The petition statement:
To the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, in Legislature Assembled:
We, the undersigned residents of Alberta, petition the Legislative Assembly to urge the Government of Alberta to introduce legislation that requires children ages 5 to 15 to obtain parental consent before they become a member of a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) or provide a sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI) self-identification to their school.
Alberta’s Bill 10 – An Act to Amend the Alberta Bill of Rights to Protect Our Children (Mar 2015) and associated changes to the School Act (2016) and more recently to the Education Act (2019), and key Inclusive Education policies, have created an unprecedented and hazardous alteration of the state-parent-child (state-family) relationship. These sexual minority affirmative action laws and policies have created an inappropriate and likely unconstitutional collision of rights, freedoms, and responsibilities, which ultimately put many more Alberta children at risk than those purportedly “protected.” The legal and policy grievances primarily result from the extraordinary rights granted to children, from age 5, while at school, and in secrecy from parent knowledge and/or approval:
- to self-identify Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgendered, Intersexual, Queer, or 2 Spirited etc. and dress/act in accordance with their self-identity and desired self-expression;
- to change their name while on school property including on exam papers and electronic files, although all parent-teacher communication will revert to the original child’s birth names; and
- to join a Gay-Straight Alliance club and/or connect with the Alberta GSA Network.
Here are listed Alberta’s well established parenting rights, now in peril:
- Alberta Bill of Rights Act s.1 (g):
- Right of parents to make informed decisions respecting the education of their children.
- Alberta Education Act s.58.1 (1):Notice to parent
- A board shall provide notice to a parent of a student where courses, programs of study or instructional materials…deal primarily and explicitly with human sexuality.
- Upon parent request the student shall be excused without academic penalty.
- Alberta Family Law Act s.21 (5 and 6) – unless limited by law, including parenting order, the following powers apply:
- to nurture the child’s physical, psychological and emotional development;
- to guide the child to independent adulthood;
- to make day-to-day decisions affecting the child, including daily activities;
- to make decisions about the nature, extent and place of the child’s education;
- to make decisions about any participation in extracurricular school activities;
- to make decisions regarding the child’s cultural, religious, and spiritual upbringing;
- to consent to medical, dental and other health-related treatment for the child;
- to decide with whom the child is to live and to associate; and
- to grant or refuse consent where consent of a parent is required by law.
This graphic (below) illustrates the unprecedented disenfranchisement of parent powers, rights, and responsibilities; and the extraordinary level of deconstruction of family autonomy vis-a-vis the state. Under long-established family and child welfare laws, parents are entitled to due legal process and issuance of a court order before the state intervenes in parent-son/parent-daughter child rearing dynamics or normal family autonomy. GSA Law not only circumvents due legal process, but also breaches conventional age-based child-parent consent laws, i.e. prerequisites to reach ages 16 or 18 to escape need for parent approval in key life choices along the path to adulthood. The sound function, solidarity, and autonomy of the Alberta family have traditionally rested on child welfare “due legal process” and numerous legal consent thresholds regulating parent-child relations.
Alberta is now empowering its youth a decade earlier in age/maturity to extraordinary full independence from their parents’ oversight in: (1) how they dress (gender expression); (2) who they associate with (GSA clubs and GSA Networks); and (3) how they SOGI self-identify, while at school. All of these authorizations result from the Bill 10 proponents’ political and ideological hypothesis that: (1) SOGI self-identity (ages 5 to 18) is immutable; and (2) declaring a SOGI self-identity and/or joining a GSA club (Grades K-12) secret from parents are sacrosanct human rights. Science (as will be shown) disproves their hypothesis outright and also the sexual minority tenet of SOGI “Fluidity.” The argument of “SOGI Fluidity,” itself undermines the notion of immutable sexual minority identities in youth. Equally paradoxical, Bill 10 supporters contend that children who are SOGI self-identified (effectively “out”) while at school, and who are to become “youth activists” in school (according to Alberta Teachers’ Association guidance), must not be “outed” to their parents.
