Gay-straight alliances: Promoting “safe schools” or homosexual activism?
With files from Rebecca Millette
February 23, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Claiming gay-straight alliance clubs are essential for “safe schools”, homosexual groups have pressured Ontario’s Catholic schools in the last month to jump on the GSA bandwagon.
All stakeholders seem to indicate that they want to protect students from bullying. At the same time, many question whether the “safe school” claim is merely a cover for using the schools to promote widespread acceptance of homosexuality. There is substantial evidence to indicate that the charge is probably valid.
One clue would be that Canada’s online hotspot for GSAs - MyGSA.ca - the one such resource linked by the Toronto District School Board, is run by Egale - Canada’s leading homosexual activist group. GSAs are also promoted by Planned Parenthood’s Canadian Federation for Sexual Health.
Egale’s site, which includes a directory of Canada’s GSAs, and resources for teens, parents, and teachers, recommends books to help teens “come out” and get oriented to the homosexual lifestyle. One book, Coming Out: A Handbook for Men by Orland Outland, includes advice on “getting laid” and navigating the gay bar scene.
They also recommend homosexual teen romance novels, and a large number of board books and picture books for toddlers and young children about same-sex relationships and parenting, including the infamous King and King.
Egale also suggests an extensive list of “LGBTQ-friendly” movies, with many described as “tender” romances of teens “awakening” or “discovering” their homosexuality. Films include “Get Real,” a story about two British school boys who ‘fall in love’, and “Hedwig and the Angry Itch,” about a transsexual punk-rock girl.
Through the site, teens are connected with radical homosexual activist organizations like Outrage!, Stonewall, and PFLAG, as well as pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.
While GSA proponents have claimed that special protection is needed for homosexual youth, citing statistics that large numbers face regular harassment, the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg says this argument is undercut by the fact that a large number of youth in general feel that they face harassment.
In his 2006 book, Homosexuality in Your Child’s School, Sprigg cites a 2001 survey from the American Association of University Women revealing that 83% of girls and 79% of boys report experiencing physical intimidation or sexual harassment at school.
Sprigg notes that a survey by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), one of the main GSA promoters in the U.S., “reported that students are more often bullied, called names, or harassed because of ‘the way they look or their body size’ than because of their sexual orientation.”
GSAs have been a big news item since January, when homosexual activists targeted the Halton Catholic District School Board over a pro-family equity policy that sought to uphold Catholic teaching in the area of homosexuality, including a ban on GSAs.
The policy, which was passed by a previous board in November 2010, was overturned January 18.
The debacle prompted homosexual news site Xtra! to research each Catholic board in the province, and earlier this month they claimed that none of the boards reported having a GSA.
If true, the boards would be following the advice of the Ontario Catholic bishops, who opposed GSAs in a January 2010 letter. “‘Gay-straight alliances’ imply a self-identification with sexual orientation that is often premature among high school students,” wrote Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Cornwall, then-chair of the Ontario bishops’ education commission.
The bishops’ stance is backed by pro-family author Dr. Scott Lively, director of the Pro-Family Law Center, who warns that GSAs encourage youth to self-identify as “gay” at the most vulnerable time of their sexual development.
In his 2009 book Redeeming the Rainbow, he highlights research indicating that as many as 25% of young people experience same-sex attraction during their teenage years. He says GSAs latch on to these youth, who are often “unpopular or troubled,” by providing a club where they feel “welcome and loved,” and then encourage them to accept the same-sex attraction.
“One of the most alarming aspects” of the homosexual “safe schools” claim, writes Dr. Lively, is that “impressionable students are more susceptible” to identify themselves as homosexual, “especially those children who are confused about what constitutes normal gender or family relations due to their own dysfunctional home life.”
Dr. Lively warns that GSAs entrench the idea of a world “divided into ‘us’ vs. ‘them’”, which he says encourages activism. “Homosexual activist organizations seek to recruit all young people to be their allies by styling themselves as victims needing protection,” he writes.
GSA members are linked to a network of GSAs across Ontario and beyond, which promote and organize events advocating homosexual activism. Students in GSAs from across the Greater Toronto Area gather in the fall every year for the Unity Conference, for example, with talks by homosexual activists and sex educators. Many gather again in the spring for the Converge conference to explore the relation between creativity and “sexual identity.”
Numerous GSAs also promote the annual Pride parades, which are noted for their often grotesque displays of public sex acts with semi- and complete nudity.
While the Catholic schools are apparently avoiding gay-straight alliances themselves for now, there are still concerns that the homosexual agenda is being welcomed through other student groups.
Speaking at the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association annual general meeting in March 2010, Egale’s executive director Helen Kennedy advocated using alternate names if necessary. “Call them whatever you want, human rights clubs, social justice clubs, that are dedicated to changing unhealthy school cultures,” she explained.
Last month, the St. Clair Catholic District School Board in Chatham-Kent said they are discussing “equity and inclusion strategies” that would include “LGBTQ” students. “What we want to do is have one approach … something that will include our LGBT students,” director of education Paul Wubben told The Observer. “But not just them. We also want social activists—kids who are interested in helping other students.”