Appeal dismissed in challenge to Alberta gay-straight alliance law

NDP government introduced legislation that requires administrators to accept gay-straight alliances

Opponents of Alberta’s law allowing gay-straight alliances in schools were dealt another legal setback Monday after the province’s highest court dismissed their appeal.

In 2017, the Alberta NDP government introduced legislation that requires school administrators to accept gay-straight alliances if students request one and prohibits staff from outing members to their parents.

Last year, religious schools, public interest groups and parents filed a lawsuit seeking to have the legislation put on hold until there’s a ruling on its constitutionality.

The coalition led by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms argued that keeping parents out of the loop violates their charter rights. It also raised concerns that schools’ funding and accreditation could be jeopardized if they don’t comply.

READ MORE: Netflix creates resource website for those affected by content of ‘Girl’

In June, an Alberta judge dismissed the request, but the coalition filed an appeal in September.

“The evidence of good achieved by GSAs in protecting the safety and privacy interests of individual children is more compelling than the new evidence of schools’ termination of funding for non-compliance with the legislation,” Justices Frederica Schutz and Dawn Pentelechuk wrote in their decision for denying the appeal.

But, regardless of the legal battle, incoming United Conservative premier Jason Kenney has said his government will revert to old legislation that allows gay-straight alliances, but without blanket privacy protection for students.

Schutz and Pentelechuk also noted that the previous judge found there was no evidence to suggest schools will be defunded or de-accredited for the next school year.

Dissenting Justice Bruce McDonald wrote that schools should not be forced to violate their religious beliefs while the constitutionality of the legislation is pending.

“I am prepared to find that there will be irreparable harm done to the schools in question if they are forced to comply with the legislation that impinges their religious beliefs in order to keep open,” McDonald wrote.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The ‘Lunch-with-a-firefighter’ event was held Aug. 20th

Members of the public met their local firefighters and checked out fire equipment in the County

Alberta RCMP warns property owners of paving contractor scams

Travelling companies offer paving or roof sealing services typically to seniors in rural communities

Local farm participates in sixth annual Alberta Open Farm Day

Five generations have worked the land at Lazy T Farm north of Halkirk

Stettler County and Paradise Shores remain at standstill

No timeline as to when 220 leases can return to Buffalo Lake

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Alberta oil curtailment rules extended to late 2020 as pipeline delays drag on

At issue is ability to export oil in face of regulatory and legal challenges against pipelines

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Panel to review impacts of safe injection sites in Alberta

It will look at crime rates, social order and property values, and not harm reduction or housing

Five suspects arrested by Leduc RCMP with help of Wetaskiwin and Maskwacis

Leduc RCMP work with Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP to make arrests

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Most Read