Patrick Craine

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Toronto school board: Parents can’t opt kids out of pro-homosexual curriculum

Patrick Craine
Patrick Craine
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TORONTO, Ontario, June 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a major attack on parental rights, and a direct violation of the stated policy of the Ontario government, the Toronto District School Board is forbidding parents from opting their kids out of classes treating homosexuality.

Their policy suggests children are forced to join the board’s comprehensive “anti-homophobia” curriculum that promotes Toronto’s raunchy Pride parade to kindergarteners and aims to transform students into social activists by the end of high school.

The school board’s curriculum on “equity” for homosexuals, called ‘Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism’, says parents cannot have their children removed from “human rights education” because of religious reasons.

“If a parent asks for his or her child to be exempted for any discussions of LGBTQ family issues as a religious accommodation, this request cannot be made because it violates the Human Rights Policy,” the document reads.

Religious freedom, they write further, “is not absolute” and religious accommodation in the school board “is carried out in the larger context of the secular education system.”

Similarly, the document says teachers are not allowed to opt out of treating controversial issues in the classroom that would violate their religious beliefs.  “The TDSB is part of the secular public education system. …Teachers refusing to create an inclusive classroom that is safe and supportive for all students would create a poisoned learning environment.”

Furthermore, it says schools ought not to send home notes or permission slips to parents before dealing with “LGBTQ issues” because treating sexual orientation differently in this way could be deemed “discriminatory.”

Phil Lees, the leader of Ontario’s Family Coalition Party, which is the province’s only pro-life and pro-family party, said the Toronto board is acting as though their “authority supersedes the Ministry of Education.”

While Ontario’s Ministry of Education has vigorously promoted “anti-homophobia” education, particularly through their controversial equity and inclusive education strategy, they have also guaranteed parents the right to opt out of controversial classes.

In a 2008 letter, former Education Minister Kathleen Wynne told pro-family activist Ken O’Day, “Should a component of any course conflict with a religious belief held by a parent or a student aged eighteen or older, the right to withdraw from that component of the course shall be granted on the written request of the parent or student.”

“As usual, Toronto is being influenced by only one side of this issue,” said Lees, noting that the board is promoting the government’s “equity” agenda for homosexuals while flouting the government’s call for religious accommodation.

Though the Ministry affords them the right to opt their kids of controversial classes, parents would likely find this difficult to carry out in practice without completely leaving the system.  The Toronto board points out that their “anti-homophobia” plan is a long-term “process” that “permeates the curriculum in all subject areas” and so is not restricted to individual classes.

Their anti-homophobia curriculum employs a pedagogical model called the “James Banks Continuum”, which aims to move the children from merely recognizing the contributions of homosexual “heroes” to a point where they are themselves prepared to engage in “social action” on the issue.

The document profiles major homosexual activists like Brent Hawkes, the Toronto pastor who pushed homosexual “marriage” on Canada through the back-door of the judicial system, and it recommends such controversial organizations as Planned Parenthood, Pride Toronto, PFLAG, and Egale.

Beginning with kindergarten, children are expected to have an initial grasp of homosexual family structures, and are familiarized with terms such as “gay” and “lesbian”.

Activities for junior kindergarten to Grade 3 include a discussion aimed at convincing students of the importance of participating in Toronto’s annual Pride Parade.  Though billed as “family-friendly,” the event has often been labeled a “sex parade,” as it regularly features people walking down the streets semi-nude or completely naked, and homosexuals engaging in public sex acts.

The young students read “Gloria Goes to Gay Pride”, teachers are asked to bring in photos from the parade, and the students are encouraged to make posters for the school board’s parade float.

Other books recommended for JK-3 include “Heather Has Two Mommies” and “King & King & Family”.

In grades 4-6, teachers are encouraged to bring in the raunchy homosexual newspaper Xtra!, which is known for featuring prominent ads with naked men, as part of an activity on stereotyping in the media.  Another activity has students develop an “action plan” to challenge “homophobic attitudes” in their school.

By grade 7, students are engaging in an activity designed to question the notion that homosexuality is a “choice”, and another has students running surveys to assess the “heterosexist/homophobia temperature” of their school and then formulating an action plan to challenge identified “inequities”.  In the end, students are encouraged to organize school-wide activities to raise awareness of “homophobia”.

Lees said that while the school board is treating the Ontario Human Rights Code as absolute, “there are many attending the secular public school system who believe that absolutes are God’s prerogative, not government’s.”

“It would seem that the Toronto District School Board has neither the will, intention, nor the ability to deal with religious accommodations in schools,” he continued.

“This entire problem is the result of a ‘monopoly on education’. It can only be solved by funding of separate religious school boards,” he added, calling on voters to question candidates on this issue leading into October’s provincial election.

A spokesman for the Toronto District School Board was unavailable for comment.  LifeSiteNews.com did not hear back from the Ministry of Education by press time.

See the Toronto District School Board’s “anti-homophobia” curriculum here.

Contact Information:

Hon. Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education
Mowat Block, 22nd Flr, 900 Bay St
Toronto, ON M7A 1L2
Tel: 1-800-387-5514 (TTY 1-800-263-2892)
Fax: 416-325-6348
Email: [email protected]

Elizabeth Witmer, Education Critic
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
Rm 422, Main Legislative Building
Toronto ON M7A 1A8
Tel: 416-325-1306
Fax: 416-325-1329
E-mail: Use this form.

Chris Spence, Director of Education
Toronto District School Board
5050 Yonge Street - 5th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M2N5N8


Email:  [email protected]

Find contact information for all Toronto District School Board trustees here.

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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