Last week Canada’s Education Minister released an open letter to LGBT students promising them that their rights would be respected:
“You have the right to create a gay-straight alliance or a queer-straight alliance, and you have the right to name your clubs this way,” Eggen wrote. “You have the right to use the washroom that is consistent with your gender identity.”
He provided an email to contact his staff “who can help you ensure your rights are being respected.”
But Pastor Brian Coldwell, whose organization runs two Alberta schools which receive lots of funding from the province, has other plans:
Coldwell said students who don’t agree with his board’s conservative Christian values could attend other schools.
“We’re not saying that the gay community doesn’t have any rights,” he said. “But they just don’t have the right to come in here and push their agenda, or what you might call the rainbow ideology.
“There’s a big difference between protecting students and the promotion of a lifestyle.”
If the Independent Christian Education Society were paying for their own schools, that’d be one thing. But they’re not:
Earlier this year, Education Minister David Eggen instructed boards to submit LGBTQ draft policies by the end of March. Some boards resisted, and in the case of the Edmonton Catholic School Board, Eggen appointed a consultant to help shape its new transgender policy.
“I’m not going to allow the minister of education to appoint anyone to come in here — he does not have that dictatorial power,” said Coldwell, whose board receives between 60 and 70 per cent of its instructional funding from the province.
To justify this, Coldwell implied that due to their nature some of his students are corrupted:
“I have a duty as a pastor to protect the flock of God,” said pastor Brian Coldwell, chair of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society, which runs two schools in rural Parkland County with a total of 200 students. “And there is no way under heaven I’m going to allow gay activists to come in here and basically undermine our ministries and our religious freedoms or confuse and corrupt our children.”
If you’re telling the kids that there’s something contemptible or wrong about being LGBT, then it’s not the government doing the corrupting here, buddy (and the corollary is that it’s not you saving the kids from the government).