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Canadian Province Threatens to Close Christian Schools if They Don't Allow Gay Clubs

Steve Weatherbe : Mar 28, 2017  LifeSiteNews.com

The demand was reportedly made because a government minister "is very interested in looking good to certain groups."

airlift(Canada)—[LifeSiteNews] Long regarded as having Canada's most pluralistic public education system, Alberta has ordered two private Christian schools to allow homosexual students' clubs. (Photo: Alberta Education Minister David Eggen/Global News/via LifeSiteNews.com)

But the school's lawyer, John Carpay of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom, told LifeSiteNews, "The order is nonsensical. The order is to comply with the law and the schools are already in compliance."

Education Minister David Eggen issued the order Thursday, following the advice in a report he considered for several months before publishing.

The order requires the Independent Baptist Education Society, operator of two schools on the western outskirts of Edmonton with a few hundred day students and a thousand-plus affiliated homeschoolers, to permit a homosexual club, or "Gay Straight Alliance," upon the request of students.

The order noted in its preamble that the society's chairman, the Rev. Brian Coldwell, last year informed Eggen that the schools will not set up such clubs because they violated the schools' and parents' Christian principles. Coldwell also made his stand public.

Carpay acknowledged that The School Act does require setting up Gay Straight Alliance clubs upon request. "But no students have ever requested such clubs (at the two schools). So the schools are in full compliance with the School Act."

Moreover, Carpay said, "These schools' policies are no different from the policies at many Catholic and independent schools in Alberta."

Last year, Eggen ordered every school board in the province to provide a report on how they would comply with the requirement for Gay Straight Alliance clubs that was inserted in the School Act by Bill 10 in 2015. Carpay told LifeSiteNews that many independent and Catholic schools also reported to Eggen "they would not allow clubs to operate which were not in compliance with their religious beliefs."

Eggen, he said, has not responded to any of those reports.

Why then did Carpay think Eggen issued the order to the Independent Baptist schools?

"The minister is responding to media comments" made by Coldwell and "is very interested in looking good to certain groups."

A report provided to Eggen by Edmonton lawyer Dan Scott called for the independent Christian schools to provide Gay Straight Alliance clubs. He recommended that Eggen appoint a trustee to run dissenting schools or at least their homosexual clubs and, if they resisted, he should revoke their accreditation.

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