Catholic School Board Systematically Breaking the Law, Complaint Alleges

by | March 11, 2014

CFI can

On March 11, CFI Canada issued the following media release:


Catholic School Board Systematically Breaking the Law, Complaint Alleges

Centre for Inquiry (CFI) calls on Ontario government to defund religious schools

TORONTO, ONTARIO — (March 11, 2014) – The Mississauga Catholic School Board is systematically denying students their constitutional right to form Gay Straight Alliances, in direct violation of Bill 13, Accepting Schools Act.

In a complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, student Christopher Karas documents a coordinated effort by the Mississauga Catholic Board, directed by Catholic bishops, and executed by staff at École Secondaire Catholique Sainte-Famille, to impede the formation and functioning of a group to support gay and lesbian students.

“I decided to start a group to combat homophobia at my school,” said Karas. “I couldn’t imagine that move would be the catalyst for a new round of homophobic bullying, this time from the administration.”

The school took 20 months to approve Karas’ request, then stipulated that the school principal or vice-principal uncharacteristically oversee all meetings, and now censors the group’s identity through a ban on gay names and symbols.

“The Catholic school system’s report card is abysmal,” said Justin Trottier of the Centre for Inquiry (CFI). “Banning atheist books, suspending pro-choice students and violating the constitutional rights of LGBTQ youth. Constant human right conflicts are inherent in a tax-payer funded religious school system. CFI is therefore calling on the Ontario government to finally defund Roman Catholic schools.”

Karas will organize “Dare to Stand Out,” a conference (May 5-9) hosted by Jer’s Vision, to train students across Ontario in how to launch GSAs. Despite intense student interest, there are zero GSAs in Catholic schools, which Karas plans to change.

His efforts are supported by the CFI, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Egale Canada, Queer Ontario and other pro-rights groups.

An exclusive interview with Karas has been posted online to Think Again! TV:

Justin Trottier
Centre for Inquiry


4 thoughts on “Catholic School Board Systematically Breaking the Law, Complaint Alleges

  1. Rendell Nugent


    This comes as a shock to me. I am very concerned that this kind of thing is going on in our Country; would expect it in the US, but not here in Ontario.
    I am a married man, strait and think that all people should be equal.This is Canada for crying out loud! I thought we had this worked out a decade ago! Just goes to show the true colours of the Church. I usually don’t get involved with this sort of thing, but my outrage is telling me to do something to help.
    If you have any suggestions other than the obvious sending of emails to the parties involved, I would love to hear from you and show my support to these students.

    Rennie Nugent

    1. Veronica Abbass Post author

      Rennie Nugent

      Thank you for your comment.

      If you would like to get actively involved, you can send an email to your provincial member of parliament. MPP email addresses are available at

      You may also want to join the Canadian Secular Alliance, an organization that is actively involved in the issue of government funding of Ontario Catholic schools. Please see

      If you would like to email me for more info about CSA’s activities, my email is

  2. Daniel Pike

    “Banning atheist books, suspending pro-life students…”

    I am thinking you meant “pro-choice”?

    Daniel Pike.


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