TORONTO, ON November 16, 2017 – The Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) joins the many parents, independent schools, and the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association (ACSTA) in opposition to Bill 24, An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances, which passed into law on November 15. It was unanimously supported by the NDP government and unanimously opposed by the United Conservative Party (UCP).
Gay-Straight Alliances must, by force of law, be established in all of Alberta’s schools, including independent Catholic schools if requested by a student. Furthermore, parents cannot be notified of their children’s involvement in GSAs.
The League views this as an overreach by the government into the governance of Catholic schools and the interests of parents in relationship to their own children. Catholic schools must be run by Catholic boards and their established system of governance, which includes its own elected officials, the Alberta Catholic School Trustees.
We applaud ACSTA’s opposition to An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances. The CCRL stands with Catholic educators who recognize the unacceptable incursion by the state into the governance of Catholic schools.
At the heart of Catholic teaching is the profound dignity of all human beings from conception until natural death. From the early centuries of the faith to present time, Catholic schools, like Catholic hospitals and other institutions, have provided outstanding care to millions of people, not only Catholics. On every continent Catholic hospitals and schools are ranked among the best.
There are ways of caring for students who are in crisis, or students who are being bullied, that do not require a Gay-Straight Alliance, tenets of which cannot be reconciled with Catholic teaching on the nature of love and sexuality. An ideologically driven arrogance is at the core of the imposition of GSAs into schools, contrary to Catholic teaching and parental rights, while other means are available to care for at risk students.
Catholic schools must never violate our Church’s teachings. Catholic schools must resist the imposition of GSAs.
About the CCRL
Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) (www.ccrl.ca) assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. The CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization with a large nationwide membership base. The CCRL is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.
For further information:
Christian Domenic Elia, PhD
CCRL Executive Director