GSA court challenge underway in Medicine Hat

By CHAT News Today
June 20, 2018 - 11:47am Updated: June 20, 2018 - 6:59pm


MEDICINE HAT, AB — Dozens of people packed the Medicine Hat Court of Queen’s Bench as a legal challenge to the province’s law regarding gay-straight alliances in schools is underway.

Both supporters and those opposed to the law are in the courthouse listening to the arguments. Those who couldn't get a seat found some shade outside.

Representatives from the Calgary Sexual Health Centre, who have successfully applied for intervenor status in the case, said they were hoping to give a voice to LGBTQ youth.

The challenge comes following the passage of Bill 24 by the NDP Government last November.

The bill amends the School Act, banning schools from telling parents if their child is a member of a gay-straight alliance.

Gay-straight alliances are groups organized by students to help LGBTQ students feel welcome and prevent abuse.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is leading the challenge to the law. The group is representing 25 faith-based schools and other organizations in Alberta.

They argue the law violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

In addition, the filing adds parents are concerned about the "sexual or ideological nature" of the clubs.

The group is hoping for a stay on the bill’s enforcement pending a constitutional challenge.

-With Files from The Canadian Press.

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