The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) warns that Ontario’s anti-bullying Bill 13 could violate the rights of Catholic and private religious schools if it requires them to act contrary to their beliefs.

Evangelicals defend Catholics over GSA bill

By 
  • March 6, 2012

OTTAWA - The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) warns that Ontario’s anti-bullying Bill 13 could violate the rights of Catholic and private religious schools if it requires them to act contrary to their beliefs.

In an 18-page resource for parents, the EFC praises the approach taken by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association’s Respecting Difference policy because it “addresses all forms of bullying equally” and complies with existing federal and provincial human rights laws.

Bill 13 requires all publicly funded schools to have gay-straight alliances, it says. Though the schools may use a different name, the groups must be issue-specific.

“Rather than learn about their differences and recognize their commonalities through equity clubs, this bill specifically sets out to isolate students into issue-specific groups,” the EFC, a national association for evangelical churches, institutions, charities and individuals, says. “Parents, churches and others need to be engaged. The foundation of our free and democratic society includes respect for all persons.”

The EFC adds the bill will “violate the individual religious freedom of families and the institutional religious and associational freedoms of religious schools and boards.”

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