Canadian government orders pastor to allow gay-straight Alliances in Alberta Christian schools

A pastor is being ordered by the Canadian government to allow gay-straight alliances in the two Christian schools that he runs in Alberta.

Brian Coldwell, a pastor of New Testament Baptist Church and chairperson of Independent Christian Education Society, said that he did not intend to comply with the order.

(Wikimedia Commons/Philthecow)Gay-straight alliance board

"I have a duty as a pastor to protect the flock of God," said Coldwell on a late August interview with CBC. "And there is no way under heaven I'm going to allow gay activists to come in here and basically undermine our ministries and our religious freedoms or confuse and corrupt our children," he added.

Earlier this year, Education Minister David Eggen ordered the school boards to submit LGBTQ policies before the end of March but some schools showed resistance. Eggen appointed a consultant to form a new transgender policy in one of the schools that did not comply.

"I'm not going to allow the minister of education to appoint anyone to come in here — he does not have that dictatorial power," said Coldwell.

On Sept. 2, Eggen sent a letter to Coldwell asking him for assurance that he will allow gay-straight alliances to be formed at the Meadows Baptist Academy and Harvest Baptist Academy in Parkland County.

Eggen stated that the reply he received from Coldwell on Sept. 16 was unsatisfactory. He indicated that he will appoint a third party to conduct an inquiry at the schools. He stated that he is allowed to withdraw the funding for schools that do not comply.

According to Global News, the province of Alberta provided 70 percent of the schools' funds.

"The process of course that's included at my disposal is deregistration of a school or withdrawal of funding or so forth. One usually begins this process through the process of inquiry," said Eggen.

Kris Wells of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services believed that the government should have created a uniform policy regarding gender identity and sexual orientation instead of allowing individual boards to create their own.



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