Left-leaning civil liberties group sues Ontario over sex-ed repeal
TORONTO, August 23,2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is suing the Ontario government over its repeal of the controversial 2015 Liberal sex-ed curriculum for elementary students.
The CCLA filed an application Thursday along with Becky McFarlane, the mother of a 10-year-old, for an injunction to stop the repeal, the Toronto Star reported.
The civil liberties group claims the sex-ed repeal violates Ontario’s Education Act mandate for inclusive school environments, Charter guarantees of equality and security of the person, and Ontario’s Human Rights Code, according to CBC.
The move comes a day after Premier Doug Ford announced sweeping parental consultations in the fall on Ontario’s curriculum.
The Conservative leader also warned that teachers deviating from the government-approved interim curriculum could face consequences, and announced the launch of a so-called “snitch site” where parents can file complaints against teachers.
Michael Bryant, the CCLA’s executive director and former Liberal attorney general, told reporters outside the courthouse that the Conservative repeal discriminated against the LGBTQ community, the Toronto Star reported.
“This directive is a discriminatory misuse of government power. A ham-fisted dog whistle of bigotry of homophobia dressed up as a consultation fix,” Bryant said.
“The government has just ripped out all of the material in the sex-ed program other than the heterosexual sex-ed content. It’s as if Becky and her family don’t exist. It’s as if they are the others, the unspoken others.”
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario as well as the NDP and activists have been waging highly publicized warfare against the sex-ed repeal, with ETFO vowing it would “vigorously” defend any teacher who taught the Liberal sex-ed curriculum.
Moreover, Toronto lawyers announced in mid-August that they would file a human rights complaint on behalf of six families, alleging the repeal violates the Ontario Human Rights Code section prohibiting discrimination in providing services.
The lead applicant in that case is an 11-year-old transgender “girl” from rural Ontario.
The lawyers, Marcus Mann and Mika Imai, said they would request an expedited hearing, and may seek an injunction to stop the repeal come September.
The CCLA is also asking the Ontario Superior Court to hear its legal challenge on an urgent basis, Stuart Svonkin, a lawyer with Chernos Flaherty Svonkin LLP who is working on the case, told CBC.
Critics of the 2015 Liberal sex-ed curriculum say it robs children of their innocence by introducing sexual concepts at too early an age: homosexuality in Grade 3, masturbation in Grade 6, oral and anal sex in Grade 7. The Liberal sex-ed teaches that there are six genders rather than two sexes.
Tanya Granic Allen, president of parent advocacy group Parents As First Educators, maintains that the Conservative’s sex-ed curriculum repeal must include gender identity theory, which is based on ideology, not science.
She has raised concerns the interim curriculum that Education Minister Lisa Thompson released Wednesday includes a definition of gender as “social constructed” and that one’s gender identity “may be different from birth-assigned sex.”
The interim curriculum is a re-issue of the 2010 version, in which the sexual development component dates to 1998, but the rest updated to incorporate the “equity and inclusive education” goals Kathleen Wynne mandated in 2009 as minister of education.
Write to Lianne Laurence at [email protected]