Newfoundland teams up with homosexual activist group to promote gay-straight alliances
ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland, January 24, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - After major efforts in British Columbia and Ontario, the push for gay-straight alliances in schools is moving east.
The Newfoundland government announced Monday that they have allocated $90,000 for a new initiative to promote the controversial clubs in the province’s schools.
The government is teaming up with the national activist group Egale to develop a new teacher resource for grades 7-12 called MyGSA that will help schools establish the clubs. Under the partnership, Egale will deliver teacher-training workshops on “LGBT” inclusivity and will produce an Equity and Inclusive Education Resource Kit tailored to the province.
The program, set to be delivered in the spring of 2012, is modeled after a similar one in Ontario, though it appears Kathy Dunderdale’s Progressive Conservative government is taking a less authoritarian tack than Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals.
A press release from Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Education indicates that Education Minister Clyde Jackman has asked school districts to “re-examine” their codes of conduct and adopt specific language about “protecting and respecting” students with “differing sexual orientations.”
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McGuinty’s equity and inclusive education strategy, on the other hand, mandated that all publicly-funded school boards overhaul their policies to ensure inclusivity of homosexuality.
Jackman told CBC that the province has no plans to “mandate” gay-straight alliances in the schools, as McGuinty’s government hopes to do in an anti-bullying bill currently before the Ontario legislature.
“While we are not mandating that schools establish gay-straight alliances, we are certainly encouraging it,” said Jackman. “This resource will assist schools to do so, if they wish. That said, I want to be clear that the protection and support of students of different sexual orientations is not negotiable.”
Helen Kennedy, Egale’s executive director, said the province is the first in Canada to make Egale’s MyGSA resource available to all junior and senior high schools.
“We are delighted to be working with Newfoundland and Labrador on this initiative,” she said. “We are very proud of Newfoundland and Labrador’s commitment to safe and caring schools for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
GSA-advocates argue that the groups aim to provide safe environments in schools for homosexual students, but pro-family activists have charged that the groups encourage the normalization of the homosexual lifestyle, tying youth into a cross-continent network of homosexual activists who encourage them to self-identify as homosexual and then get them engaged in activism.
Egale’s MyGSA.ca website recommends homosexual activist organizations like Outrage!, Stonewall, and PFLAG, as well as pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood. The website’s recommended resources includes a book for teens called Coming Out: A Handbook for Men by Orland Outland that includes sex advice involving grotesque sexual acts such as ‘rimming’ and ‘fisting’.
The government’s initiative, funded by the province’s Violence Prevention Initiative and the Department of Education, is already facing criticism from at least one homosexual activist in the province who says the government needs to go further.
“I think it needs to be mandated, needs to be there. The resources are there now but if you’re too scared to use those resources, it doesn’t matter,” said Noah Davis-Power, an 18-year-old who ran unsuccessfully for the NDP in the fall provincial election.
“We need to go from saying ‘It’s all right to be gay, but you’re still over there.’ That’s what tolerance is, it’s the worst word ever. ‘You have a problem but you can stay.’ You have to work from that to acceptance,” Davis-Power told CBC.
Premier Kathy Dunderdale
Confederation Building, East Block
P.O. Box 8700
St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6
Phone: (709) 729-3570
Fax: (709) 729-5875
Find contact information for members of Newfoundland and Labrador’s House of Assembly.