If SOGI self-identity at any age were a constitutional right, why does it only apply to students (age 5 to 18) and only while they are attending school? The short answer – while the state (federal or provincial) may declare itself indifferent to all SOGI development paths, many Alberta parents are not so apathetic, nor so celebratory of their off-spring experimenting, becoming sexually confused, and/or being persuaded away from a heteronormative sexual development. Alberta parents must not acquiesce to this “politically correct” assertion that whatever SOGI self-identity 5.6.7…year-olds claim, while at school (secretly or not), must be treated as sacrosanct/unchangeable. This policy, including secrecy provision, if left unbridled, i.e. left applicable to ages 5 to 18, grades K to 12, may result in future universal application of SOGI self-identity “rights” at home, church, everywhere, regardless of age and/or the parents’ point of view. Further along,it will be proven that the ATA intends to mobilize, train and indoctrinate GSA club members as political activists promoting sexual minority rights/lifestyles and the eradication of so-called “homo-,trans-, and biphobia.” Political indifference to the sexuality development paths of Alberta children and to exceptional parent rights infringement now spans three Alberta governments – PC, NDP and UCP. Furthermore, there appears little evidence of future remedy without a significant grassroots movement demanding change.
There are many collateral/consequential issues arising from Bill 10 legislation that need legal remedy. Many of these concerns will be raised in support of this petition, but not all (see March 2018 analysis for 44 points of legal remedy/clarification). The priority focus must be on the clash of parent rights laws and student SOGI/GSA secrecy laws/policies in the context of the BEST INTERESTS OF CHILDREN. Bill 10 legislation, often called “GSA Law” or “LGBTQ Student Rights Law,” fails the Oakes Test in five areas:
- The irrationality of purporting to protect the health of some students, inevitably putting many others (wavering/confused/questioning/straight youth) at risk.
- The careless empowerment of students (ages 5 and up) to form unregulated, unsupervised, non-transparent, ideological, and peer-organized activist clubs.
- The new Alberta Education powers are exercised at the sacrifice of lawful parenting rights.
- The sanction of secret/independent SOGI self-identification, grants rights for which students, e.g. ages 5 – 15 (as contended in this petition), are not mature enough to safely decide free of parent counsel/consent
- The education system is not equipped/qualified/organized to safely take over child-rearing and child welfare service roles for children “secretly” SOGI self-identifying and attending GSA club and/or GSA Network activities.
Evidence to prove these assertions will follow.
UCP Leader Jason Kenney said in November 2017: “We do not support, I repeat we do not support mandatory notification of parents regarding the involvement of students in GSAs.” “And neither I nor anyone in our caucus has proposed “outing” gay kids.” “Teachers, not politicians, should decide when it makes sense to engage parents.” His position has not changed with the UCP election victory. Current government strategy is to try to assuage parent rights infringement and risks to their children’s safety and sexual development while at school by proposing that random volunteer teachers be responsible for “timely” arbitrary notification of parents in a health emergency arising from secret GSA attendance and/or SOGI self-identity. This policy is dysfunctional in numerous ways:
- Alberta Teachers’ Association membership (46,000) is dead set against the responsibility.
- Teachers often complain about class sizes limiting their ability to know students.
- Students move grades (K-12) and in higher grades between many teachers.
- Students switch school levels and may move during a school year.
- Teachers are not trained/qualified/placed to make arbitrary and timely medical/psychological judgments on sexuality matters.
- Conflicting views regarding SOGI set one teacher against another.
- Teachers don’t know what is going on in GSAs.
- Alberta Education is not mandated and resourced to encroach on Child Welfare Service and Alberta Health Services (AHS) roles.
- Until a court order deems otherwise parents remain the legal/consenting interface with AHS
Current government education policy puts more Alberta children at risk and raises serious legal matters:
- What is the legal age at which parents have the right to know when their child, at school or at an off-school GSA-related activity, is counseled/encouraged to SOGI self-identify or is being trained/ mobilized to be an activist for moving peers beyond tolerance to celebration of the sexual minority values and lifestyles?
- Do parents have the right to influence their children’s sexual development along a parent-preferred human sexuality path? If not, at what age, by law, must parents become indifferent to their child’s sexuality development?
- Do parents have the right to decide with whom their children associate and from which medical professionals to seek advice in attending to their children’s up-bringing, mental health/welfare, and sexuality development?
- What is the legal utility of the Bill of Rights declaration that parents have the right and freedom “to make informed decisions respecting the education of their children” in view of GSA law? Does this parent “right” not require schools to gain parent approval prior to their children (especially ages 5 – 15) SOGI self-identifying, joining a GSA, and/or attending a GSA Network
- What is the legal value of Alberta Education Act s.58.1 (1): Notice to parent, if the intent of the provision is subverted through the exemption for joining a GSA or declaring a secret SOGI self-identity while at school, without parent awareness and approval?
- Are parents constitutionally entitled to notification and consent for their child to be counseled/indoctrinated in human sexually (e.g. transgenderism) by off-site/out-of-school networks/agencies, that are neither certified by, legally accountable to, or officially regulated by the state (Alberta Education, Alberta Health Services or other Government sector)?
