A high school student told us that her Catholic parish hosted a collection of signatures against Bill 13 ("The Accepting Schools Act"), which was presented to the provincial Legislative Assembly by the Government of Ontario.
Among other measures related to anti-bullying, Bill 13: i) is meant to "promote a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting of all pupils (...)"; ii) calls every board to "support pupils who want to establish and lead (...) activities or organizations that promote the awareness and understanding of, and respect for, people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including organizations with the name gay-straight alliance or another name." (The whole document can be found at: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=2549&detailPage=bills_detail_the_bill&Intranet=
The student, who identifies herself as a Catholic LGBT person, was very distressed - she did not understand why parishioners were against Bill 13.
We started this petition in support of Bill 13 to show the student and other LGBT youth that we (who are also Catholics) recognize their right to be respected and accepted as they are. We also believe that avoiding the word "gay" in schools provides the youth with a harmful message: message of shame and non-acceptance.
The Accepting Schools Act (Bill 13) will make schools in Ontario safer for, and accepting of, all pupils. It will make a real difference in the lives of students, especially the ones that identify themselves as LGBTQ.
We support the Accepting Schools Act (Bill 13).