Ontario Catholic teachers to march in the Pride parade, proving not all Catholic school board officials are jerks

Ontario Catholic teachers to march in the Pride parade, proving not all Catholic school board officials are jerks

(Image: Neal Jennings) (Image: Neal Jennings)
 

School participation in Toronto’s Pride parade has become weirdly controversial lately, thanks in part to the tireless efforts of people like TDSB trustee Sam Sotiropoulos, who seems to think that the sight of a stray dong could scar an innocent high-schooler for life. And so it’s somewhat surprising that the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association is planning to march in this year’s parade.

According to the Post, the OECTA, a Catholic teachers’ union, voted a few months ago to participate in this year’s World Pride extravaganza. James Ryan, the union’s president, told the Post that the OECTA’s gesture is meant as a show of support for LGBT colleagues and students, and not as a protest of the church’s teachings on chastity.

And yet, not everyone involved in the province’s notoriously conservative Catholic education system (it was only a couple years ago that Catholic schools were forced to allow students to form gay-straight alliances) is on board the metaphorical rainbow-hued parade float. Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins issued a statement accusing the union’s members and leadership of having “an inadequate and mistaken understanding of their faith,” and a parents group called Parents as First Educators is lamenting the fact that students may get the idea that “dissent can and should be openly practised.” Because, of course, children and teenagers never openly disagreed with their elders before the gays got involved. Right.