Following Bill 10 legislation, parents interested in overseeing and influencing the sexual development of their children (ages 5 and up) can no longer depend on state governance to assure statistically accurate, scientifically based, medically sound, and ideologically unbiased instruction on human sexuality in Alberta schools.Current Education Ministry (and Calgary Board of Education) Inclusive Education policy states: “During the collaborative process, no student or family should ever be referred to a program or service provider that purports to “fix”, “change” or “repair” a student’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” Regarding the policy, Drs. Blaine Achen and Theodore Fenske of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta, wrote: “This naïve and oppressive statement disregards the underlying emotional, mental or physical reasons that might lead someone to identify sexually as someone other than his or her morphological and genetic identity. Nowhere else in medicine, other than gender identity and sexuality, is such a reckless stance taken or practiced presently.” What’s more, while the policy nullifies all heteronormative counselling, no such constraint is placed on LGBTQ affirmative therapy and/or counsel.
This double-standard is best demonstrated in CBE’s partnership with the Calgary Centre for Sexuality (formerly Calgary Birth Control Association) involving WiseGuyz programming. According to Centre CEO, Pamela Krause: “The boys in WiseGuyz demonstrate an awareness of the cultural constructions of masculinity and thereby develop the consciousness required to critically examine the constructions…WiseGuyz begins to unravel the heteronormative values and behaviours of the boys that are required to maintain their masculinity…As a society, we have to fundamentally extend the notion of what it means to be a boy and a man…This signifies an understanding of masculine ideologies that is critical to the boys influencing and shifting equitable gender norms. This shifting of social norms is an enormous and long-term endeavour; however, redefining masculinity for fourteen year-old boys is an invaluable starting place.” [See WiseGuyz Research Report #3, titled “Boys Returning to Themselves: Healthy Masculinities and Adolescent Boys”).] The CBE, in partnership with the Centre for Sexuality, intends to “fix,” “change” and “shift social norms” using 14 year-old boys with confused/evolving identities. Where is this found in curriculum or Inclusive Education policy?
Parents beware, terms like “moving beyond tolerance,” “shifting of social norms,” “eradicating homophobia,” and “GSA anti-oppression education mandate” are progressive-left code words for the continued deconstruction of Canadian society from its heteronormative ascendancy, principles, values, beliefs, and structures. Reality for Alberta parents is that the ATA and numerous school boards are not impartial educators but are political and ideological. The so-called “three R’s” have been eclipsed by progressive-left ideology and social engineering, now spanning three consecutive Alberta governments.
Current GSA Law and Inclusive Education policy are affirmative actions on behalf of sexual minority students. This empowerment of children while at school (starting at age 5) to disregard their parents, and the implementation intent to eradicate so-called “homophobia,” discriminates against a fair, equal, and unbiased education environment, and is prejudicial to sexually wavering students, students of faith or so-called “social conservative values,” and their parents.
The ATA publication “GSAs and QSAs in Alberta Schools: A Guide for Teachers (pg. 31),” advocates GSAs (Types 3 and 4) be used for “eradicating homophobia,” and for “political activities” to move classmates beyond tolerance of sexual minority students to celebration. Note the terms “homophobia” and “homophobe” are not legally defined, although trans, queer, bi and homophobe are used to silence free speech, and bully all who hold thoughts, beliefs and opinions in disagreement with sexual minority activism. The terms are not found or defined in the Charter, the Human Rights Act or Criminal Code; nor in the Alberta Human Rights Act, Bill of Rights, Education Act, Family Law Act, or School Act. In 2012, Associated Press barred use of the term “homophobia” from its Style Book noting the suffix “-phobia” (“irrational or uncontrollable fear”) should not be used in political or social contexts in AP reports, including its derivative “homophobe.” Through biased promotion of SOGI ideology and political action at all school levels (K-12) and in all school types, the result is state affirmation of a single human sexuality ethos across the education system. The state declares and promotes indifference to whether children develop along a transgender, bisexual, queer, homosexual or heterosexual path, over the interests and rights of parents who do not share such apathy to their children’s sexual development.
The NDP and UCP may override common sense to support the “politically correct” mantra of celebrating SOGI diversity, e.g. more transgender youth; however, a large majority of parents would move mountains to have their children follow heteronormative sexual development and avoid persistent/inherent health, behavioural, and spiritual risks resulting from sexual minority lifestyles.
