In the past few days, we learned of a ban on Gay-Straight Alliances in the Halton Catholic School District . Fortunately, almost immediately after this news hit the media, a Board policy group recommended rescinding the ban.
It now remains to be seen what will happen in practice, whether students will be permitted to form LGBT groups – in the Halton Catholic School District and elsewhere.
If you are a Canadian high school student looking to create a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) or other LGBT group in your school and you are being blocked by your school authorities, you may be interested to know your rights:
- Like all people in Canada, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects you.
- You have a right to equality – in our view, this means that if other students have clubs that empower them, and allow them to discuss and share experiences about their topics of interest, so do you.
- You have a right to freedom of association – to get together with people of your choosing. Schools might prohibit groups that exclude others – but GSAs are generally bodies that seek to include members of the LGBT community and their supporters.
In order to support you and protect your rights, we invite you to contact CCLA if these rights are being violated.
Noa Mendelsohn Aviv
Director, Equality Program