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shnen
May 10th, 2002, 05:04 PM
Not sure if this is the right place... But I am soo happy for him!!!! :boing:

Gay couple can go to prom, judge rules!!!

Gay Oshawa teenager Marc Hall cannot be banned from taking his boyfriend to the prom at a Roman Catholic high school, a judge ruled today.
Hall, 17, was granted an injunction by the Superior Court of Justice allowing him to take his boyfriend, Jean-Paul Dumond, 21, to his prom tonight at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic high school in Oshawa.

In his ruling, MacKinnon wrote that "the idea of equality speaks to the conscience of all humanity dignity and worth.

"Marc Hall is a Roman Catholic Canadian trying to be himself. He is gay. It's not an answer to Section 15 Charter rights on these facts to deny permission to attend a school function to celebrate the end of his high school career with his classmates."

Hall's lawyer David Corbett said the ruling tells Catholic schools "you can't disciminate on the basis of sexual orientation when you're dealing with young people. You shouldn't be able to do that with anybody, but especially not young people in their care."

Corbett said the judge's decision is only an interim ruling, but that the board has indicated it wants to argue its position in a trial. Corbett said Hall is prepared to do the same.

"We'll take it all the way to trial to get a clear precedent. We'll take it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada if we have to."

Roger Hutchinson, a professor emeritus of theology at the University of Toronto, said he didn't think the decision would "open the flood gates" and make way for concrete change. But he said it would send a strong message that gay people have basic human rights that must be protected by public institutions.

"It will make all Catholic schools think twice before they make anti-gay decisions."

Hutchinson said Hall's case shows the climate for gays in the church is improving.

"The fact that the young person has streghth of conviction to take it this far, he must think he has a reasonable chance of winning. It's hard to imagine this happening 10 or 15 years ago."

Earlier this week, Peter Lauwers, a lawyer for the Durham Catholic School Board, told court the school board has the right under the Constitution to run its schools in accordance with Catholic teachings and if Hall doesn't like it he can go to a public school.

Lauwers called Hall a bad example, and said while the school board accepts gay people, they can't condone or allow homosexual behaviour at a school function.

Hall's lawyer David Corbett argued the board violated the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Education Act and the provincial Code of Conduct, which all bar discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Corbett argued the church's right to consider religious values when regulating students' conduct doesn't trump Hall's human rights.

His fight has drawn high-profile support from politicians, TV stars and union bosses.

Industry Minister Allan Rock wrote an open letter to the school board asking trustees to reverse the ban.

"I encourage you to set an example, for all Canadians, of social justice in action by not discriminating against a student based on sexual orientation," Rock wrote.

Hall was feted at a gay rights group gala on Parliament Hill last month.

Guy Gagnier, host of PrideVision TV's current affairs show Shout!, and actors Jack Wetherall and Sherry Miller from the popular television series Queer as Folk were there to offer support.

The cause has even vaulted Hall onto the small screen, with appearances on the reality show The Lofters and an upcoming episode of Queer as Folk.
By Amy Carmichael
Canadian Press

Semele
May 10th, 2002, 05:17 PM
I am all for rights for everyone...gay,straight, black, white, Christian, Pagan....whatever. My only question is...what judge in their right mind would make a ruling stating it is okay for an underage person to do something with an adult they identify as their boyfriend?? See the problem I am seeing here? What about the 16 year old girl who is seeing a 24 year old on the sly, hiding it from her parents. (Come on..we all did it didn't we?!?!) Can she get a judgement saying she can take him to her prom??? I doubt it.

Not to lessen the profound affect this has and the presidence it will set, but there seems to be something a little askew with the age thing. I guess it could be that where they are from 17 is an adult...not sure. If that is the case then ignore me alltogether!!

Lavender
May 10th, 2002, 05:39 PM
It's been a while since my prom days but I don't remember any of my friends having any problems bringing their older boyfriends to the prom or grad. Is it different in the US?

shnen
May 10th, 2002, 06:15 PM
Age has never been a problem in my experience in Canada.
The issue at hand was that he was gay and the schoolboard turned him down to bring his boyfriend... no age thing at all Semele... pure gay rights.

