Gay student files human rights suit against Catholic school, alleges pattern of ‘homophobia’
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, February 19, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A homosexual student has filed a human rights complaint against his former French Catholic high school for what he calls a pattern of “homophobia” he says he experienced while being a student there.
Christopher Karas, a graduate of École Secondaire Catholique Ste-Famille and current student at Humber College, said his $25,000 suit filed at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario at the end of January is not about trying to change sexual morality in Catholic schools.
“I’m not changing anything. The whole [Catholic] faith is based around acceptance. It’s based around respect and love. And to teach hate and to tell people that they should hate people because of who they love, that is not OK, that is not acceptable, and I won’t allow it,” he told Jim Richards on News Talk 1010 recently.
In addition to seeking $25,000 in compensation, Karas is asking for a written apology and seven “public interest remedies,” including amendment of the curriculum, sensitivity training for all teachers and students, and installment of gender-neutral bathrooms, reports the Star.
The Tribunal has yet to decide on the merits of the case.
Karas claims he faced discrimination while on a Grade 10 school field trip to Ottawa, the Star reports based on a copy of Karas’ complaint. According to Karas, one male student did not want to share a hotel room with him. The student complained to the teacher, who shuffled students around to accommodate the complaint.
Karas said the event made him feel embarrassed.
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“We can’t accept Catholic school systems that belittle students such as myself,” he told News Talk 1010.
Karas also took issue with a book for required reading called Poison that he says portrays homosexuality in a “disgusting” way. Karas is demanding the book be removed from the curriculum and replaced with pro-homosexual material.
He also says he became disturbed when a Catholic teacher allegedly told a class that homosexuals should not be allowed to adopt children.
When LifeSiteNews reached out to interview Karas, he responded positively but requested that Xtra.com reporter Andrea Houston and homosexual activist Jeremy Dias, founder of Jer’s Vision, join the call. LifeSiteNews agreed to the conditions, but Karas would not respond to attempts to establish a date and time for the interview.
Karas finally responded through Twitter on Wednesday: “I hope this doesn't come as a shock but I don't want to talk to you!” he wrote.
Last year, Karas threatened legal action against his school after administrators pulled down a poster featuring the image of homosexual icon Harvey Milk and the following quote: “All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.”
The school eventually capitulated after Karas reached out for support to homosexual activist groups such as Egale Canada, Queer Ontario, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
Gwen Landolt, national vice-president of REAL Women of Canada, told LifeSiteNews that homosexual advocates are working hard to make a case against Catholic schools. Karas, she said, is being used by homosexual advocacy groups to “promote homosexuality in the Catholic schools.”
“They’re trying to use the Human Rights Tribunal to impose their pro-homosexual perspective on the Catholic schools system, which is protected under the Charter of Rights,” she said.
The suit has nothing to do with real tolerance or inclusivity, but instead shows the “tremendous intolerance of homosexual advocacy groups towards any other perspective or view,” she added. “They are manipulative and intolerant and opposed to anyone or any school or anything that doesn’t support their agenda.”
Landolt thought it telling that Karas refused to speak to an organization with a viewpoint different from his own.
Calling the suit an “attack” against the Catholic school system, Landolt hopes the Tribunal refuses to hear the case.