June 22nd, 2024

Act of cruelty to deny GSAs

By Letter to the Editor on July 2, 2018.

On June 20 a Court of Queen’s Bench justice in Medicine Hat heard an application from faith-based schools and parents to stay the operation of certain sections of the Alberta School Act pending determination of their constitutionality by the Court. The disputed sections concern mainly the creation of Gay Straight Alliances in schools and manner and degree to which a school is obligated to inform parents of the existence of such groups and the identities of their members.

Imagine the angst experienced by LGBT students of religious fundamentalist parents if those parents discover their orientation. These fundamentalists believe, according to Leviticus 20:13, that “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

Wikipedia declares that “While some people believe that homosexual activity is unnatural, scientific research has shown that homosexuality is a normal and natural variation in human sexuality and is not in and of itself a source of negative psychological effects.”

The people from whom LGBT students expect and deserve the greatest love and understanding may actually fear that their parents will execute them if their natural inclinations are revealed. If the parents are not prepared to go that far, they may take Leviticus to justify beating the “sin” out of their children or subjecting them to conversion therapy.

Wikipedia asserts that “Researchers point out that corporal punishment typically has the opposite effect, leading to more aggressive behavior in children and less long-term obedience. Other adverse effects, such as depression, anxiety, anti-social behaviour and increased risk of physical abuse, have also been linked to the use of corporal punishment by parents” and “there is virtually no reliable evidence that sexual orientation can be changed and medical bodies warn that conversion therapy practices are ineffective and potentially seriously harmful.”

Those of the LGBT community are our fellow human beings. Many have led lives rife with both psychological and physical abuse. They, like all of us, deserve happiness. If a GSA at their school will assist them in this regard, it is an act of cruelty for society to deny it to them.

It is worth quoting Bertrand Russell from his essay ‘Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?’

“The worst feature of the Christian religion, however, is its attitude towards sex, an attitude so morbid and so unnatural that it can be understood only when taken in relation to the sickness of the civilized world at the time the Roman Empire was decaying.”

Fred Lewis

Medicine Hat

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