All schools in Ontario, Canada will soon have to allow Gay-Straight Alliances. Bill 13, or the Accepting Schools Act, passed in the legislature today by a margin of 65-36. Only Canada’s conservative party, the Progressive Conservatives, voted against the measure, which also faced opposition from Catholic schools.
According to CBC News, any group of students who wishes to form anti-homophobia groups in their schools are now legally permitted to do so, and cannot be prevented from using the word “gay” in the title of their Gay-Straight Alliance.
Catholic schools strongly opposed the bill, saying it infringed on their constitutional right to practice their religious ideals within their educational system. They also claimed the bill was a ploy for the government to pull funding from schools that did not comply.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty stated his belief that schools will come to understand the value of the bill, saying,
“There are values that transcend any one faith. And if you talk to parents, they’ll tell you. They want their kids to be respected and accepted, they want their schools to be caring places, ideally we’d like to see them as a bit of an extension of the home in terms of the comfort level that our kids might enjoy inside their school.”
You’d think a school espousing the word of Christ of would be as compassionate. Ha!