If 5, 6, 7…. year-olds secretly self-identify transgender and secretly change their names while at school, does this so-called “sacrosanct right” extend to the right to decide to have hormone treatment and/or sex-reassignment surgery without the parents’ knowledge and approval? [Note, according to John Carpay, Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, if federal Bill C-8 – An Act to amend the Criminal Code (Conversion Therapy) becomes law, parents could spend up to five years in jail for trying to help their son accept himself as a boy, or for helping their daughter to accept herself as a girl.]
Is it not the parent’s right and responsibility to consent to medical and other health-related treatment for the child until such time as the child is mature/cognisant/adult enough to assume full responsibility for his/her medical and human sexuality decisions? Parents must not abandon their responsibility to observe/influence their off-spring’s sexuality development. The following are many reasons parents want their children to follow heteronormative sexual development. None of these “health risks” are the outcomes of social SOGI-phobias or school environment oppression. Rather these realities are intrinsic to sexual minority lifestyles. The US CDC website under the title Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health details many reasons parents by “choice” hold a heteronormative sexuality development preference:
- Prevalence of HIV among sexual partners of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men is 40 times that of sexual partners of heterosexual men.
- Young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men ages 13-24 had over 72% of the new HIV infections in 2010. In 2012, 75% of reported syphilis cases were among gay and bisexual men.
- Receptive anal sex is 18 times more risky for HIV acquisition than receptive vaginal sex.
- To date, in the US roughly 636,000 Americans have died of AIDS. Of the 1,216,917 cumulative AIDS diagnoses in the US through to the end of 2015, 80% have been males.
- In 2010, an estimated 1.1 million people aged 13 years or older were living with HIV infection in the United States. Most (76%) of those living with HIV were male, and 69% of males were gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).
- Youth with HIV/AIDS face a lifetime of medication, and a reduction in life expectancy of 18-20 years.
- The number of reported cases of syphilis among men having sex with men (MSM) has been increasing since at least 2000.
- Twenty-seven American states reported MSM partner data for at least 70% of all cases of syphilis each year during 2007–2014. In 2014, MSM accounted for 82.9% of all male syphilis cases.
- Across the participating STD clinics, 18,568 MSM were tested for gonorrhea and 18,414 MSM were tested for chlamydia. The median site-specific gonorrhea prevalence among those tested was 19.2% (range by site: 14.5%–25.3%). The median site-specific chlamydia prevalence among those tested was 14.9% (range by site: 7.0%–17.9%).
The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Selected Sites (YRBSSS), United States 2001-2009 (released in June 2011) studied seven US states and six large urban school districts and offers valuable comparative data on heterosexual, homosexual and bi-sexual behaviours among youth in grades 9-12. An extract of the results follows indicating median prevalence values for students identifying either as heterosexual, homosexual (G/L) or bi-sexual:
Bisexuals are one of the most unhappy groups in the LGBTQ community and not because of homophobia, school-based oppression, or parent conflict. An Ontario study of the bisexual community revealed four key stress concerns: (1) bisexuals have to negotiate how to come out to partners or potential partners; (2) bisexuals need to learn how to relate to the other gender in terms of relationships and sex; (3) the difficulty of finding supportive and understanding partners; and (4) the importance and challenge of maintaining a bisexual identity while in a relationship. Bisexual “students” must also face the challenge of finding supportive and understanding parents of those they wish to go out with; the alternative being more deception.
Proponents of GSA Law argued in legislature debates that the clubs would be no different than other school clubs and any attempt at special oversight for GSAs beyond that of a chess club would be discrimination against LGBTQ students. A review of the ATA publication “GSAs and QSAs in Alberta Schools: A Guide for Teachers” reveals the true intended activist character and application of the “clubs.”
Here find some typical guidance from the 2009 and 2016 ATA editions:
- Have a visible school wide presence.
- Plan activities to celebrate special days, such as National Coming Out Day, Day of Silence, Day Against Homophobia, Transgender Day of Remembrance, LGBTQ Pride Week.
- Clubs are characterized by social, educational and political activities.
- Build coalitions with other school/community-based groups.
- Focus on school climate and organizational change through outreach activities (e.g., diversity days, staff training, inclusive curriculum, pride week activities).
- Have an anti-oppression educational mandate across intersections of difference (race, gender, class, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression).
- Strive to move beyond tolerance
Other concerns regarding GSA clubs and GSA Networks include:
- School boards/principals cannot block/control GSA establishment, activities, or club naming.
