By Patrick B. Craine, QUEBEC CITY, Quebec, December 15, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Quebec Government has promulgated a new provincial policy against “homophobia,” touted as the first of its kind from a North American jurisdiction. While homosexuality is already effectively fully normalized within Quebec law, the policy, released on Friday by the Ministry of Justice, is essentially a manifesto for normalizing homosexuality on the social level.
The policy’s main goal, explains an accompanying summary, is “to improve conditions for sexual minorities, in order for sexual minorities to attain social equality.” The phrase “sexual minorities” is used to refer to the spectrum of sexual deviances connected to homosexuality (“LGBT”).
According to Justice Minister Kathleen Weil, who is also in charge of the province’s “fight against homophobia,” through this new policy, “Quebec society demonstrates once again that it is at the forefront in the area of human rights for sexual minorities.”
The new document follows a detailed report published in March 2007 by the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission), which demanded an all-out assault against the evils of “homophobia” and “heterosexism.” The 2007 report, named “From juridical equality to social equality,” called first of all for such a provincial policy.
But, as the new document states, the policy is merely “one of the key elements in a broader strategy leading to the full and complete recognition of the sexual minorities, institutional and community support for the sexual minorities, and improved knowledge about sexual diversity.”
“An inclusive society such as ours must take the necessary steps to combat homophobic attitudes and behaviour patterns, and move towards full acceptance of sexual diversity,” wrote Premier Jean Charest in a message for the new policy. Through this new policy, he said, “the government hopes to trigger a firm commitment, by institutions and the general population, to fight all forms of homophobia.”
The policy consists of four “guidelines,” each building on the previous: first, the need to “recognize the realities faced by sexual minority members”; second, the promotion of “respect” for homosexual “rights”; third, fostering the well-being of homosexuals; and fourth, the need for a “concerted approach” to advancing homosexualism in the province.
They highlight at several points the need to target schools and youth, as did the original 2007 report. “Awareness-raising and educational measures must target young people and the institutions
they frequent in order to increase their acceptance of sexual diversity,” the policy states.
Georges Buscemi, president of Campaign Quebec-Vie told LifeSiteNews.com it is “obvious” that the policy would impose homosexualism through the schools. “They’ve done it with the ethics and religious culture course,” he said, “so I’m not at all surprised that they’d be willing to fully integrate it into that course, with extra stuff tacked on.”
The Ethics and Religious Culture program is a province-mandated curriculum in religious and moral relativism for all Quebec students, spanning grades 1 to 11. The program, which has been imposed on private schools and could be required even of homeschoolers, already presents homosexuality as a normal lifestyle.
In the summer, further, the province began implementing training for primary school teachers to help them promote inclusiveness in their classrooms for same-sex parenting.
Buscemi also warned of the potential ramifications of this new policy for religious freedom in Quebec. In one “worrisome” section, he pointed out, the policy calls for social services to be tailored to homosexual needs.
“I could see this being the beginning of the end of religious freedom in the sense that if a church, for example, is offering a service, for example marriage, and is not tailoring the service to the needs of a homosexual, then it could be sanctioned for not doing that,” he explained.
In fact, under this policy, any religion espousing a traditional view of sexuality is indirectly labelled as “homophobic,” because the claim that homosexuality is unnatural, morally evil, or a matter of choice is clearly considered “homophobia.” The policy’s authors bemoan, for example, the fact that in Quebec “it is still possible to hear people say that homosexuality is an illness, morally wrong or a form of deviant behaviour, and that people choose their sexual orientation.”
“These beliefs, often instilled in the past, tend to marginalize sexual minority groups and prevent full recognition of their social equality,” it continues.
“They’re going to try for the longest possible to just use social pressure and increasingly isolate the recalcitrant entities and institutions,” Buscemi predicted. But, he said, “they’re quite clear, they’re quite unapologetic. It’s going to be a concerted effort, including all the ministries. … This is going to be a full court press. It’s going to lead to ostracizing different churches that have doctrinal oppositions to homosexual behaviour.”
“I think this kind of [covert] pressure is going to be effective enough that we won’t see overt sanctions, overt punitive measures, for a while,” he continued. “But those will come eventually.”