John-Henry Westen

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Legal Opinion: Ontario Catholic boards have legal right to refuse gay clubs in schools

John-Henry Westen

TORONTO, May 19, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A detailed legal opinion was delivered Thursday to the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario and trustees of the Toronto Catholic school board regarding the controversial government equity program. The opinion shows, with legal documentation and precedents, that the bishops and other leaders in Catholic education have the legal capability and right to reject the Ontario Government’s imposition of homosexual clubs in Catholic schools. 

Mississauga lawyer Geoff Cauchi firstly cites Vatican documents issued by now-Pope-then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger exhorting bishops that a truly caring approach to those who are homosexually inclined must “clearly stat(e) that homosexual activity is immoral.”  Such an approach to gay clubs in Catholics schools has been expressly forbidden by the Ontario Ministry of Education.

In the unsolicited legal opinion, Cauchi explains that the leadership in Catholic education has “constitutional denominational rights recognized by the Constitutional Act, 1867” to refuse to comply with what he notes are the Ontario Governments “unlawful and unconstitutional demands.”  In his “legal opinion”, Cauchi asserts that based on the text of section 93 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and a fair reading of the case law interpreting it there would not only be one but three legal methods to oppose the Government’s attempt to force gay clubs in Catholic schools.

In urging the Catholic leadership to undertake such action, Cauchi notes not only the Vatican imperative cited above but also medical evidence. He points out the lack of credible empirical sociological evidence that the Church’s teaching on homosexuality induces some students to unjustly discriminate against other students who think they have a same-sex attraction.  “The absence of any such evidence by and of itself destroys the case for anti-bullying strategies that contradict the fundamental contents of faith and morals, as taught by the Catholic Church,” he writes.

He cites published statements of the US Catholic Medical Association which directly counters the program of gay anti-bullying groups. “Persons should not be identified with their emotional and developmental conflicts as though this was the essence of their identity,” says the document.  “Gay rights activists have insisted that at risk adolescents be turned over to support groups which will help them ‘come out’.  There is no evidence that participation in such groups prevents the long-term negative consequences associated with homosexual activity.  Such groups will definitely not encourage the adolescent to refrain from sin and live chastely according to his state in life.”

The CMA goes on to cite studies indicating that, although at risk, a high percentage of students with “same-sex attraction” do not become homosexually active in adulthood.  They therefore warn educators against labeling a child or an adolescent as “unchangeably homosexual”, because it may deny him or her the potential healing that they need to avoid serious risk.

See the complete legal opinion here.

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