After facing efforts by Governor Rick Perry (R-TX), the American Family Association (AFA), and other religious right groups, the U.S. LGBT community is bracing for the next wave of heightened attacks running up to the current election. With that being said, it is interesting to see what is happening north of the border in Canada.
This week, the Canadian Egyptian Congress issued a call urging parents to reject the direction of a Coptic Orthodox priest. The Catholic school system in Canada is facing a pull towards inclusion of homosexuality and religious difference. The priest called on Canadian parents to pull almost 4,000 children out of the Catholic school system if it moved towards a more open, progressive and inclusive way of being.
The Equity and Inclusive Education policy is to be voted on at the end of this month, and is structured in a way that would help to create a softer and more open-minded policy on some strictures of Catholic doctrine so that they meet more closely with provincial standards, from whom they receive money.
â€œThe kids have friends, they have a place to go, and they would lose that,â€ Nazeer Bishay, President of the Canadian Egyptian Congress, said Sunday. â€œAnd besides, we donâ€™t have enough schools for all of them. So we will lobby, we will pressure the board, we will keep up the fight. But we do not recommend withdrawal.â€
Mr. Bishay is a prominent member in his social and religious community. When he went forward and proclaimed publicly that Father Jeremiah Attaalla spoke out of turn when he suggested that the boardâ€™s proposed equity policy would result in Coptic Orthodox students being pulled from class in September, the Egyptian Congress president sent out an email to hundreds of families Sunday, urging them to maintain their childrenâ€™s enrolment in the Catholic system.
Attaallaâ€™s foundation is from an article in the policy where the Catholic School Board will commit to providing â€œa learning and working environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.â€
The Coptic Orthodox community has often sent their children to Catholic schools. While they are not of the Catholic faith they do hold to the same liturgies. They however believe that the Pope is human, not a divine person.
Prominent members of his congregation have suggested that Father Attaallaâ€™s reaction to potential anti-homophobia policies within the school system were foolhardy and overblown.
â€œI have no concern about it at all,â€ said one father. â€œYou have to be realistic now â€” itâ€™s a fact of life. Iâ€™d just be concerned about teaching these things at an age when theyâ€™re able to understand it.â€
Father Attaalla has gone as far as state that he would start his own school. It would be the first private Coptic Orthodox School in Canada that would hold to such strict homophobic teachings.
Were it possible to remove 4,000 children, as Attaalla has threatened, it would be a total loss of almost $40 million dollars per year to the Catholic School system. With a budget of almost $1 billion and more than 90,000 students, it would definitely be able to survive with the removal of the students however it would be one of the worst precedents in Canadian history.
Homosexuality being taught and the creation of gay-straight alliances are issues most often brought up by parents.
â€œOur policies are always fluid so theyâ€™re always open for change, modification and clarification,â€ said one school board trustee, adding that the proposed equity policy is â€œto ensure that all students are treated fairly.â€
While Attaalla appeared focused on the potential softening of the Catholic stance that homosexuality is against Godâ€™s will, Bishay suggested a more pressing issue in the Catholic system.
With the Toronto District School Board recently approving formal Friday prayer services for Muslim students in a public school, the fear among the Coptic Orthodox community is that the Catholic systemâ€™s proposed Equity policy will introduce the same in Catholic schools.
â€œIf you walk through the doors of a Catholic school, respect their rules. If you donâ€™t like the religion, donâ€™t go,â€ Bishay said. He noted that an array of non-Catholics â€” Jewish, Sikh, Hindu and many others â€” were now represented in the Catholic system, none of them demanding leave from class to observe their faith.
In the past 20 years, requirements for admission to Catholic schools in Toronto have changed. Once, students had to be Catholic to be admitted. Now, admission is open to all religions, in accordance with the provinceâ€™s anti-discrimination policies.
Letâ€™s hope that we can actually see the continuation of an openness within the Catholic school system leading to a more inclusive religion as a whole!
Growing up in Northern Ontario as aÂ Jehovahâ€™s Witness, Michael Talon experienced firsthand the struggle for equality. Now living in the U.S. with his partner, they work with advocates for federal equality, including immigration. Working side by side, Michael and his partner Brad, head of Luna Media Group, help to deliver messages for equality to the nation.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
‘I’m Broke’: One Day Before Shutdown and With No Plan McCarthy Says He Has ‘Nothing’ in His ‘Back Pocket’
Just 30 hours before his own Republican conference likely will have succeeded in shutting down the federal government of the United States, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy candidly admitted to reporters he’s run out of ideas.
Earlier Friday in an “embarrassing failure,” 21 House Republicans killed legislation from their own party, a short-term continuing resolution, that would have kept the federal government open.
Later on Friday afternoon, swarmed by reporters, McCarthy was asked if he was going to tell them what his plans are. He sarcastically replied, “No, I’m going to keep it all a secret.”
When pressed, he said he would “keep working, and make sure we solve this problem.”
“What’s in your back pocket, Speaker?” another reporter asked, pressing him for an answer.
“Nothing right now. I’m broke,” he admitted, apparently referring to options and ideas to avoid a shutdown.
But another reporter asked Speaker McCarthy the main question: Would he partner with House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to put the Senate’s bill before the House.
He refused to answer.
After Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) failed House vote to keep the federal government open…
Reporter: “What’s in your back pocket, Speaker?”
