Steve Tourloukis, a father of two children, initially requested religious accommodation from the school board for his children in 2010, after the 2009 Equity and Inclusivity Education Strategywas implemented by then-minister of education Kathleen Wynne, a lesbian, and her deputy minister, Ben Levin. Levin was convicted in March 2015 of three child pornography related charges.
In 2010, Tourloukis simply asked to be alerted beforehand when and how his children, who were four and six, would be taught about homosexuality, abortion, the occult, and cultural relativism. Once notified, he could choose to keep them at home, so he could decide whether to withdraw them from class.
In 2012, Tourloukis began a legal challenge, objecting to teachers making “value judgments” in class, e.g. homosexuality as natural, or abortion as morally acceptable.
By 2016, the original hearing of the case was heard; Polizogopoulos faced three publicly funded legal teams representing the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, the Liberal government, and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario.
Tourloukis’ attorney, Albertos Polizogopoulos argued that the board’s refusal to grant Tourloukis’ request violated his Charter right to religious freedom. Last November, Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Reid ruled Tourloukis’ Charter rights had been violated, but that was “reasonable” because of the competing Charter “values” of “inclusivity, equality and multiculturalism,” and public school boards’ statutory obligations.
Reid said Tourloukis could send his children to private schools. Polizogopoulos asked the Appeal Court to reverse Reid’s decision.
On Monday, as LifeSite News reported:
The board’s lawyer argued a public school is not allowed to “indoctrinate” students, but that Ontario’s public schools have statutory obligation to create safe schools, including the EIES, Policy Memorandum 119, and the 2012 Accepting Schools Act, or Bill 13. Accommodating Tourloukis would “directly impact the ability of Ontario public schools to provide students with a positive, inclusive, and supportive educational environment.”
Attorney Josh Hunter, representing the Liberal government, said if the Tourloukis children didn’t attend class it to leave class would “undermine the board’s message that it is important to accept, welcome, and celebrate diversity” and would be “harmful to the rights of other students to feel accepted and welcomed.”
Worse, ETFO lawyer Kate Hughes argued teachers were mandated by law to positively represent homosexuality, lesbianism, transgenderism: to teach children not just to “tolerate” LGBTQ lifestyle, but to “honour and respect” and “celebrate” it.
Jack Fonseca, Campaign Life Coalition’s senior political strategist, called Hughes’ assertion “a brazen, unashamed admission that indoctrination was the goal.” He told LifeSiteNews that she argued that “teachers have a statutory obligation to celebrate LGBT identities and same-sex relationships, and that if teachers aren’t embedding that celebration into every subject every day, then they’re not meeting the ‘statutory objectives.’”
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