HALTON, Ontario, January 11, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The homosexual activist recently elected as a trustee to the Halton Catholic District School Board has launched a campaign to overturn the board’s new equity policy, which had won praise from pro-family groups for its explicit protections of Catholic teaching.
Paul Marai, who is the board’s first openly-homosexual trustee, says he will raise the issue of overturning the board’s ban on gay-straight alliances (GSAs), which was included in the equity policy, at a policy meeting Tuesday evening.
“The decision to ban Gay-Straight alliances was inappropriate and should be reversed,” he writes on his website. “I want to know why the past board was wasting time enacting this ban in the first place – wasting time dividing people when we can concentrate on actually improving the schools we represent.”
For the ban to be repealed it must go to a vote before the whole board, and the next meeting is January 18th.
LSN has learned that an organized campaign by homosexual activists is underway to lobby the trustees, who are expecting a huge turnout for tonight’s policy meeting. They have all received dozens of emails from homosexual activists throughout North America.
The board passed the equity policy in November in response to a province-wide mandate from the Ontario government called the equity and inclusive education strategy. The ban on GSAs was included after a directive from the Ontario bishops, which stated that the clubs “imply a self-identification with sexual orientation that is often premature among high school students.” The policy also included explicit wording to prevent instruction that undermines Catholic teaching in the area of homosexuality.
The policy was passed, however, before the new trustees from the October election were installed. According to the National Post, several members of the new board have vowed to overturn the ban. In particular, pro-family groups warned in December that Marai, who was among the new trustees, would use his influence to overturn the policy.
“We warned them that this would be coming down the pipe and here it is,” said Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition. “The Halton board did a very good job with their policy. Now we need them to stick to their guns.”
“Trustees have a duty to support parents in their effort to promote Catholic faith and morals,” Hughes continued. “We pray that they won’t sell out on these kids in the face of pressure from homosexual activists.”
“We are still hoping and praying the Catholic bishops of Ontario will play a leadership role in this and protect Catholic teaching in the schools,” he added.
The Halton policy has garnered international attention in the last week after board chair Alice Ann Lemay defended it in an interview with the Canadian homosexualist paper Xtra. “We don’t have Nazi groups either. … Gay-straight alliances are banned because they are not within the teachings of the Catholic Church,” she is reported to have said. “If a gay student requests a gay-straight alliance they would be denied. … It’s not in accordance with the teachings of the church. If they wanted to have a club outside of school, fine, just not in school.”
Though she later said the comments were taken “out of context,” they sparked vehement denunciations from homosexualist groups such as Egale, and the homosexualist social action platform Change.org launched a petition against the ban. The media coverage provoked a slew of anti-Catholic blog posts, and it even caught the attention of homosexual celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. A Facebook group to “fight” the ban has attracted nearly 300 members, and apparently a protest is being planned for the next board meeting.
Even after pressure, the board had defended the ban in a January 7th statement, saying they oppose GSAs because they “necessitate students to self-identify according to sexual orientation,” while the Church “neither defines nor catalogues [people] according to their sexual orientation.”
Yet, LeMay told the Globe and Mail Monday that she’s not sure how she’ll vote at Tuesday’s meeting.
Suresh Dominic of Campaign Life Catholic warned that the GSAs could “undermine the faith of Catholic youth who, in being caused to doubt one core moral teaching, may come to doubt other fundamental Catholic Christian beliefs.”
Contrary to claims that GSAs merely promote a safe environment for students, Dominic said the clubs “tend to agitate for the normalization and affirmation of the gay lifestyle, something which would clearly violate Catholic moral doctrine.”
Dominic called on concerned individuals to contact the Halton trustees by phone and e-mail.
LifeSiteNews did not hear back from the Diocese of Hamilton by press time.
Neil MacCarthy, spokesman for Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto, said they are discussing the issue among the various education partners, but have no comment at this time.
To respectfully voice concerns:
Alice Anne LeMay (905) 632-6300 [email protected]
Jane Micheal (905) 319-6582 [email protected]
Arlene Lantomasi (905) 529-6155 [email protected]
John Morrison (905) 639-4718 [email protected]
Mark Rowe (905) 877-9510 [email protected]
Ed Viana (905) 632-6300 [email protected]
Diane Rabenda (905) 632-6300 [email protected]
Anthony Danko (905) 825-9159 [email protected]
Most Rev. Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton
700 King Street West
Hamilton, ON L8P 1C7
Tel: (905) 528-7988
Fax: (905) 528-1088
E-mail: [email protected]
Most Rev. Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto
President, Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario
1155 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4T 1W2
Tel: (416) 934-3400 #609
Fax: (416) 934-3452
E-mail: [email protected]