Yvonne Belisle
May 10th, 2002, 06:39 PM
I brought my friends fiance to the prom since my date couldn't get leave from the army. I don't think age is such a big issue I knew a lot of people that brought older family members that were siblings or cousins rather than go stag too. I think the parents know for the most part who thier kid is going with. There are signs when they are sneaking older dates. Also there is the double standard that females should date a little older because they mature faster as my family says. I am just glad that if two males want to go as a couple they can I know the schools saw nothing wrong with two girls doing so when I was growing up I guess they assumed that they just couldn't get a date. This will allow them to at least dance together if they chose and not have the school throw them out. I know we have some members here that will be happy to see this.


Shnen I am going to split this into political since it is a topic that the members of that forum may wish to discuss as well. I am leaving one in here because as parents and teens we may want to discuss the nonpolitical side of this disision.

Arduinna
May 10th, 2002, 07:06 PM
I'm glad the judge is supporting this students right to bring his boyfriend to the prom. As for the age issue, I can't really say anything about it, since I lived with my 23 year old boyfriend when I was 16. And since the issue has gone before a judge, I would assume that the students parents know about the boyfriend.

shnen
May 10th, 2002, 08:25 PM
All the students and most parent (including his) were behind him all the way.. the only people fighting it was the school and schoolboard...

Earthcup
May 10th, 2002, 08:57 PM
:sunny: I'm glad he had the courage to challenge this and I hope he has a wonderful prom night!

Margie
May 10th, 2002, 11:25 PM
Originally posted by Semele
My only question is...what judge in their right mind would make a ruling stating it is okay for an underage person to do something with an adult they identify as their boyfriend?? See the problem I am seeing here? What about the 16 year old girl who is seeing a 24 year old on the sly, hiding it from her parents. (Come on..we all did it didn't we?!?!) Can she get a judgement saying she can take him to her prom??? I doubt it.


You can hide your age. You lie, but you can still be a loving couple. If you're gay you'd have to hide the fact that you're a couple. Who has the right to rule who can and can't be your boyfriend (*especially* if your parents are ok with it). I understand your concern about the of age/under age thing but that wasn't the schools concern at all.

I for one find a great victory in this. I went to Catholic school for 13 years and had many rights violated in that time because they think they're in their own little world. I think it's great that these two stood up for their right and won!

Lavender
May 11th, 2002, 02:00 AM
I'm happy for them. I just watched the clip on the news tonight. They got the news just hours before the prom. I think the issue was that it was a Catholic school. I know in the public school system, gay couples are not supposed to be an issue.

Also, it was wonderful to see his friends and family cheering for them when they got the go-ahead. :)

Yvonne Belisle
May 11th, 2002, 10:01 AM
Sadly it is an issue in public schools too. :(

Rubi Waters
May 11th, 2002, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by Margie


I for one find a great victory in this. I went to Catholic school for 13 years and had many rights violated in that time because they think they're in their own little world. I think it's great that these two stood up for their right and won!

I agree with this I also went to catholic school for 12 years... where they try to brainwash you into believing only what they tell you. ( I think that's why it took me so long to find my path because my brain kept telling me it was wrong) anyway they would have you think that same sex couples are bad, even though you have a lot of the preists acting
"unappropriatly" with children (boys) .

Semele
May 11th, 2002, 02:25 PM
I am not saying that "I" think there is a problem with the age, only that in most places in the US it is illegal for an adult to be romantically involved with a child, meaning anyone under 18. You hear cases all the time where a girl is 16 and dating a 19 or 20 year old and her parents may be fine with it and then when they break up or if the boyfriend makes the parents angry...they turn him in for statutory (sp?) rape. Not fair...but it happens. I am suprised the school in question didn't fight it with that angle...suprised but happy they didn't. I think it is an awesome victory for people everywhere.

Myst
May 11th, 2002, 02:44 PM
It's my understanding that here in Canada the ages are different, and that anyone down to the age of 14 can be with someone older without there being a statutory rape charge, depending on the age of the other person involved (like, if it's a 14 yo and a 16 yo it's ok, but not a 14 yo and a 21 yo) but I'm not sure.

Yvonne Belisle
May 11th, 2002, 02:55 PM
When I was 23 I dated a 17 year old. As long as there is no sexual contact there is no stautory rape. He wasn't too thrilled I wouldn't do anything but I know his parents were happy about it. We had a nice time going to the movies or to the park for a picnic it was very nice. I think if a person is going to date older then they have to set certain rules for both of thier sakes.

Hope
May 13th, 2002, 10:16 PM
what a good story thanks for posting it :)

love
hope

shnen
May 13th, 2002, 10:37 PM
Glad you enjoyed it:)