Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Muslim Parents Urged to Keep Kids in Pro-Gay Classes

Muslim parents urged to keep kids in anti-homophobia classes
Last Updated Wed, 17 Nov 2004 18:17:45 EST

TORONTO - The Ontario government is urging Muslim parents not to take
their children out of classes that discuss same-sex marriages.

The response comes after some Muslim parents asked that their children be
excluded from anti-homophobia education at a downtown Toronto school.

On Tuesday night, the Toronto District School Board rejected the parents'
request, saying that allowing some students to be excluded from the class
would violate the rights of children with same-sex parents.

But Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said, "it's important that all our
children have the opportunity to learn about those things that distinguish
one of us from the other, and that they learn to respect those
differences."

Education Minister Gerard Kennedy echoed McGuinty's remarks, saying, "our
public schools are there to engender respect, respect for people of
different faiths and different sexual orientations."

He said he didn't think "there's any harm done to parents who find their
children exposed to ideas that are different than the ones they teach at
home."

The parents are upset that their children were shown videos during classes
that depicted the feelings of children who get taunted at school because
their own parents are homosexuals.

The Muslim parents complained that the classes infringed on their
religious beliefs.