a campaign to have the strategy scrapped. (To find out more, click here)

“By its very nature, McGuinty’s plan forces Catholic boards to violate Church teaching and accept the homosexual agenda because it forces all school boards to recognize special rights for homosexuals,” said Suresh Dominic of Campaign Life Catholic.

The equity strategy requires every school board in the province to develop an equity policy by this month that outlines their commitment to inclusion based on the grounds listed in the Ontario Human Rights Code, including “sexual orientation.”  Catholic groups have expressed outrage, noting that the Vatican explicitly condemned such recognition of “sexual orientation” and warned that it opens the door to outright promotion of homosexuality.

In response to complaints about the strategy, a number of Catholic school board trustees have sought to assure concerned Catholics that the ability to authentically present Church teaching will be secure.  They note in particular that the Ministry’s documents on the strategy state that it is “to be implemented within the context of the Education Act, which affirms the constitutional rights of Catholic and French-language rights holders in Ontario” (page 13).

But in their detailed analysis, CLC rebuts that argument by saying that the strategy is “fundamentally flawed.”  “In our opinion, the belief that McGuinty’s [equity strategy] can be implemented ‘within the context of Catholic teaching’, is something like the patient who accepts a cancerous organ for transplantation into his body, and ‘hopes’ that it will not metastasize,” they write.

“We’re already seeing the homosexual lifestyle celebrated in some Catholic schools,” said Dominic.  “Accepting the strategy will only make it easier for the dissident elements in the Catholic system to continue undermining Church teaching.”

A number of Catholic boards and high schools in Ontario have already welcomed homosexualism, through clubs or workshops, in the name of “equity.”

One of the key trainers on the equity strategy, who has spoken on “equity” in over a dozen Catholic boards, is clearly and openly instructing them that they must promote homosexualism.  In a presentation posted to the website of the Ottawa Catholic school board, Chris D’Souza says “heterosexism” must be eliminated, and defines it as “the assumption that everyone is or should be heterosexual and that heterosexuality is the only normal, natural sexual orientation.”

In June, Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School in the Toronto board held a day of workshops on ‘Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for All’ which was organized by student members of the school’s ‘Rainbow Project’ (described as a “social justice initiative against homophobia”).

In 2007, The Record reported on a new gay-straight alliance at Resurrection Catholic Secondary in Kitchener, called Rez PRIDE, that was created by a 14-year-old student identifying herself as a lesbian.  The board’s family life and equity consultant, Jonathan Wright, would not comment on the group itself but told the paper there were “several student groups working for equity” (in the reporter’s words).

“This ‘protection clause’ serves more as a distraction to throw off the scent of Catholic Bishops who's warning bells might go off when some of the pro-homosexual activism embedded within the Strategy is eventually brought to their attention,” says CLC in their analysis.

They point out, for example, that in 2004 Premier McGuinty wrote a letter to the Durham Catholic School Board urging them to allow homosexual student Marc Hall to bring his homosexual partner to a prom.  “McGuinty, the co-architect of today's EIE Strategy, believed that despite that very clear constitutional right, the Board still had to allow the scandal of two homosexuals attending to the prom as open lovers,” CLC writes.  “In light of that response from McGuinty, is it reasonable for the Trustee to put his faith in that paragraph?”

The group suggests that it would be possible in theory for Catholic boards to conform their equity policies to Catholic teaching, but say that it would require embedding specific clauses in the policy as a safeguard.

For example, they say boards should stipulate that when discussing homosexuality teachers must present paragraph 2357 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which condemns homosexual acts as “intrinsically disordered,” in its entirety.  Teachers should then present paragraph 2358, says CLC, which insists that homosexuals be “accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity.”

They also call on boards to prohibit explicitly gay-straight alliances and other homosexualist clubs, and to state that groups contradicting Church teaching on homosexuality cannot be invited to give presentations or to counsel students.

“McGuinty is making the homosexualist ideology a prerequisite for tax-funded education,” said Dominic.  “By going along with this evil program, the Catholic boards and leadership are sealing the coffin of Catholic education in Ontario.”

“Enough is enough.  We must draw the line, and finally take a stand,” he insisted.  “We must defend the truth and authentic teaching by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church on human sexuality.”

For more information about Campaign Life Coalition’s campaign against the Ontario equity strategy, visit the website here.

See related coverage:

Ontario Equity Strategy Threatens to Embed Religious Discrimination: CLC

Parents Must Unite to Scrap Ontario Equity Strategy, Says Pro-Family Group

Equity Training for Ontario Catholic Boards: Homosexuality ‘Normal’, ‘Natural’

Catholic School Board 'Gay Speak' Seminar