- Clubs can bypass teachers, facilitators, principals, superintendents and school boards and appeal directly to Minister of Education for backing.
- Clubs can bring in outside allies/activists/entertainment.
- Clubs purport to be LGBTQ affirming “safe spaces,” limiting free speech to pro-LGBTQ ideologies, politics, and indoctrination.
- There is no age constraint for GSA membership.
- There is no need for parental awareness or membership approval.
- There is no limitation on the age spread for students in a GSA.
- There is no limitation on grade-level to start a GSA.
- There is no need for a club constitution detailing purpose, objectives, activities, facilitator/principal/school board roles and oversight.
- There is no need for prior approval of a club activity/event or for adult oversight of activity/ event execution.
- There is no need to make accessible to public (students, teachers, parents) club purpose, objectives, allowed activities, oversight.
- There is no regulatory and accountability oversight of the Alberta GSA Network and associated LGBTQ activist/support agencies.
The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Selected Sites (YRBSSS), United States 2001-2009, released in June 2011 and mentioned earlier, studied heterosexual, homosexual and bi-sexual behaviours among youth in grades 9-12. The Survey found the percentage of students who identified themselves as heterosexual ranged from 90.3% to 93.6% (median: 93.0%), as gay or lesbian ranged from 1.0% to 2.6% (median: 1.3%), and as bisexual ranged from 2.9% to 5.2% (median: 3.7%). The percentage of students who were unsure of their sexual identity ranged from 1.3% to 4.7% (median 2.5%).
A Toronto Teen Survey in 2009 by Planned Parenthood found that 4% of teens (grades 8 to 12) identified as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Queer (LGBQ) and that 3% of teens were ‘questioning’ or unsure about their sexual orientation. The Survey found that Youth were more likely to self-identify as LGBTQ if they were 16 or older – 69% of self-identified LGBQ youth in the TTS were 16 or older. Likewise the younger the age the greater the percentage of sexually confused youth – over 50% of “questioning” youth were younger between 13 –14 years.
Why are these surveys so important? They reveal the large number of students who are waverers – confused or questioning youth who could follow along either a sexual minority or a heterosexual development path. These waverers must not be isolated from parent oversight/influence nor abandoned to ideological indoctrination and sexual minority political activism.
In 2018/2019, 730,375 students, varying in ages from 5 to 18, attended more than 2380 Alberta schools. If according to CDC between 1.3% and 4.7% of students in grades 9 to 12 are waverers, applying this data to Alberta Student Population Statistics, results in between 2,855 to 10,324 Alberta teens (ages 13 to 18) as likely waverers. Including younger students (grades K to 8) should at least double these numbers to between 5,710 to 20,650 youth. Moreover, Alberta Education identified in 2018/2019 over 54,000 vulnerable students with cognitive, psychological, and/or learning disabilities. What parent wants these wavering or vulnerable children to secretly attend a GSA club and/or GSA Network to be encouraged to declare a secret SOGI identity? The health risks from secret GSA membership to waverers and the vulnerable are not conjecture. To understand the risks of unsupervised, non-transparent, ideological, child-led GSAs, read: Licia Corbella, Calgary Herald, “Corbella: Couple warns their daughter could have died under new GSA law,” 25 Nov 2017.
Alberta parents, as a minimum, must insist on their awareness and approval for SOGI self-identification and GSA membership for their sons and daughters (ages 5 to 15); especially until such time as rational, unambiguous and safe education governance is put in place. Areas in need of clarification/remedy include:
- Clarify minimum legal safeguards and oversight requirements. Current laws empower students (K-12) to form unregulated, unsupervised, non-transparent, ideological, and peer-organized activist clubs (Types 3 and 4) without any need to declare a club constitution (rules, purpose, staff oversight etc.), or gain school approval of a constitution, or to make a “club” charter available for public access.
- Clarify who in the teacher-facilitator-principal-superintendent-school board chain has authority to tell a GSA what they cannot do or to decide when enough GSA-driven ideological/LGBTQ pride events have been carried out to achieve a welcoming school environment.
- Clarify, when a student declares a transgender self-identity while at school, to be kept secret from his/her/ze’s parents, who takes on legal responsibility for providing professional certified psychological and medical care for the youth.
- Clarify, now that the state has put in place laws permitting GSA clubs, connected together through GSA Networks, and further connected to LGBTQ activist/support agencies, is the state obligated to provide sexually wavering/confused/questioning students (K-12) with equally well facilitated/accessible/assured, unbiased, and non-ideological human sexuality counseling.
