So, guess who's against anti-gay bullying in Canada? - Dallas
Anti-Bullying, TBGLQ Rights and the Catholic Church: Battle in Ontario
There has been a battle being waged in Ontario for the past year between those who support TBGLQ rights, including the provincial government of Ontario, Canada, lead by Premier Dalton McGuinty, and those who are stubbornly dedicated to denying to members of the TBGLQ community the complete corpus of rights to which they believe nearly everyone else should be entitled to, the chief representatives of this group being the roman catholic church (RCC) and the Institute for Canadian Values (ICV), lead by the evangelical christian Charles H. McVety, whose father founded the Canada Christian College (CCC). Before I address the controversy at play, I would like to focus on the rationale for the Ontario government’s Anti-Bullying Act (ABA), or Bill 14.
The ABA is being established to prevent all forms of bullying withing the classrooms and schools of Ontarian schools. The rationale is really provided best by Minister of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Laurel C Broten, who is also Minister for Education. I will provide an excerpt below, but the full text can be accessed here.
I’m proud to stand here to tell you that the legislation I am introducing today clearly states that we believe that a healthy, safe and inclusive learning environment, where all students feel accepted, is a necessary condition for student success; that we understand that students cannot be expected to reach their full potential in an environment where they feel insecure or intimidated; that we recognize that a whole-school approach is required; and that everyone has a role to play in creating a positive school climate and preventing inappropriate behaviour, such as bullying, sexual assault, gender-based violence and incidents based on homophobia.
Mr. Speaker, bullying is an underestimated and pervasive problem in our schools and in our communities. The statistics are clear. A 2009 survey of grade 7 to 12 students by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that almost one in three students has been bullied at school. A 2011 national climate survey by Egale found that 64% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students, and 61% of students with LGBTQ parents, felt unsafe at school.
We know that violence against women and girls remains a serious problem, and we know that discrimination based on race continues to persist. Discrimination based on disability remains as well. We believe that all students should feel safe at school and deserve a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, family status or disability. That’s why Ontario is so committed to making our schools safe, inclusive and healthy places for all students.
The ABA, then, is being created in order to help ensure that students attending Ontarian schools are provided with educational practices meant to positively reinforce acceptance and tolerance. This openness and tolerance is being sought for all students, including those who experience bullying because of their race, ethnic origin, creed (religion), sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, family status and others; the ABA is focused on all students, not only gay or TBGLQ students. Notice: the ABA is intended to promote understanding of, and tolerance for, both different religious traditions and for those who are members of the TBGLQ community. [continue]
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