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Catholic School Bans Rainbows

Posted on
anti-gay, gay-straight alliance, gay news

Leanne Iskander and Taechun Menns setting up the rainbow cupcakes at St. Joes Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga

Canadian students earned the right to create Gay-Straight Alliances in their schools earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean Catholic administrators are making the process easy for them.

Leanne Iskander, 16, who founded the school’s “unofficial” gay-straight alliance in March, tells Xtra the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board put the kibosh on displaying any rainbows at their information booth.

“We brought signs and posters with rainbows and we were told that we can’t put them up,” says Iskander, who was recently named the 2011 honoured dyke and youth grand marshal. “They said rainbows are associated with Pride. There’s so many other things that a rainbow could be. It’s ridiculous.”

Iskander and her fellow students organized a student run bake sale to raise money for LGBT Youth Line, but were forbidden by Dufferin-Peel Catholic School’s Board from donating their $200 to the non-profit group. Instead, the school board forced the GSA to give their hard-earned money to Covenant House, a Catholic homeless shelter.

Bruce Campbell, spokesperson for the board, could not be reached for comment.

Casey Oraa, chair of political action committee for Queer Ontario (QO), has been supporting the students since they first submitted the GSA proposal. He says the rejection of the rainbow flag and the board’s insistence of using a Catholic charity over one chosen by the students proves administrators have no interest in diversity.

Oraa says it’s absurd to ban the rainbow flag, but it’s completely in keeping with the Catholic board’s treatment of queer students.

“The Catholic board gave the students a carrot to try to silence them when they announced the anti-bullying clubs. But it’s not enough and it’s not meeting the needs of youth,” Oraa says. “The students recognize that and they are fighting for what they want.”

Ugh! We applaud the students at Dufferin-Peel Catholic School for standing up for themselves and their LGBT classmates. Shame on the school board for doing everything in their power to fight these brave kids every step of the way!

(via Xtra.com & UB Reader cyberTOfan)

  • That’s totally not fair! But kudos for the students who are brave!

  • Is it bad that rather than being angry about this, I’m just really fascinated how it’s possible that their administrator could share the name with the legendary Bruce Campbell?

  • mu_linlin7

    ‎”And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.'” – Genesis 9:12-13

    Oops!

  • “Canadian students earned the right to create Gay-Straight Alliances in their schools earlier this year,” That’s incorrect. Catholic students did not earn that right. They can create social justice groups but these groups cannot use the word “gay” in the title. 

  • Shelby Renee Burgess

    Now that is just messed up! They shouldn’t have the right do force their donations to go to a homeless shelter. The people GAVE them their MONEY to go to the LGBT Youth Line, not a Catholic homeless shelter. I am beginning to lose all respect for people who call themselves ‘Catholic’.  What they have done proves how much intolerance their toward one another in the world today. I say bravo to the kids for standing up in what they believe in. You go guys! C:

  • M.b. Mulligan

    I’m the president of a GSA at a Catholic college and no one’s ever had a problem with our use of rainbows. Granted, there’s a whole cohort of students and faculty that want the club disbanded, but no one’s every specifically complained about the rainbows. 

  • John Deltuvia

    I was taught in Catholic school that “bow” in Gen. 9:13-16 meant “rainbow”.  Obviously Catholicism now thinks that a “bow” in the clouds means something else, maybe a tied-up piece of ribbon…

  • Stephanie Timmons

    And here I thought that rainbows were a sign from God saying that everything’s going to be okay after a storm.

  • ShowMeGuy

    Catholicism would be much better served by the use of resources to remove child molesting priests from their churches and schools….instead of fighting the display of rainbows.

  • TC Wilson

    God blessed Noah with a rainbow after the 40 days and 40 nights as a promise that he would never flood the world again.

    Good job Catholics!  *thumbs up*

  • Well I am no longer Christian but if the rainbow comes out when the storm is done then they will win the battle and the rainbows will fly again.  It is already told in their book.

  • Michelle L

    I’m sorry, but this church is SO messed up, it seems that a lot of churches have lost there TRUE purpose. I sure in the HECK makes me NOT want to put any money at all to ANYTHING they support.

  • i have this ONGOING conversation with anyone who who thinks that being gay is a choice. GOD MADE EVERYONE including gay , lesbian , bi-sexual & transgendered. even though i am catholic – i have a REAL HARD TIME when i hear or see the catholic church do totally STUPID things such as  this. rainbows are a gift from GOD – just as every human being & all of creation are GIFTS from GOD>  can’t we just “LOVE EVERYONE AS OUR BROTHERS & SISTERS ” . this is what GOD has called us to do.   GOD forgive ignorant people everywhere!!

  • Ronnie Dixon

    Catholic schools…(insert flem)…

  • Carla Webbles

    Has anybody pointed out to them that the pride flag isn’t the rainbow? It doesn’t have the same number of colors?

  • Sometimes you cant just stand up and yell that’s enough, but instead you have to rush in… beat the living crap out of ignorance and grin at what you have accomplished in such short time!

    For those who believe violence isn’t the answer tell this to those who still use it! use violence only if you can handle rejecting it once its gone, meaning have no use for it! those who are mature enough to know when violence is ok have the right to use it!

    Screw those retarded catholics if they tried that on me id say deal with it, and probably put on my $80 oakleys for epic measure LOL

  • it also turns out they are complete hypocrites, when they have people in there like that and claim they don’t like the acts committed against children such ignorance really is something we need wiped form this planet!

  • hey catholics those who believe in god and act this way Im STILL HERE even after i said to god if im wrong you shall smite me down now to prove it! and lo and behold im still here retards your god isnt like that your only acting as you personally see it! stop humping that bible and get to work you oxymorons!

