We hear a lot about the religious right in the US who campaign against equal rights and protection for people who are bullied for sexual orientation. Here in Canada, we like to pretend that we are a kinder and gentler nation without the worst of the bigotry that afflicts our southern neighbours. Maybe overall we are, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have groups that feel they are above the law because of their religious beliefs.
First of all, bullying of all sorts including sexual harassment and racial discrimination is considered by the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) to be major public health problems in Canada’s elementary, middle and high schools. Bullying can be particularly acute for LGBT youth.
Sexual minority youth (gay, lesbian, bisexual) and questioning youth (individuals who experience uncertainty about their sexual orientation) report more experiences of victimization by bullying, sexual harassment and physical abuse than heterosexual adolescents. It is common for boys to use homophobic harassment against other boys in school settings, beginning in early adolescence.A U.S. study suggests that teachers rarely intervene when they witness these incidents.
Among these youth, the consequences can be severe.
According to Statistics Canada, close to 600 youth between age 10 and 24 die by suicide every year. Numerous studies suggest that among lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) youth, approximately 32 per cent contemplate or attempt suicide (compared to seven per cent of all youth). But researchers and LGB advocates say it’s not their sexuality that leads these kids down a suicidal path – it’s the stigma and discrimination they face in a heterosexual world.
Of course saving lives is irrelevant to many Christians, and interfering in their ‘right’ to bully is an example of totalitarianism.
When a state leader decrees a “value” to supersede all other values he sounds totalitarian. In a free and democratic society values stem from the people to the state, not the state to the people. Ontarians have not been clamouring for a new law that would override the separation of church and state, with the state dictating to Catholic Schools that they must teach a radical pro-gay sex education program and support clubs that promote homosexuality. Ontarians have not been asking the state to force Churches renting public school facilities to follow this provincial doctrine. This new “value” comes directly from the Premier.
Recently Ontario’s Premier Dalton McGuinty seized the opportunity to write his radical six gender sex education in the new ant-bullying law. Everyone agrees that bullying is a serious threat to children and must be combated with strong, stiff programs and penalties. Victims must be loved, cared for and respected. Children’s lives depend on it. Unfortunately the Premier is using everyone’s good will to advance his agenda.
A 2011 report from the US shows that LGBT, as well as other youth who have home and community support are less likely to attempt suicide.
The study in Monday’s issue of the journal Pediatrics found LBG youth living in a social environment more supportive of gays and lesbians were 20 per cent less likely to attempt suicide than LGB youth living in environments that were less supportive.
A supportive environment was associated with a nine per cent lower rate of attempted suicide among heterosexual students.
“The results of this study are pretty compelling,” said study author Mark Hatzenbuehler of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.
“When communities support their gay young people, and schools adopt anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies that specifically protect lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, the risk of attempted suicide by all young people drops, especially for LGB youth.”
So why do these Christians oppose Gay Straight student alliances and other anti-bullying programs? Because it interferes with their concept that gays and lesbians need to be SAVED and brought to Jesus. They are afraid that their tactics of hell-fire and brimstone for the sexually impure will not be allowed in schools, and ultimately in our society. A copy of the bill can be found here, and examples of lies about the contents are below.
In their minds, the very existence of GSA clubs in schools promotes sex.
Dan McCash, a member of Campaign Life Coalition, said Catholics are being bullied into allowing “homosexual sex clubs.” McCash believes a GSA is the same as a gay bathhouse. “I’m going by my past observations of these clubs, which are places where people meet and have their sexual encounters when they want to have them and meet people of a like mind,” he said.
Preventing their right to bully is an affront to their religious freedom. Acceptance is difficult for those who believe they have a mandate from God to make everyone else in their own image. Children learn from example and from the example set by these people people, God smiles on people who are lying, anti-gay, and pro-bullying, and frowns on those who want to help those who need protection.