Thunder Bay Bishop says schools will honour Bill 13
Thunder Bay’s Catholic Bishop says Catholic schools in the northwest will honour requests for gay-straight alliances if students ask for them.
Bishop Fred Colli added that qualified adults will oversee any clubs to ensure Catholic values reflected.
"We will remind the students about the teachings of the Catholic church and about what the Catholic faith expects of them and also about what our Catholic values are because that’s the basis of our schools," Colli said.
Colli said those values include the lesson that "if they want to engage in that kind of homosexual lifestyle, there will be challenges to them because our church doesn't really support that kind of lifestyle."
But Colli added, the Catholic faith also teaches that all people deserve respect and dignity.
He noted that Catholic teachers in Ontario were issued pastoral guidelines several years ago about how to support students who "perceive" themselves as homosexual.
"So the whole idea of the [gay-straight alliance] to support kids who are confused and ask questions is something that's just lately...but we've already had that kind of support in our schools for years," Colli said.
His comments follow Ontario's anti-bullying bill, also known as Bill 13 or the Accepting Schools Act, passed through the legislature Tuesday.
The bill ensures that schools allow students to call anti-homophobia clubs gay-straight alliances.