  • as much as i love that they have a gay-straight alliance… i dont think they are totally out of line… it is a catholic school.. which means it is probably private… when it comes to peoples religions i think everyone should be tolerant and accepting but that being said… in that religion it does state that being gay is a sin… i can see why they wouldnt want that in their private school… i would never want someone to rearrange their religion to suit me and my life decisions… thats just as prejudice to me… on occasion me and my girlfriend go to church and we sure as hell do not flaunt our relationship.. even tho everyone knows we are gay just from knowing us outside the church we dont go in holding hands and kissing just out of respect… and i think thats okay to be respectful of religion.. im not saying hide it… im just saying when it does come to religion sometimes we need to show them as much respect as we expect from them..

  • im gonna say this again knowing ill have to continue to say it… so here goes. all you religious fucktards who think that your religion gives you the right to bash something you don’t like, think again. every time you bash something ill bash you in the head with a hammer the more blows the more likely you will learn to keep it to yourself! its think of the children in so many ways, the children do not need you assshattery or even your retarded mentality. so GTFO and stay out we reserve the right to deny you service for being stupid, we even reserve the right to deny you a voice if all your gonna do is waste it on shouting out how much you hate something. go do society a favor and take your idiocy with you!

  • Anonymous

    i couldn’t do much, but i donated to youth line on these kids’ behalf. you can have the charity email the school board telling them a donation was made…

  • if you are trying to make hate stop for the lgbtq community then can i ask why you are spreading it against religious people? isnt that kinda counter productive? and hypocritical? all i know is that i try to be as accepting as i can be of all people… i may not agree with their outlook on life but i dont find that to be a reason to bash them or to threaten pain… im sorry but i really hate it when people of any community does things like this… its no wonder why we make very slow progress in the world…

  • and further more… why the hateful discriminatory remarks? i find the word retard to be very offensive… 

  • I have a huge problem with almost everything you are saying. No, I don’t think that it is ok for a school to take the earnings of a club who clearly raised money for their cause. But, it is a private school…A religious private school at that. In their religion it is wrong. Yes, that might seem horrible, but honestly it is just how things are. I’m amazed that they finally allowed the kids to have a GSA. I know that it will take them a long time to get all of the kinks worked out, but honestly we need to be happy that they even have one. 

    And as for you calling people retarded, and then saying that we need to use violence…I just think you need to be quiet and not taint their views of homosexuals even more. No, I am not happy that they don’t agree with my lifestyle. But honestly we need to agree to disagree and go on. Not  call people retards (which is a horrible word anyway), and then send even more hate around the world. Perhaps instead of spreading your hate you  can spread love instead. Don’t go flaunt yourself around and expect them to be happy about it. No, they may not have been exposed to many homosexuals. But honestly if you were one of the only homosexuals that I came across I think I’d be afraid of them too…and this is coming from a lesbian who has known they liked girls for their whole life. 

    So in conclusion, just shut your trap please. I mean, sure voice your opinion. But don’t spread hate. It just makes us look bad. Be loving. Thats how you win people over…spoken from experience. 

  • tj

    This is a joke, yes?

  • Jill Losee

    My reaction completely… it’s also symbol of the Rainbow Coalition against Race discrimination VIA Jessie Jackson. 

    “He that is without sin among
    you, let him first cast a stone:  John 8:7

  • DesertSun59

    I can’t think of any better example of what it means to be Catholic.  Recent examples alone are dramatic:

    1.  In DC, the Catholic church pulled out of adoption services because of their same-sex marriage arrangement.
    2.  In IL, the Catholic church pulled out of adoption services because of their new civil unions law.
    3.  The Pope himself has been aware of and integral of the shuffling of pedophile priests around to avoid detection.
    4.  Now this.

    You can’t find more damning evidence that the Catholic church is not a moral institution, but rather a group of approx one billion people who have the same mindset:  they worship a genocidal deity, the icon they focus on most intently is a suffering man on an instrument of torture, they believe in actual cannibalism (their wine/host is not an alcoholic beverage and flour, but actual blood and flesh), they have a pantheon of lesser deities that are announced by their legislative head (Saints / the Pope) on a regular basis, and they openly practice discrimination.

    DO YOU ALL NEED ANY MORE EXAMPLES OF HOW THIS RELIGION IS ILLOGICAL, AMORAL AND COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS?  This is the f**king 21st century.  Get your heads out of your collective a$$e$ and see what this group of people are doing to your children and to the world.

  • DesertSun59

    He used the word fucktard in its proper context.

  • if you actually read his post you will see the word retarded… i find your point ridiculous… not every religious person is a “fucktard” or every catholic for that matter… just like not every person in the LGBTQ community is doomed and out to doom everyone else on the planet… but people like you guys give that community a bad name… spread love not hate… all this does is cause more hate! harder for us to get anywhere! fight for your beliefs with love!

  • some may say your actions are immoral… its the jobs of parents to raise their children and teach them the morals they wish for them to have… coming from a lesbian mother… my daughter will have the morals i teach her… I REFUSE TO BE AGAINST AN ENTIRE GROUP OF PEOPLE because of the actions of some… because i hate having people look at me after they know im a lesbian and feel hate for me just for that reason… when otherwise they may have liked me… so please keep your hateful message to yourself… I am sure there are gay catholics out there.. and who understand and accept both sides…. COMING FROM A LESBIAN CHRISTIAN… who is to say you cant have religion and be gay… there are so many things wrong with all this hate!

  • I see where people would get upset; but it is a private school — And that it is how it goes, unfortunately. Once they are free, and 18 — They can do what they please. Most people in the gay community deal with being rejected, and made fun of — No need to let it get you down. It doesn’t change who you are; but being gay also doesn’t have to be EVERYTHING that you are too. They should be focused on school.