Alberta conservatives would give teachers the right to ‘out’ kids to parents

Jason Kenney, the leader of Alberta's United Conservative Party

The leader of the United Conservative Party in Alberta, Canada, Jason Kenney, has defended a “cruel” plan that would give teachers the right to out members of gay-straight alliance groups to their parents.

Kenney, who is tipped to become Premier of the Canadian province after April 16 regional elections, has been criticised over a pledge to repeal existing protections for gay-straight alliance groups in schools.

The leader has vowed to repeal the 2017 law protecting the rights of students to form GSAs, and introduce a replacement law that opponents say is much weaker.

Specifically, Kenney’s proposals would remove part of the law that prohibits schools from notifying parents about whether their child has joined a gay-straight alliance, which was put in place to protect LGBT+ children from ‘outing’.

Jason Kenney says outing to parents would be ‘very rare’

Defending himself from criticism, Kenney told CBC: “We support GSAs… our Education Act will have the strongest legal protection for GSAs of any province in Canada.”

Asked when it would ever be appropriate for parents to be notified that their children had joined a GSA group, Kenney replied: “I think that would be very rare, probably only dealing with very young kids, or kids with unique emotional and mental-health challenges.”

Rachel Notley, leader of the governing New Democratic Party, said the proposed changes were “cruel.”

She said: “I would urge Mr Kenney to talk to the experts, to the families and to the kids themselves, who would tell him that GSAs and the ability to join them with your privacy respected saves lives.

“The announcement Mr Kenney made yesterday will have cruel and very hurtful consequences.”

Alberta conservatives leader Jason Kenney has ‘extreme’ anti-LGBT record

Ahead of the election, the governing New Democratic Party launched an ad campaign and a 10-minute documentary that targets Jason Kenney’s anti-LGBT record.

The documentary explores Kenney’s role in campaigning to overturn a 1989 San Francisco law that extended partnership rights to same-sex partners at the height of the AIDS crisis.

Alberta's United Conservative Party leader, Jason Kenney

Election ad exposes Alberta’s United Conservative Party leader, Jason Kenney’s anti-LGBT record.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors had approved the measure to extend “hospital visitation rights” and “bereavement leave policy” to same-sex partners, but it was repealed after a public ballot measure supported by Kenney, who would later brag about his involvement in speeches.