Canada: Education Minister threatens funding cuts to schools that refuse gay groups

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A Canadian minister has said legislation to allow students to form gay support groups is unnecessary.

The government in the province of Saskatchewan have argued there is no need for legislation that gives students in schools the right to form gay-straight alliances. Opposition politicians recently proposed a bill that would grant students the right to form such groups.

Education minister Don Morgan said it was unnecessary – “We control the funding to the school divisions, and if somebody produces an example where the school division refuses, well, we don’t need to make a law – we sign the cheques.”

But activists say that’s not enough, as students are often too scared to speak up for fear of repercussions, and they need the right protected in law.

Campaigner Chandra McIvor told the Vancouver Sun: These kids aren’t speaking up because they’re scared of being the kid that causes trouble.

“These youth don’t even feel safe enough to share their concerns with their school because of the homophobic and transphobic culture there.

“Why should these kids put their safety at risk just to speak out? The government needs to provide leadership on this.”

In March, the province of Alberta pushed to make gay-straight alliances mandatory in all state-funded schools.

Parents in Ontario protested against LGBT-inclusive education in April.