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My New Hero: Alice Anne LeMay!

Rob Tisinai

January 7th, 2011

A Catholic school district in Canada has banned gay-straight alliance clubs.  Says school board chair Alice Anne LeMay:

Gay-straight alliances are banned because they are not within the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Okay.  I mean, it’s a Catholic school, after all.  I’ll have second thoughts if they’re receiving taxpayer funds, but so far it’s a pretty straightforward explanation of the ban, one that many (most?) straight North Americans would find quite reasonable.  This sort of opposition is the hardest for us to fight.

But there’s more.

Here’s the full quote:

We don’t have Nazi groups either. Gay-straight alliances are banned because they are not within the teachings of the Catholic Church.

YES!!  Way to equate gay 14-year-olds with the most brutal mass murderers the planet has ever seen!

Alice Anne Lemay
Unintentional hero in the battle for equality

Thank you Alice Anne LeMay, thank you.  Not everyone can make our opponents look so ridiculous in so few words.

I can’t resist taking a little time to explain why her comment is so offensive — offensive and illogical.  Her reasoning only makes sense if it works like this:

We don’t allow [something mild], so why would we allow [something more extreme]?

For instance, it makes sense to say:

We don’t allow soft drinks on campus, so why would we allow tequila?

It makes no sense to say:

We don’t allow tequila on campus, so why would we allow soft drinks?

But Alice Anne LeMay has it backwards.  We don’t allow kids to celebrate the most extreme incarnation of evil our culture can name, so why would we allow gay clubs?

This only works if you think gays are worse than Nazis. I am sure I would bet I hope Alice Anne LeMay doesn’t see it that way, which is what makes her comment so dumb.

Anyway, thank you Alice Anne LeMay.  Every time someone like you makes such an asinine comparison, our job gets a little easier.

Comments

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David Farrell
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

If they did have a Nazi club on campus I guess their current pope would be a member. After all, he was a member when he was a youth.

Timothy Kincaid
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

According to the GSANetwork,

The goal of a GSA is to provide a safe, supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) and straight ally youth to meet and discuss sexual orientation and gender identity issues, and to work to create a school environment free of discrimination, harassment, and intolerance.

And, as Alice Anne LeMay rightly notes, a school environment free of discrimination, harassment, and intolerance is not within the teachings of the Catholic Church.

occono
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

They do receive public funding under Canadian law, I believe.

TampaZeke
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid,

BINGO!

+1

KZ
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

Ten bucks says she has Lively’s “Pink Swastika” on the bookshelf in her studies.

John
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

Yep, Ontario Catholic schools do receive public funding, at least if WikiPedia is correct: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separate_school#Ontario

B John
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

I guess that means the Pope is banned. Congrats to her for finally taking a principled stand, and banning the Pope.

I can see why she is your new hero. Mine too if she means what she says abouting banning Nazis…you know, like the Pope.

toujoursdan
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

There is no separation of church and state in Canada like in the U.S. So in some provinces like Ontario, Catholic schools (but no other denomination) receive taxpayer funds. In others, they don’t.

CBC.ca: Faith-based schools:
How provincial governments finance religious schools

They’ve also been under increasing pressure to conform to non-discrimination laws.

Ben in Oakland
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

Well don’t she just Jabba the Hutt all over tarnation? I mean, she sounds just like him her when he was freezing up poor Hand Solo.

Actually, the catholic church did quite well out of hitler’s two very good friends, Francisco Franco and Benito Mussolini, though I don’t think either of them had anything about jews.

Pope Piux VI– I’m pretty sure that’s him, though there have been so many of them that they have to number them– has had books written about him, the church, the Nazis, and the whole, forgive the word, megillah.

Ben in Oakland
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

Not to mention, a good 1500 years of officially sanctioned by the church anti-semitism, which Martin Luther inherited, followed by Mr. H.

Emily K
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

It’s Pius the XII, and he did nothing while the Jews were taken from the ghetto in Rome.

Coincidentally, he’s also the last pope recognized by Mel Gibson’s church.