- Clarify who is liable in the case where a youth (age 5 to 18; grade K-12) is physically or mentally injured as a result of attending a GSA or GSA Network activity, without parental knowledge and approval.
- Clarify by legal definition what “homophobia” is or is not, following the Criminal Code 319 Hate Speech model, which includes grounds for defense, for example: statements do not constitute homophobia: (1) which are true; (2) which are made in good faith, respectfully expressed to establish by argument an opinion on a religious subject or on a belief in a religious text; and (3) which are relevant to any subject of public interest, for public benefit, which are believed true
According to “GSAs and QSAs in Alberta Schools: A Guide for Teachers,” a premise underlying GSA Law and Inclusive Education policy is that LGBTQ students are disproportionate victims of bullying oppression. Bill 10 affirmative action legislation, Inclusive Education policy and ATA GSA guidance have in common the goals to end this “oppression” by eradicating “homophobia,” and where unsuccessful, to isolate self-identified LGBTQ students, wavering youth, and GSA allies in “safe-spaces.” The Law, policy and guidance have the effect of policing thought, belief, opinion and expression in school corridors etc., controlling thinking inside GSA safe-spaces and at off-school GSA Networks, and isolating youth from parent oversight.
This affirmative action overreach was in part predicated upon findings by the Taylor & Peter (EGALE) National Climate Survey on homo-, bi-, and transphobia in schools. The report inaccurately asserts a one-to-one correlation between evidence of “harassment” and “homophobia.” Note heterosexual students are bullied and harassed, not the result of a “phobia.” The survey was held at 20 schools, although Alberta alone has over 2,380 schools, and did not differentiate results by school type: Public, Separate, Charter, or Private School. Nor were rural schools set apart from metropolitan, elementary from secondary, or faith-based from non-religious schools. The survey actually found that 67% of LGBTQ students in schools without anti-homophobia policies reported never being physically harassed; and 40% never verbally harassed. These results run counter to the “oppression” narrative and are even more contradictory when baselined against “harassment” levels among heterosexual students.
The term “harassment “was never defined nor the frequency of occurrence recorded, although this is what the study purported to measure. The EGALE study is not sufficient rationale for the unprecedented adverse impacts associated with Bill 10 legislation. The point being the need for safe and “inclusive” schools in Alberta has been sold on the basis of an overstated and statistically vague/unsubstantiated narrative of victimization. Measurement of “oppression/harassment” in schools using standards like “feel unsafe,” “sometimes feel unsafe,” or “having been physically harassed” are vague at best.
Moreover, sexual minority activists and many politicians assert without evidence that GSA clubs will save lives. This talking point dominated media coverage before and following Bill 10 – “GSA Law” passage. If the government and Alberta Education were truly interested in lowering “teen” suicide among all students, their resourcing and suicide prevention programming wouldn’t be as inadequate as it is. To fully understand Alberta Education’s non-readiness to support/assist or take on parenting roles in a health crisis, read: Eva Ferguson, Calgary SUN, “CBE takes heat for response to junior high students’ messages about suicide,” 21 Jan 2018. As reported, the mother was “ …told that a mental-health issue is an Alberta Health issue” and “the CBE basically threw their hands up in the air.” Ferguson further reported: “Education Minister David Eggen has argued that under the province’s ‘Inclusive Education’ model, local school districts have the autonomy to fund programs as they wish. But critics say the model leaves principals struggling to meet a variety of growing needs, particularly around mental health, with limited budgets, meaning many schools do not have in-school psychologists.” The irrationality and hypocrisy of government giving into the LGBTQ rights lobby by isolating children from their parents through secret GSA membership, secret SOGI self-identity, and other Inclusive Education policies, all under the media mantra of “saving lives”; yet, in reality all potential student suicides will be tossed to the parents for resolution.
GSA Law, Inclusive Education policy, and sexual minority affirming curriculum aim to purge the scientific, natural, and statistical facts of “heteronormativity” from public education, with the collateral impact of increasing sexual confusion among youth. Former Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario 2015 Health and Physical Education curriculum is a stunning example of this blind political overreach. The document declares a number of sexual health considerations. The word gender identity is found 43 times, sexual orientation 42 times, and gender expression 11 times. The terms transgender, transsexual, intersex, and two-spirited total 18 times, gay and lesbian 14 times, and homophobia 4 times. The word heterosexual is found once, listed in brackets along with gay, lesbian, and bisexual, as a type of sexual orientation. The H&PE curriculum glossary defines: bisexual, gay, gay-straight alliance, gender, gender-based violence, gender expression, gender identity, homophobia, lesbian, intersex, sexual orientation, sexuality, transgender, transsexual, and two-spirited. The glossary does not include/define the term heterosexual.
