Across Canada, LGBT activists are up in arms over a full-page ad placed in the National Post by Charles McVety's Institute for Canadian Values.
A header at the top of the ad reads: "Please! Don't confuse me."
The ad is in opposition to the Toronto District School Board's anti-discrimination curriculum, which has garnered increased public attention since a planning calendar sent home for first grade students came to light. The calendar featured references to prostitution, transgendered people, AIDs, and female genital mutilation.
All of this and more... for six year olds.
The TDSB anti-discrimination curriculum insists that it's age-appropriate. A great many Torontonians -- and Canadians -- are coming to disagree.
LGBT activists quickly voiced their outrage that the ad would be printed, and immediately began to deploy their typical responses, accusing McVety of being a homophobe and a transphobe.
But as it turns out, the ad is entirely accurate. The accusations are merely bully words, intended to intimidate McVety out of the debate, and similarly intimidate anyone who may be inclined to agree with him.
This author is not inclined to agree with McVety very often on these sorts of issues. But your not-so-humble scribe does find one important point of agreement on this particular subject: the authoritarian approach of the TDSB to this curriculum is entirely unacceptable.
In the ad, the curriculum is directly quoted regarding the rights of parents in relation to this curriculum. The TDSB makes itself clear: it believes parents have no right to object to this curriculum.
"'Can a parent have their child accomodated out of human rights education (LGBTQ) based on religious grounds? NO'The problem is that the environment is already poisoned, and has been poisoned by the TDSB. Whether one likes or dislikes the religious beliefs of any number of people -- and there is much to dislike about religious beliefs that may lead one into homophobia -- the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to hold such beliefs.
'Should schools send notes or permission slips home before starting any classroom work on LGBTQ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual/two-spirited, queer) issues? NO'
'Can teachers seek accomodation from teaching materials that may contradict their religious beliefs? NO'
'Can schools/teachers choose not to address controversial issues for fear of negative parent response? NO'
'Teachers are obligated to address all equity issues. Any ommisisions that maintain a non-inclusive curriculum and pedagogy are considered to foster a poisoned environment..."
Moreover, parents have the right to raise their children according to these beliefs. They have the right to decide what their children will be taught, for good or ill.
The TDSB does not recognize these rights. They've locked parents out, refusing them their parental rights. It's absolutely shameful.
Meanwhile, some LGBT activists have not only missed the point, but they've lost the plot.
More is wrong with Joynt's response than can be named in one place at one time.
The first is that Joynt is very clearly an adult. He appears to be in his late 20s, if not his 30s. As such, Joynt is mature enough in life that he can reflect on these issues and make these decisions with a full understanding of whatever consequences they may have.
In other words, while Joynt's own questioning nature -- if it is at all genuine -- is worthy of applause, but he is not a child. Not like the children the TDSB's anti-discrimination curriculum is aimed at.
Anyone who has had any dealings with children, whatsoever, know that children are far more impulsive than the vast majority of adults. Neither Joynt nor the demagogues at the TDSB have stopped for so much as an instant to wonder about a child who may -- thinking that the idea seems neat -- decide that they are transgendered, not having considered what impact that decision may have on their lives.
Which brings up the other area in which Joynt has entirely lost the plot. LGBT activists have long insisted -- and scienctific studies strongly support this -- that LGBT is not a lifestyle choice. They'd likely tell Joynt to go back and listen to his Lady Gaga CDs a little more closely, because gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals were "Born This Way".
These aren't "options", as Joynt suggests. They aren't "lifestyle choices", as far-right anti-LGBT activists insist.
“What’s crucial about any curriculum in regard to identity politics is that it’s providing a breadth of options and potentially the inclusion of LGBT rights in any curriculum at any level is that it affords another opinion,” Joynt insists. “While I think there is opportunity to speak to things such as when is age appropriate, the ability to learn about those identities is integral to our success as educators.”
If Joynt is really interested in fostering discussion about whether or not this curriculum is age-appropriate (and that would be welcome, indeed), the least he could do is not obscure this issue in his counter-ad.
In the end, this issue is very simple: the postmodern leftist ideology behind this curriculum has overstepped its bounds, adopted the trappings of authoritarianism, and violated the rights of parents.
If it's up to Charles McVety and the Institute for Canadian Values to rally ordinary Canadians to shove the footsoldiers of this grievance-mongering demagoguery back across the line, that is what will simply have to happen.