September 16, 2016 12:40 pm
Updated: September 16, 2016 7:21 pm

Alberta pastor told to allow gay-straight groups replies with lawyer letter

Pastor Brian Coldwell

Global News

An Alberta Christian educator ordered by the province to allow gay-straight alliances in his schools has responded with a letter from his lawyer.

Education spokeswoman Larissa Liepins says the letter came Friday afternoon, just hours before a deadline imposed by the department.

Liepins won’t discuss the contents of the letter and says the government will respond on Monday.

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READ MORE: LGBTQ policies at 4 Alberta schools graded by advocates: A+, B, D-, F

Pastor Brian Coldwell was ordered two weeks ago to give written assurances that the two private Christian schools under his supervision would follow the law and allow gay-straight alliances.

Coldwell is the chair of the Baptist Christian Education Society, which runs two publicly funded, faith-based schools.

The school board gets 70 per cent of its funding from the province.

READ MORE: Edmonton area pastor calls vandalized church sign hate crime, police say it’s not

Coldwell has said he has a duty as a pastor to refuse the groups in his two Edmonton-area schools.

He said his schools will not comply with the law and equated the rules to religious persecution.

READ MORE: Alberta tells all school boards to create LGBTQ inclusive policies 

Gay-straight alliances are support networks of gay and straight students aimed at making all students feel included and not ostracized or marginalized.

Watch below: Global’s past coverage of LGBTQ policies in Alberta schools

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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