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Catholic Church - LGBT topics

2009-MAR: A Canadian survey comparing LGBT
harassment in Catholic schools & public schools

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"LGBT" refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

"GSA" refers to Gay Straight Alliances, groups found in many high schools.

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Levels of homophobia and bullying in Canadian Catholic schools, compared to public schools:

Catherine Taylor of the University of Winnipeg, Tracey Peter of the University of Manitoba, and a team of five research assistants conducted the first "National Climate Survey on Homophobia in Canadian Schools." Their phase one report was issued on 2009-MAR. 1

One section of the report compared "Catholic Schools" with "non-Catholic schools." The latter appear to have been almost all attendees of public schools.

Catholic schools failed badly in comparison:

  • 72.3% of the students from Catholic schools felt that their school was unsupportive of LGBTQ persons. This compared with 46.0% from non-Catholic schools.

  • 87.5% of the students from Catholic schools felt that their teachers were ineffective at addressing homophobic harassment, This compared with 64.8% from non-Catholic schools.

  • 43.7% of the students from Catholic schools disagreed with the statement: "There is at least one adult I can talk to in my school" This compared to 25.0% from non-Catholic schools.

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Could poor scores by schools be linked to suicide by LGBT youth?

Unfortunately, the National Climate Survey did not take the next logical step: that of attempting to relate the above poor responses with the mental health of LGBT students, and ultimately with the suicide rate of students who simply cannot wait for many years until "It gets better."

However with such a major difference between Catholic and non-Catholic schools in terms of the perceptions of LGBT students it seems reasonable that there would also be a hightened suicide rate across the contry in Catholic schools. For some LGBT students, the Catholic Church's "Culture of Life" may become a death trap.

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These results might have been expected in advance of the survey:

  • Teachers, staff and the administration at many public schools view equal treatment of persons of all sexual orientations to be a civil rights issue.

  • Catholic schools are required to teach the beliefs of the Church, which include:

    • All of the major psychiatric and psychological professional associations are wrong. This includes the American Psychological Association's Statement on Homosexuality issued back in 1994 and since confirmed. It said that:

      "The research on homosexuality is very clear. Homosexuality is neither mental illness nor moral depravity. It is simply the way a minority of our population expresses human love and sexuality. Study after study documents the mental health of gay men and lesbians. Studies of judgment, stability, reliability, and social and vocational adaptiveness all show that gay men and lesbians function every bit as well as heterosexuals."

    • In comparison, § 2357 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' 2

    • § 2357 states: "... Sacred Scripture ... presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity ..." 2

      Catholic theology teaches that a grievous sin, performed with sufficient reflection, with the full consent of the will separates a person from God's grace. If they were to die in this condition, the church teaches that they would experience the eternal tortures of Hell. 3

    • § 2358 states that "unjust discrimination" against homosexuals should be avoided. This implies that some forms of discrimination are allowed and just.

Every school has bullies. But some bullies might mistakenly consider harassment of LGBTQ persons as supporting the teachings of the Church and doing God's work on Earth.

One of the conclusions reached by the researchers is that:

Fear is a continuous theme throughout the survey data in Catholic and non-Catholic schools:

  • LGBTQ students fearing for their personal safety;
  • Students fearing they, too, will be targeted by homophobia if they are known to have LGBTQ friends or family;
  • Teachers appearing to be fearful of backlash for supporting LGBTQ people:
  • Administrators appearing to be fearful of parental complaints.
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Discussion of this topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "The First National Climate Survey on Homophobia in Canadian Schools," Pages 79 & 80, Egale Canada, 2009-MAR, at: http://egale.ca/
  2. "Catechism of the Catholic Church: II The vocation to chastity," at: http://www.vatican.va/
  3. David C. Trosch, "Conditions required for committing mortal sin," Life Enterprises Unlimited, at: http://www.trosch.org/
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Site navigation:

 Home > Homosexuality > Religious Groups > Churches > Catholicism & LGBT > GSA Conflict > here

or Home > Christianity > Denominations > Catholicism > Homosexuality > GSA Conflict >here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality & Bisexuality > Challenges > GSAs> GSA Conflict > here

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Copyright © 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2012-FEB-05
Author: B.A. Robinson
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