After decades spent by the political left deconstructing heteronormativity, it is no longer seen as desirable or necessary by “progressive” “inclusive” educators to promote heterosexuality in schools. Elevating SOGI ideology at the expense of heteronormativity confuses and misleads youth, putting more children at risk.
Health Agency of Canada, in Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education, states “sexuality is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, cultural, ethical, legal, historical, religious, and spiritual factors.” The largest study on the genetic basis of same-sex attraction supports Health Canada guidelines. “There is no ‘gay gene’ (Science, 29 August 2019),” concludes the study’s lead author, Dr. Andrea Ganna, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She says at least 75% of sexual behavior can be explained by environmental/cultural factors. These Health Agency guidelines and study conclusions refute three successive (PC, NDP and UCP) governments’ politically correct operating premise that SOGI self-identity at any age is sacrosanct and immutable. Moreover, GSA Law, SOGI self-identity rights, and Inclusive Education policy radically shift “environmental factors” toward students self-identifying along a sexual minority development path. Ample evidence exists to prove this growth trend and an increase in sexuality confusion among youth.
Dr. Lisa Littman, specialist in gender dysphoria at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, reports on a phenomenon she titles “Rapid Onset of Gender Dysphoria (GD) in Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs).” The development occurs in the context of being part of a peer group where one, multiple, or even all friends have developed gender dysphoria and come out as transgender during the same timeframe. Dr. Littman discovered:
On average, 3.5 friends per group became gender dysphoric. Where friend group activities were known, 63.7% of friend groups mocked people who were not transgender or LGBTQ. Where popularity status was known, 64.2% of adolescents had an increase in popularity within the friend group after announcing they were transgender. AYAs received online advice that if they didn’t transition immediately they’d never be happy (31.7%) and that parents who didn’t agree to take them for hormones are abusive and transphobic (37.3%). AYAs expressed distrust of people who are not transgender (24.7%); stopped spending time with non-transgender friends (25.3%); withdrew from their families (46.5%), and expressed that they only trust information about gender dysphoria that comes from transgender sources (53.1%).
Rapid onset of gender dysphoria that occurs in the context of peer group and online influences may represent an entity that is distinct from the gender dysphoria observed in individuals who have previously been described as transgender. The worsening of mental well-being and parent-child relationships, peer group dynamics, and behaviors that isolate teens from their parents, families, non-transgender friends and mainstream sources of information are particularly concerning.
Other informative data on the unprecedented increase in children declaring transgender identities and making gender clinic referrals in the United Kingdom and United States include:
- BBC News by Calum McKenzie, “Child gender identity referrals show a huge rise in six years,” 11 Feb 2016. [The data from the UK shows a 10-fold increase in six years, of which 70% were females taking on male identities.]
- Intellectual Takeout by Jon Miltimore, “Is Gender Dysphoria a Fad?,” 19 Sep 2017.
- US Today by Lindsey Tanner, “More U.S. teens identify as transgender, survey finds,” 5 Feb 2018.
According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty, i.e. without taking puberty-blocking hormones, cross-sex hormones, and/or having surgical alteration of their body parts. Note cross-sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke and cancer.
Alberta parents now disenfranchised of their traditional (and legal) rights and responsibilities to “oversee their children’s physical, psychological and emotional development, and the children’s cultural, religious, and spiritual upbringing,” face the following injustices:
- Laws promoting unregulated GSA clubs, connected to unfettered GSA Networks, further linked to ideological LGBTQ activist/support agencies, disadvantage sexually wavering and vulnerable youth.
- The GSA system in Alberta discriminates against sexually wavering/confused students who are denied access to equally well facilitated clubs and support agencies promoting heteronormative sexuality, and non-ideological sex education and counseling.
- Attempts in Edmonton, Calgary and nationally to block so-called “Conversion Therapy” are another over-reach by advocates. The Liberal Government Bill S-202 defines “conversion therapy” as “any practice, treatment or service designed to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or to eliminate or reduce sexual attraction or sexual behaviour between persons of the same sex. For greater certainty [actually hypocrisy!], this definition does not include [hormone treatments or] a surgical sex change or any related service.” According to LifeSiteNews, the definition includes “Christian counselling, prayer, and evangelism directed at the LGBTQ community” as well as “medical or psychological practices.” [My inserts and bold.]
