TORONTO, Ontario, April 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A coalition of homosexual activist groups who backed Marc Hall’s successful bid to bring his male partner to a Catholic prom in 2002 have reunited to demand that the Ontario government force Catholic schools to allow “gay-straight alliances.”
“In the Marc Hall case, Catholic schools didn’t have the right to regulate school dances. Well, we say they don’t have the right to regulate school clubs either,” Douglas Elliott told the homosexualist newspaper Xtra. Elliott is the lawyer for a coalition of 13 groups that supported Marc Hall in 2002 and reunited at an April 2nd press conference to step up the campaign for homosexual clubs in Catholic schools.
“It’s important for [students] to know there is a very powerful group of organizations that are united in their desire to support these kids,” said Elliott. “We are prepared to provide practical assistance to make sure they can get these gay-straight alliances set up.”
The Marc Hall case made international headlines when Ontario Justice Robert MacKinnon granted an interim injunction forcing the Durham Catholic School Board to allow the 17-year-old to bring his 21-year-old male partner to the prom.
While the ‘Marc Hall coalition’, as it dubs itself, claims the 2002 case set a precedent for their current campaign, Mississauga lawyer Geoffrey Cauchi points out that Hall’s case never even went to trial because he dropped it in 2005 – after same-sex “marriage” was legalized in Canada and the homosexual lobby lost interest.
No judge is bound by Justice MacKinnon’s decision to issue the injunction, says Cauchi, and even Justice Shaughnessy, who allowed Hall to drop the case, opined that the Catholic school board would have won at trial had the case proceeded.
“If this ‘coalition’ is going to hang their hat on [Justice MacKinnon’s] decision … in challenging the right of Catholic schools to regulate the activities of GSAs …, then I respectfully suggest that they get better lawyers who are able to think past gay activist ideology and accept the legal reality that higher Courts have rejected his approach to these questions,” writes Cauchi in an opinion provided to LifeSiteNews.
The coalition of activist groups is calling on the legislature to pass Bill 13 by the summer. The controversial bill, brought forward by Dalton McGuinty’s government, ostensibly aims to tackle bullying, in part by forcing schools to allow clubs for homosexual students.
As a result, Ontario’s Catholic schools have begun setting up a network of clubs called “Respecting Differences.” But activists have complained because the schools have so far refused to let students name them “gay-straight alliances.”
In his comments to Xtra, Elliott claimed students have the constitutional right to call the clubs “gay-straight alliances” if they choose. The coalition is hoping to offer financial, legal, and “practical” help to students who may want to launch a court case against the Catholic schools.
“Catholic schools are wrong. Religious rights don’t trump the province. Catholic schools are publicly funded,” Elliott told Xtra. “The attempt to force students to adopt another name reminds me of attempts to force us to use a word other than marriage.”
But according to Cauchi, the Coalition needs to realize that Ontario students with same-sex attractions “have a legal right to a taxpayer-paid education that is either secular or Catholic, but not the right to insist that Catholic schools be secular.”
“When they choose (or their parents choose for them) to attend a Catholic school, they have nothing more than the right to receive an authentically Catholic education,” he continues, “and Catholic ratepayers have a constitutional right to insist that it remain authentically Catholic.”
“All [same-sex attracted students] have to do to avoid having to hear Catholic teaching is to switch to the other system,” he adds.
The Ontario GSA Coalition, according to Xtra:
The Canadian AIDS Society
The Canadian Auto Workers
The Canadian Federation of Students
Canadian Secular Alliance
Catholics for Choice
Centre for Inquiry Canada
Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto
Canadian Union of Public Employees
Ontario Federation of Labour
OPSEU’s Rainbow Alliance