After a difficult court battle, Ontario high school student Marc Hall finally won the right to take his same-sex partner, 21-year-old Jean-Paul Dumond, to his prom.
Earlier, the Durham Catholic School Board ruled that while Hall would be able to go to the prom at Oshawa's Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic High School, he would go dateless. However, on May 10, the date of the school's prom, Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert McKinnon issued an injunction against the board, forcing them to allow the couple to attend.
It's difficult to believe that we live in a country where these people are allowed to push their values onto others and force our children to witness such displays of injustice. It says something about a country that even requires debate, much less forces the people involved to settle the matter in court, when the answer-both morally and within the Charter of Rights and Freedoms-is clear. These people are ruin the place we proudly call Canada and, therefore, erode the moral fibre of our "free nation."
Imagine the media circus had this happened in a Alberta catholic school--or a public one for that matter. The display would be even more disgusting, with a fiercer court battle and an even worse display of our so-called moral authorities.
Yes, these people have done it again.
Unfortunately, "these people" that I so affectionately refer to are indeed moral authorities and role models for not only our children, but also a large portion of our society. It's a sad display of Canadian notions of rights and freedoms-both their abilities and their limits-that a gay high school student has to fight for his right to take whoever he wants to the school prom, be that person gay, straight, male, female or otherwise. It's sad that there still exists an ignorant pocket of Canadians--and a sizable one at that--who fight actions that hurt no one and benefit many.
Our country champions itself as a place where personal freedoms are protected and discrimination is not only frowned upon, but furiously fought against. But we're not even close.
Despite the fact that any references to homosexuality in the bible are debatable at best, it's time that our leaders--school officials, provincial governments and even religious figures--aim towards change and promote an equal society. Like this incident in Oshawa, anti-gay sentiment is nowhere more apparent than in the Canadian Bible-belt that is Alberta. Ultra-conservative, homophobic and, unfortunately, not wholly on their own.
The role of our educators, governments and courts in some cases is to promote a sense of morality as a means to achieve a peaceful, orderly society. But it is not to promote discrimination of any kind. And while Catholic school boards are free to teach their religion, that should not include what needlessly happened to Marc Hall.