Johnp
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

Too bad the Nazis killed off so many of the gays they held in concentration camps, or someone may be able to more personally tell this lady off. I am kind of curious if she is completely cluesless instead of just completely heartless.

Campbell
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

The Catholic Church did recognize and work with the Nazis. They were an official ally and had a representative at the Holy See.
Considering that European Anti-Semitism was a Catholic product, how they became a friend of Israel is corruption beyond redemption.
Ask any Jew from the Vichy regime that is if you can find one…
The church gave French “Free” government the green flag to deport Jews and Homosexuals without fear of committing a sin.

Ben in Oakland
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

Thanks, emily. Can’t kreep track of them.

but if it was pius 12 instead of 6, does that means he’s twice as good? Or does it work like wire– the larger the number the smaller the heart?

Timothy Kincaid
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

but if it was pius 12 instead of 6, does that means he’s twice as good?

No. Just twice as pious.

Ben in Oakland
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

Or, as I put it in another context,

Oh Pious P(onti)us Pilate.

Ben in Oakland
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

oops.

Oh, Pious P(ont)ius Pilate.

L. Junius Brutus
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

Emily K: “It’s Pius the XII, and he did nothing while the Jews were taken from the ghetto in Rome.”

Are you kidding? First, the ghettoes had already been abolished. And Pius XII did everything he could, and even used the Vatican’s funds to pay the Nazis to leave the Jews alone. The Chief Rabbi of Rome did not convert to Catholicism and adopt Pius’ first name Eugenio for no reason.

You don’t need to like the Catholic Church, or Pius XII for that matter, but at least stop spreading pure slander that every serious historian rejects.

Campbell: “Ask any Jew from the Vichy regime that is if you can find one…”

I’m pretty sure that Jews from the Vichy regime had a much better survival chance than Jews elsewhere in Europe, due to Vichy’s proximity to Spain and the flaws of French recordkeeping.

Rob Feeney
January 7th, 2011 | LINK

I went through the Catholic School system right through to the old grade 13 back in the ’70s and my school, staffed in part by clergy, was openly supportive of gay rights in general and gay individuals in particular.

I remember one priest telling my grade twelve religion class that the editor of “The Body Politic” (now known as “Extra”) was a graduate of the school and that the staff were very proud of him. He actually said he hoped that, in some way, this graduate’s experience at the school had helped instill the courage and self esteem that allowed him to “be himself” (The expression ‘coming out’ was not yet in common parlance in them days).Alice

Anne LeMay and her gang at the Halton board are not brave. They are lazy. They lack empathy and understanding. They are burying their heads in the sand. The bible and the Catholic Church are not something to hide behind blindly. Change takes time and only happens when people expect and demand it.

The Catholic School boards of Ontario are fully funded by the Province and have an obligation, regardless of the religious implications to uphold the same standard of tolerance and acceptance as any other government organization.

By openly banning GSA groups for the reasons given the Halton Board is in direct contravention of Provincial Policies on equity. Want to see the facts Anne? Maybe you better leaf through this document again. I’m sure there must be a copy of it somewhere in your building: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/inclusiveguide.pdf

Fiona
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

Rob,
You might want to adjust your post to include the fact that Catholic schools in Ontario at least (and I believe in most of Canada) are publicly funded separate schools. They receive taxpayer money from the government. When we enrolled our children in school (not the Catholic school district) we had to sign a form stating our tax money would go to the non Catholic public school district. Those parent sending their children to the Catholic schools sign forms directing their tax dollars to the Catholic school district.
Also, the Halton Catholic School District is on VERY shaky ground here. They are defying The Charter of Rights and Freedoms which does not allow this type of discrimination. All it would take is one person or group to take this issue to court. They would lose. It has already happened for similar issues in other school districts.

Phil
January 8th, 2011 | LINK

I used a similar logic in deciding to no longer attend Catholic Mass, even on Christmas. I said, “I would not attend a Klan rally, even if family members wanted to go. I will not attend Catholic Mass.”

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