BURNABY, British Columbia, August 18, 2011 ( – Equity policies purporting to combat “homophobia” amount to “ethical cleansing” that aim to eliminate opposing moral views, says the Catholic Civil Rights League of British Columbia.

In a July 6th letter, CCRL BC Director Sean Murphy criticized the BC Civil Liberties Association’s support for an equity policy that passed in the Burnaby school board in June.  The policy aims to combat “heterosexism,” which it defines as the “assumption that all people are heterosexual and that heterosexuality is superior and more desirable for all people than any other sexual orientation.”

Murphy invited the BCCLA to join them in signing a new Declaration on the Authority of Parents and Guardians in the Education of their Children, which they say is a non-denominational statement of principles offered to all people of good will.

“The Declaration is not specific to the Catholic Church or Catholic teaching,” said Murphy. “It cites numerous international conventions and declarations that have been signed by many nations, including Canada.”

The Declaration affirms that “the authority of parents and guardians to direct the education of their own children must be fully respected and accommodated by the state and by all those involved in education.”

In his letter to the BCCLA, Murphy said that by their urging the Burnaby school board to adopt a policy to combat heterosexism and homophobia, they appear to support “the use of state schools to inculcate acceptance of what you believe to be morally superior views of sexuality, and to eliminate or at least silence and marginalize opposing moral views.”

“What is sought is not just the safe educational environment desired by all reasonable and compassionate people, but ethical cleansing,” he added.

Murphy also observed that government-run education has “provided the state or other powerful interests the means to bring their power to bear on fundamental freedoms.  Unlike law, education is intended to get directly at interior dispositions, opinions, and beliefs of citizens.”

Under equity policies like that in Burnaby, he says, “persons in authority are to use their considerable influence and power over minors in their care not only to suppress language and behaviour deemed ‘unacceptable’ by a state institution, but to inculcate what the state institution considers to be ‘acceptable’ attitudes and ideas.”

“It is now time to recognize that parents are the first line of defence against the abuse of state power in education, and the first protectors, not just of children, but of civil liberties,” he asserts.

Find the Catholic Civil Rights League’s Declaration here, and their letter to the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association here.