host picture

  | Bookmark and Share

Gay-straight alliance

Matt Galloway spoke with John Del Grande. He is a Toronto Catholic District School Board trustee.
Listen audio (runs 11:33)

Letters from the audience

Mr. Del Grande tried hard to set up smoke-screens to justify banning the name "gay straight alliance" in schools. His reference to American political advocacy groups and "politicization" is a pathetic attempt to cover up the Toronto Archdiocese's real agenda: to continue portraying homosexuality as sinful. Publicly funded schools including the Catholic schools in Ontario need to follow provincial policy or be defunded.
-Rudy Mumm

Hey, Matt:
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives every one the right to have their own religious beliefs.
As long as Catholic schools are treating gays with respect and preventing and punishing bullying, then where is the problem? They're exercising their Charter rights.
-James Buss

As a person of faith and public school teacher, I believe that every person is of worth, and should not be bullied. However, I'm wondering how all perspectives and beliefs can be respected.
While gay students should be allowed to be who they are, so should students from faith or cultural perspectives. It seems to me, even listening to the interview this morning, that faith perspectives do not get the same respect as is being expected for gay-straight alliances. Please check this interesting link to article written by a leading U.S. gay rights activitist.
-James Rhee

So, what club are the straight kids who are being bullied supposed to turn to? If I were a straight student being bullied, I wouldn't join a gay club and expose myself to further ridicule. I may support a gay friend, but where's MY anti-bullying club?
-Mark

An important aspect of Mr. Galloway's conversation with Trustee Del Grande this morning regarded specific words and language. I found that quite interesting since Mr. Galloway, and your entire on air morning staff, repeatedly call Cardinal Thomas Collins by an incorrect title.
As of February 18, 2012, Cardinal Collins is no longer the Archbishop. Unless Cardinal Collins, or someone from his staff, has indicated otherwise, you are disrespecting him, and his position, by not referring to him as Cardinal.
Sincerely,
Joseph Rosinski

In my earlier email, I made an error that I wish to amend. The proper title of his Eminence is Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto.
To refer to him, solely, as Archbishop is still incorrect.
Thank you,
Joseph Rosinski

Aren't we conflating bullying and homophobia? Lots of straight kids are bullied as well. Bullies go after *anyone* they don't like for *any* reason - too tall, too short, too thin, too fat, too smart, too dumb, too dark, too light, too graceful, too clumsy, - and, of course, the old standby, "wrongly" dressed.
If these gay-straight alliances are anti-bullying clubs, why not call them anti-bullying clubs? If, on the other hand, their purpose is to boost the self-esteem of LGBT students, why not say so, and form an anti-bullying club as well? Let's not ignore the kids who are being bullied for everything other than being gay.
- Alice

Joseph Rosinski is precisely wrong. The Catholic Archbishop of Toronto is Cardinal Thomas Collins. The title "cardinal" is personal and does not affect his rank as archbishop. "Cardinal Collins" or "the Archbishop" are equally appropriate in speaking of him.
As for freedom of religion in the Constitution, it applies to citizens and not to school boards. No citizen's freedom of religion is abridged by permitting gay students in RC schools to call their groups "gay-straight alliances."
It is probably the case that the original purpose of funding religious schools in Ontario with taxes was to give them control of religious education only, not the rest of the curriculum and certainly not extra-curricular matters. The courts will decide.
-Patrick Clare

I am staff advisor for a GSA group at Richview Collegiate in Etobicoke. So far, the group has chosen to call itself a Postitive Space group for fear of homophobia reprisals from other students. However, they are tired of hiding behind this facade.
They are getting ready to 'come out' and actually call it like it is: a Gay-Straight Alliance.
Incidentally, were one of 3 'GSAs" in the TDSB to win the director's award for a working GSA in a high school. The students and I are so grateful for the support we've received within the school and the acknowledgement we received from our own director of education. I couldn't work in a system that silences children's voices.
-Sharon Miller