Watch video above: Parents’ group says Catholic teachers should withdraw from pride parade. Mark McAllister reports.
TORONTO – A parents’ group is calling on Ontario’s Catholic teachers’ union to withdraw from this summer’s World Pride Parade in Toronto.
Teresa Pierre, president of Parents as First Educators launched a petition Monday asking school board trustees to demand the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) cancel its plan to send a delegation to the event.
Pierre says the parade is inconsistent with church doctrine regarding homosexuality.
She says Catholic parents expect a Catholic teachers’ union to support the teachings of the church on marriage and family, adding that the parade “breaks nudity laws and participants promote homosexual activity.”
Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins also criticized the union’s involvement.
“Its competence is limited to collective bargaining, and the services any union provides to its members,” he said in a statement. “When it goes beyond those areas, it can easily go wrong, as it has in the decision of the OECTA delegates to participate in this event.”
“This decision shows that they and the OECTA leadership have an inadequate and mistaken understanding of their faith,” he added.
But James Ryan, the president of OECTA said the union’s participation was not meant as an “objection to the church’s teachings” but instead a sign of support to its members who are members of the LGBT community.
“It was in support of those member in the community who identity as LGBT, to be free from all forms of hatred and discrimination and that alone is what it is for,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “Our marching is purely on the basis of support in solidarity for people to be free from discrimination.”
Toronto District School Board trustees recently voted against a motion to write a letter asking the city to uphold public nudity laws.