McCarthy: “Nothing right now. I’m broke.” pic.twitter.com/pB2SWhOSVr
— The Recount (@therecount) September 29, 2023
Just before 5 PM CNN’s Manu Raju reported on the ongoing House Republicans’ closed-door meeting with the Speaker, a meeting where the 21 Republicans who will likely be effectively responsible for the shutdown reportedly did not attend.
“McCarthy is telling [Republicans] now there aren’t many options to avoid a shutdown, according to sources in room. He says they can approve GOP’s stop-gap plan that failed, accept Senate plan, put a ‘clean’ stop-gap on floor to dare Democrats to block it — or shut down the government.”
He adds, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) largely responsible for the impending likely shutdown and the impending possible ouster of McCarthy said: “We will not pass a continuing resolution on terms that continue America’s decline.”
At midnight Saturday Republicans will likely have succeeded in furloughing 3.5 million million federal workers – two million of them service members in the U.S. Armed Forces – and countless contractors, while financially harming untold thousands of businesses that rely on income from all those workers to keep running – unless Speaker McCarthy puts a bipartisan continuing resolution approved by at least 75 U.S. Senators on the floor, legislation every House Democrat is likely to vote for.
Should he do so, many believe he will have also signed his own pink slip.
But whether or not the government shuts down, and whether or not McCarthy puts the Senate’s CR on the floor, according to The Washington Post the far right extremists in his party are already moving to oust him “as early as next week.”
The Biden campaign is making certain Americans realize the blame for the impending shutdown sits at McCarthy’s feet.
Here is Kevin McCarthy a few months ago praising the deal he made with President Biden to avert a government shutdown, which he is now reneging on pic.twitter.com/B4rVNzNXkZ
— Biden-Harris HQ (@BidenHQ) September 29, 2023
At 6:23 PM Friday evening, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman wrote on social media: “HOUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE NO PLAN TO KEEP GOVERNMENT OPEN.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert
“Under the terms of an agreement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to defraud the state,” NBC News reports. “Under the terms of the deal, he’s being sentenced to five years probation.”
CNN previously reported “Hall, a bail bondsman and pro-Trump poll-watcher in Atlanta, spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office when voting systems were breached in January 2021. The breach was connected to efforts by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists to find voter fraud. Hall was captured on surveillance video at the office, on the day of the breach. He testified before the grand jury in Fulton County case and acknowledged that he gained access to a voting machine.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a professor of law and frequent MSNBC contributor, says Hall “was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell on Jan 7 for the Coffee County scheme involving voting machines. If he’s cooperating, it’s a bad sign for her.”
Hall’s plea deal “spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell,” says former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU Law professor of law. Goodman posted a graphic showing the overlap in charges against Hall and Powell, which he called “alleged joint actions.”
With breakthrough for Georgia DA (@TamarHallerman reporting: “SCOTT HALL has become the first co-defendant in the Fulton election interference case to take a plea deal with prosecutors.”)
That spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell.
Example of alleged joint actions.👇 pic.twitter.com/odMM5C7JtX
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) September 29, 2023
See the graphic above or at this link.
Far-Right Republicans Kill GOP Bill to Keep Government Running in ‘Embarrassing Failure’ for McCarthy: Report
With a shutdown less than 36 hours away, far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives Friday afternoon voted against their party’s own legislation to kept the federal government running. Democrats opposed the content of the bill and voted against it. Just 21 far-right members of the GOP conference were able to effectively force what appears to be an all but inevitable shutdown at midnight on Saturday.
“HARDLINE HOUSE RS take down stopgap funding bill. 21 GOP no votes. 232-198,” reported Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman just before 2 PM Friday.
NBC News reported that a “band of conservative rebels on Friday revolted and blocked House Republicans’ short-term funding bill to keep the government open, delivering a political blow to Speaker Kevin McCarthy and likely cementing the chances of a painful government shutdown that is less than 48 hours away.”
“Twenty-one rebels, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a conservative bomb-thrower and a top Donald Trump ally, voted Friday afternoon to scuttle the 30-day funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, leaving Republicans without a game plan to avert a shutdown. The vote failed,” NBC added. “The embarrassing failure of the GOP measure once again highlights the dilemma for McCarthy as his hard-liners strongly oppose a short-term bill even if it includes conservative priorities. It leaves Congress on a path to a shutdown, with no apparent offramp to avoiding it — or to quickly reopen the government.”
A bipartisan group of at least 75 U.S. Senators has passed two bills this week that would keep the government running. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has refused to allow it to come to the floor for a vote.
- News3 days ago
‘Jaw Dropping’: Democratic Senator Slams Tuberville’s ‘Open’ Talk About ‘White Supremacy’
- News3 days ago
McCarthy Blocks Bipartisan Bill Approved by 77 Senators to Avoid Shutdown as He Moves to Pin the Blame on Democrats
- News3 days ago
‘Apparently You’ll Never Believe Us’: House Republican Melts Down After Reporter Questions His ‘Evidence’ Against Biden
- News2 days ago
‘Flying Monkeys on a Mission for the Wicked Witch’: Raskin Rips Republicans Over Impeachment ‘Inquiry’
- News2 days ago
‘All Those Biden Towers’ Where ‘Influence Was Used’: Democrat Turns Tables and Mocks Republicans in Sarcastic Q&A
- News3 days ago
‘I Feel a Little Bit Dumber for What You Say’: The Nine Worst Moments of the GOP Presidential Debate
- ANALYSIS1 day ago
Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?
- News2 days ago
‘These Are Our National Secrets’: Democrat Slams GOP for Ignoring Trump Classified Documents Found ‘In the S——’