An Ontario Catholic school has gone one step further than Tennessee's idiotic "don't say gay" bill — they've banned rainbows.
According to Xtra, St. Joseph Catholic Secondary School allowed its unofficial gay-straight alliance (official GSAs are banned) to hold an anti-homophobia event, but then prohibited all rainbow banners and posters. Said Leanne Iskander, founder of the unofficial group,
We brought signs and posters with rainbows and we were told that we can't put them up. They said rainbows are associated with Pride. There's so many other things that a rainbow could be. It's ridiculous.
The kids got around the ban by baking cupcakes with rainbow batter. But they still had to deal with lots of other limitations. Among other things their school banned:
- Distributing booklets discussing gender identity, harassment in sports, AIDS awareness, or safe sex.
- Donating the money from their bake sale to an LGBT charity — the school made them donate to a Catholic homeless charity instead.
- Mentioning their school's name at a Pride Parade.
Iskander and her fellow students plan to march in the parade anyway, and give out buttons supporting GSAs (they're seeking donations to pay for the buttons here). She says, "Marching in Pride is important to us because it will allow us to advocate for GSAs in Catholic Schools to a large audience. Handing out buttons will be an excellent way to spread the message that GSAs are needed in Catholic schools."
The sheer number of activities St. Joseph is banning makes them seem a little desperate, as thought they're trying everything they can think of to keep LGBT kids from talking about their scary, dangerous sexuality. So far, it seems like Iskander's ingenuity and commitment to her cause exceed her school's ability to silence her, which is something they might want to consider. When you have to start banning rainbows to keep kids from speaking up for what they believe in, it might be time to just listen.
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