By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

CALGARY, May 29, 2009 ( – A coalition of five family organizations has come out in support of the Alberta government's proposal to enshrine parental rights in Alberta's Human Rights Act.

A press release from the coalition, which consists of the Catholic Civil Rights League, REAL Women of Canada, United Families Canada, REAL Women of Canada Alberta Chapter, and United Mothers & Fathers, says that these organizations have long argued that the family is the fundamental unit of society and that parents have the right to choose the kind of education that shall be given their children.

“As the primary educators of their children, parents have the right to choose the education that they believe is in the best interests of their children,” said Michele Dow of Calgary, President of United Mothers and Fathers Canada.

Alberta's Bill 44, which passed second reading on May 13 and is expected to return to the Legislature for third reading next week, includes a proposal that the province enshrine in Alberta human rights legislation the right of parents to be notified when school curriculum or materials include the explicit teaching of religion, sexuality or sexual orientation. It would also enshrine the right of parents to opt their children out of participation in such curriculum or materials without academic penalty to the child.

“We heartily endorse the right of parents to choose the kind of education that is given to their children – and that includes both the right to be informed about instruction regarding religion, sexuality and sexual orientation and to seek accommodation of their beliefs, including the right to opt out of such instruction,” said Corry Morcos, President of REAL Women of Canada's Alberta Chapter.

The right of parents to choose the education of their children is spelled out in Article 26 of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states, “parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”

The coalition says it hopes to see this right explicitly included in the pending changes to Alberta's human rights legislation.

For further information please contact:
Corry Morcos, President
AB Chapter REAL Women of Canada
Phone: (780) 455-5249
Email: [email protected]

Jill Cahoon, President
United Families Canada
Phone: (780) 662-2785
Email: [email protected]

Michele Dow, President
United Mothers, Fathers & Friends Canada
Phone: (403) 933-3271
Email: [email protected]

Joanne McGarry, Executive Director
Catholic Civil Rights League
Phone: (416) 466-8244
Email: [email protected]

Gwen Landolt, Vice-President
REAL Women of Canada
Phone; (905) 731-5425
Email: [email protected]

See previous LSN coverage:

Alberta Considers Making Parents' Control over Education a “Human Right”

Alberta Government Refuses HRC Reform, Adds “Sexual Orientation” to Anti-Discrimination Law


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