Canadian parents are being denied, by the state, the ability to rightfully influence the sexual development their off-spring. By legislating an education environment of ideological curriculum, secret SOGI self-identity, LGBTQ Inclusive Education policy, and secret in-school/off-school GSA activities, the state is disenfranchising parent rights and adversely dismantling the traditional “”state-family” or “state-parent-child” relationship. At the time of Bill 10 passage, Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman, original sponsor of the GSA legislation was jubilant over the unanimous (61 PC, 17 Wildrose, 4 NDP and 5 Liberal MLAs) approval, stating:
“I’m really glad that the government was brave enough to take that step, and I will give you credit for being brave. That one wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t a gimme. I didn’t think you’d be able to go there.” [My bold and underline]
The Prentice government did go “there” and more important our current government remains “there!”
In March 2015, John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, wrote an article titled “Alberta’s Bill 10 leaves parents powerless in deciding their children’s education.” In October 2016, Parents for Choice in Education (PCE) submitted an Open Letter titled “Parental Consent is Key,” “respectfully demanding” six changes to ensure all legislation and policies impacting the education of children uphold the authority of parents. Incredibly, knowing what we now know, having confirmed the validity of so many concerns regarding Bill 10, UCP Leader, Jason Kenney, still chooses to continue the Prentice and Notley legacy of disenfranchising parents and Alberta social conservatives. It bears repeating, in November 2017, the Hon. Leader declared current UCP GSA/SOGI policy:
- We support Bill 10.
- We do not support, I repeat, we do not support mandatory notification of parents regarding involvement of students in GSAs.
- Teachers, not politicians, should decide when it makes sense to engage parents..
Leader Kenney’s position overturned the democratic will of his own party. During the first UCP convention 57 percent of delegates voted to have parents informed of their children’s attendance in GSA clubs. See Dean Bennett, Global News, “Alberta Conservatives clash with leaders on gay-straight alliances at UCP policy meeting,” May 7, 2018.
Most people would agree that diversity in our schools without respectful inclusion is really “exclusion” a form of bullying and not conducive to “a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment.” Most would also agree, if creating this new “inclusive” learning environment for LGBTQ students results in an unwelcoming, disrespectful and alienating atmosphere for a different group of students, this would amount to a double standard – welcoming and including one group at expense of excluding or discriminating against others. Affirmative action policies, especially in the areas of sexual beliefs, values, morals and lifestyles are seldom win-win social phenomena.
This explanation of the need for the petition nears the end with the following statement by a mother from British Columbia, who articulates eloquently the mindset of those Albertans for which the petition speaks:
I am aware that there are differing views regarding the issue of homosexuality and same-sex couples, or religion, politics or other matters of strong personal opinion, and I respect the right of others to hold views that differ from my own and live in a manner consistent with those views, so long as they do not disregard the rights of my family and children to differ. I am not homophobic as I neither fear nor hate homosexuals, I merely disagree with some of their views regarding sexual behaviour and wish to be free to do so without discrimination or harassment.
I am not homophobic and respect the right of each individual in society to live their lives without the occurrence of discrimination contrary to the law. However, I do not believe that I, as a parent, nor my child, should be required or taught to agree with the appropriateness of same-sex sexual relationships. . . we do not wish our children to be exposed to the topic of same-sex couples at an early age where they are unable to deal with the complexities of the issue when we believe that this is not a proper family unit. We are not homophobic as we neither hate nor fear those of a homosexual orientation. We simply have strong religious beliefs regarding homosexual behaviour which we wish to impart to our children. It is our desire that the school system not interfere with our right to teach our children our values. Our children will, at some point, be exposed to the topic as we do not wish to be overly protective or keep our children away from what is happening in society. However, we believe that this topic should be addressed primarily at home and at an age we deem appropriate. I am bringing up my children to love and respect everyone, but not necessarily to accept their actions or beliefs.
Please take up the cause for parent rights, child safety, and family autonomy from an overreaching state, by signing the petition. Reach out to your friends, relatives, neighbours and where applicable your church, association, condo, senior’s residence, and town.
Our societal leadership, i.e. most politicians, school trustees, and clergy, are not acknowledging the risks and concerns arising from fundamentally flawed Bill 10 legislation. Only a ground swell of signatures on this petition will result in breaking the cone of political correctness/silence/complacency/intimidation/deception. Actions speak louder than words. Signing this petition is the most empowering step a concerned, responsible parent/grandparent/person who is resident in Alberta can take. Canvas others for support. This is something you can do! Please….