No excuses for homophobia in our schools

School balls are in the news for all the wrong reasons.  First there were the allegations regarding alcohol and drug use at the King’s College ball.  Now homophobia rears its ugly head.

St Patrick’s College in Wellington has told a student he can’t bring another boy to the school ball as his date.  Malcolm Pimentel was told he would not be allowed to bring friend and former St Patrick’s town pupil Keith Labad as his date by Father Paul Martin, the school’s rector.

Keith says:

I am a Catholic. I just also happen to be queer. We are not taking shots at religion, but rather, we’re trying to claim what we deserve as humans and that is our right. This is not an attack on our school or religion.

Go Keith!  The school’s purported reason for its decision is far from credible:

It’s a management issue. When you have boys from other schools or former students, you can have tensions between the students. Balls are complicated enough without adding another dimension.

Just substitute “students” for “boys” and they would have no students taking partners to the ball at all, that’s how ridiculous their excuse is.  This reeks of homophobia, and is totally unacceptable.

Keith and Malcolm have set up a Facebook event page where you can offer them your support.

Update: And as Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn points out in a post delightfully titled I thought this only happened in Alabama, it is not just totally unacceptable, but totally unlawful.

Update 16/06/11: The Facebook event page has now been canceled.  Not sure why yet.

7 Comments Posted

  1. But Toad, they WANT the end of the world. God gave man (not women) dominion to do what the ‘f they want to. When it’s all over well only the pious catholics will be ‘saved’.
    I despise them.

  2. I don’t want to call into question these young mens’ faith, but the Catholic church doesn’t have a very good track record on this issue.

    Apparently, the Catholic church’s problem is that gay, lesbian and transgender relationships inhibit procreation. In a world of finite resources that are rapidly being depleted, I would have thought that the Catholic church might have woken up by now to the fact that we cannot just go on with exponential population growth.

    And, for that matter, that it is now easier given medical advances for gay, lesbian and transgender people to have children if they so choose.

    The Adoption Act is still a problem in that regard though.

  3. Religion. Of course you’ll have blinkered bigotry, oppression, and discrimination. It is one of the entry requirements!

    It seems the religious are allowed to go around telling people they are sinners, will burn in hell, are morally corrupt. But try putting a condom on a statue or drawing a cartoon and all hell breaks loose.

  4. It’s blatantly illegal, being a breach of the Human Rights Act.

    If the principal and teachers of this school were to break other laws, like fiddling GST, or stealing public property, they’d be sacked and prosecuted. But the HRA sets a lower, slower standard – they can go through months of mediation with no clear sanction for ignoring the law.

    The HRA ought to allow for speedier and more effective remedies. Not to mention that public employees, which school staff are, should be disciplined if they blatantly break the law and abuse human rights in the course of their employment.

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