9.19.2011

Rally to support defunding of Ontario's Catholic schools amassed a small but impassioned turnout.

Green Party of ON Candidate Mark Daye at GSA Rally
By Kelli Korducki

“Ontario Can’t Afford Religious Discrimination” read the banner behind the speaker’s podium at Sunday afternoon’s Canadian Secular Alliance rally to protest public funding of Catholic schools. The costs, as a spirited roster of speakers told a quietly attentive audience outside the Ontario Legislature, are as financial as they are moral. Education Equality in Ontario president Leonard Baak pointed out that institutional duplication means that each Catholic school system student costs $515 more to educate than his or her secular counterpart.

Maybe pragmatic arguments weren’t necessary to sway this small crowd of roughly 100 attendees, many of whom stood toting signs demanding the cessation of faith-based bigotry (and wearing T-shirts gently reminding the world that “Some chicks marry other chicks. Get over it.”). But numbers and dollar signs certainly don’t hurt in lending additional heft to arguments rooted in emotions.

And the emotions were undeniable. Toronto Centre Green Party of Ontario candidate Mark Daye shared a personal account of his previous life as a closeted newlywed and guilt-ridden Catholic who, when he went to his parish priest with a heartfelt plea for guidance, was instructed to pray the gay away. It didn’t work. “The advice that I received, is this the kind of advice that our students need and deserve?”

Read the full story at Torontoist

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