Jason Kenney has recently been elected leader of the Progressive Conservative party in Alberta, Canada. He has already courted controversy with remarks about informing parents of their children’s membership of groups such as the Gay-Straight Alliance.
Kenney told Postmedia the following:
“I do, however, think that parents have a right to know what’s going on with their kids in the schools unless the parents are abusive … I don’t think it’s right to keep secrets from parents about challenges their kids are going through.”
LGBT groups have immediately responded with fears that this kind of outing could be extremely harmful to vulnerable children in non-supportive families. LGBTQ advocate Mike Morrison defended the role of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) with this comment:
“Parents might not be creating a safe environment at home so the GSA is created to protect that child.”
Singer K.D. Lang also responded with a tweet to Kenney himself:
You're gay aren't you? @jkenney
— k.d. lang (@kdlang) March 29, 2017
No doubt this was to illustrate to Kenney that nobody appreciates someone else speaking for them about such personal matters and to perhaps show the potential danger of outing people.
Paula Simons of Edmonton Journal also argued that Kenney’s comments were potentially damaging saying:
“A gay-straight alliance is not a sex club. It’s not a therapy group for LGBTQ kids. It’s not a program of homosexual brainwashing, designed to convert straight kids into queer or trans ones.
A GSA is just a student club, open to any and all who want to join it, gay or straight. That’s the whole point of a gay-straight alliance: to bring gay and straight kids together.”
Kenney has posted a denial of outing kids on his Facebook page:
However, his original comments about not keeping ‘secrets’ from kids is still a threat, and has even been called ‘extremist’ by opponents. Children who are LGBTQ are already going through a lot.
If secrecy was to be taken away in cases where children have been brave enough to confide with others in a safe accepting environment such as GSA, it could lead to awful outcomes.
Watch this report:
Featured image via YouTube.