Legal opinion: Ontario “equity” strategy will be used to persecute Catholics
TORONTO, Ontario, August 12, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Without clear protections, the Ontario government’s equity and inclusive education strategy “will be used to persecute Catholic teachers and students who promote and support the Church’s teaching on homosexuality,” argues Toronto lawyer Geoffrey F. Cauchi in a legal opinion for LifeSiteNews.
The equity strategy, though being implemented in Ontario’s public and Catholic schools, has been slammed by pro-family groups because of its emphasis on normalizing homosexuality under the guise of combating “homophobia.” These groups note that homosexual activist groups have already seized on the equity agenda to gain a foothold in the Catholic schools.
“The overall impression the [government’s equity strategy] Documents convey,” writes Cauchi in his 24-page opinion, is “that the Ontario Government has embraced the gay activist positions that Catholic teaching on the subject of homosexuality is itself ‘homophobic’ or ‘heterosexist’, and ‘harms’ ‘gays and lesbians’.”
Those documents, for example, recommend gay-straight alliance clubs and participation in the Gay Pride parades, among other events run by homosexual activists.
Catholic teaching, as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, insists that homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” but also affirms that homosexual inclinations are “objectively disordered” and homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity.” While the Church has condemned any unjust discrimination against homosexuals, it has also affirmed that there is just discrimination, for example in not allowing homosexual adoption or marriage.
“The Ministry of Education and the Ontario Human Rights Commission do not accept the Catholic moral distinctions between ‘just’ and ‘unjust’ discrimination and between ‘inclination’ and homosexual behavior,” says Cauchi.
He says it appears the equity strategy “will require Catholic school boards and their principals and teachers to ‘discipline’ Catholic students who promote and support the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, and the boards and school authorities, in turn, to discipline those principals and teachers who might refuse to do so.”
He foresees, for example, that principals and teachers could be barred from welcoming chastity speakers.
But even if Catholics are not explicitly disciplined for promoting Church teaching on homosexuality, he says the equity policy will “most certainly” have a “chilling effect” on their efforts.
“Many Catholic school authorities and teachers, particularly those who already dissent from Catholic moral teachings, are likely to point to the EIE in an effort to persuade their colleagues and the students to at least ‘water down’ their expression of, and expression of support for, authentic Catholic teaching.”
“Dissenters in authority” at the Catholic boards, he says, will claim that promoting Catholic teaching violates Ontario’s human rights code, and thereby “intimidate their colleagues and the students into moving in this direction.”
“A reasonable Ministry of Education would honestly concede that it does not have the constitutional authority to coerce Catholic school authorities, teachers, and their students into behaving as if they believed that homosexual acts or behaviour could be ‘moral’, and end this debacle,” Cauchi writes. “But the Ministry of Education and the education establishment that feeds it are not reasonable. They have been fully co-opted by a special interest group.”
“It is therefore likely that nothing less than legal action against the Ministry of Education will stop it from imposing this radical agenda upon Catholic school boards,” he adds.
See Geoff Cauchi’s complete 24-page report here.