Skip to comments.Canada OKs pro-'gay' books for kids
Posted on 12/28/2002 12:34:17 AM PST by JohnHuang2
A public school system that claims to promote diversity and tolerance should not ban books that advocate same-sex relationships to kindergartners, Canada's Supreme Court has ruled.
The high court said the Surrey School Board in British Columbia, near Vancouver, must revisit its ban on three books that also have stirred controversy in the U.S. "Asha's Mums," "One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dads, Blue Dads" and "Belinda's Bouque."
The case began in 1997, when an openly gay kindergarten teacher attempted to have the books approved as a learning resource. The school board's ban drew 5,000 letters of support from parents and just 1,000 in opposition.
However, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin wrote in the 7-2 ruling on Dec. 20 that, "Parental views, however important, cannot override the imperative placed upon the British Columbia public schools to mirror the diversity of the community and teach tolerance and understanding of difference."
Opponents said the high court essentially is marginalizing parents with religious convictions.
"The result of the majority decision is that if religious parents have moral objections to material taught in schools, there is no room for them to have any meaningful accommodation," said Janet Epp Buckingham, general legal counsel for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.
"The only accommodation the chief justice mentions for religious parents is the option of leaving the public system altogether," the evangelical lawyer said. "This is not an acceptable option if public schools are to be welcoming to all."
The high court said the Surrey School Board "violated the principles of secularism and tolerance" in Section 76 of British Columbia's School Act, which mandates a "secular education."
"Instead of proceeding on the basis of respect for all types of families," said the court, "the board proceeded on an exclusionary philosophy, acting on the concern of certain parents about the morality of same-sex relationships, without considering the interest of same-sex parented families and the children who belong to them in receiving equal recognition and respect in the school system."
The Catholic Civil Rights League insisted, however, that "the court's reasoning fails to recognize that the allowance of such materials likewise offends others in a pluralistic society, who have reason to expect that their views will not be trumped by the promotion of gay parenting relationships by gay-activist educators as normative."
The court argued that "Section 76 does not limit in any way the freedom of parents and board members to adhere to a religious doctrine that condemns homosexuality."
But it said the law "does prohibit the translation of such doctrine into policy decisions by the board, to the extent that they reflect a denial of the validity of other points of view."
There is no difficulty in reconciling the School Act's commitment to secularism with freedom of religion, the court said.
"Freedom of religion is not diminished, but is safeguarded, by the state's abstention from favoring or promoting any specific religious creed."
'You can't have two mummies'
In Asha's Mums, published in 1990, little Asha becomes embroiled in a discussion at school about her two mothers after bringing back a parental permission form signed by two women. Some classmates say their parents believe having two moms is wrong. But Asha tells them: "My mummies say we're a family because we live together and love each other."
One high court judge, in his consenting opinion, pointed, nevertheless, to the following passage, which "clearly purports to pronounce on the morality of same-sex relationships":
Coreen said "How come you've got two mummies?"
"Because I do," I said.
"You can't have two mummies," Judi insisted.
"Yes she can," Rita said, turning around in her seat.
"Just like you can have two aunts, and two daddies and two grandmas," yelled Diane from across the room.
Diane likes to yell.
"See," I said to Coreen.
"My mum and dad said you can't have two mothers living together. My dad says it's bad," Coreen insisted.
"It's not bad. My mummies said we're a family because we live together and love each other," I said.
"But how come you have two?" Judi asked.
Before I could answer Terrence said to Ms. Samuels, "Is it wrong to have two mummies?"
"Well ..." Ms. Samuels began but Diane yelled, "It's not wrong if they're nice to you and if you like them."
Anna Marie White, policy manager for Focus on the Family Canada, said, "Once again, the rights of parents have been steamrolled by an activist judiciary showing complete intolerance for the views of the many Canadians with deeply held religious convictions,"
White said that "with this ruling, the Supreme Court has declared that regardless of significant parental concern, their children will be subject to an unwelcome and complex sexual issue."
White also argued that the ruling is contrary to recent moves by the British Columbia government to include more parental involvement in the education system.
"This decision strikes directly against that principle," she said. "We urge the provincial government to immediately amend the School Act to ensure that the values held by many parents that they teach at home are not being contradicted in the classroom."
Here is an excellent refutation of the basis of this decision, written December 1998: Court Misunderstands the Meaning of "Secular" written by Canada's private Centre for Cultural Renewal
In order to make it easier for the government to replace the parents as the teacher of values, morals and ethics. A socialistic necessity for a homogenized and obedient society.
Blacque Jacques Shellacque.
An imperative straight from the pits of hell that only a tyrant would dare voice.
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