The Rainbow Wars hit Manitoba

By Jonathon Van Maren

I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but two news stories yesterday have again brought evidence of precisely what I laid out in two earlier articles. For one, some questioned whether the title of my column on the Edmonton Catholic school teacher currently being investigated for “anti-gay” comments was an accurate one. I spoke to the issue on 770 Talk Radio Calgary with Andrew Lawton yesterday, and pointed out that the “silencing of Christian teachers has begun” was precisely the right title, because we were just beginning to see the trend of gay activists accusing teachers and schools of not adequately advocating for their worldview. And indeed, yesterday the National Post was already reporting on the next one:

A school division in southeastern Manitoba is facing a human rights complaint because it forbids teachers from discussing sexual orientation in elementary and middle-school classrooms.

Michelle McHale and Karen Phillips allege one of their children was bullied at a school in the Hanover School Division because the women are a same-sex couple.

The couple’s complaint filed with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission alleges that when McHale complained to the principal, she was told a division policy forbids any discussion of same-sex relationships until students reach high school.

Refusing to acknowledge gender diversity and promote tolerance “creates this culture of exclusion and stigmatization that can really lead to an unsafe environment for students,” the women’s lawyer, Allison Fenske, said Monday.

Officials from the school division were not immediately available to comment. In a news release in April, the division said it fulfills its requirements under the provincial curriculum and respects “the role of the parents or guardians as the primary educators of their children, especially in the areas pertaining to family life.”

Again it is a lesbian couple complaining that their “rights” are being violated because the children of others are not being informed that their family arrangement is normal. The school district had worked hard to avoid such controversies by very firmly placing parents in the driver’s seat on sex education:

The division’s policy says teachers up to Grade 8 should call parents if a child inquires about topics including sexual orientation and abortion. It also suggests the child talk to a counsellor, a trusted relative or a help line.

That’s not good enough for Michelle and Karen. They want all children informed that two mommies are just as normal as a mommy and a daddy, and they are now taking legal action to ensure that their view is imparted to the children of other people. Again, we see people using victimhood as a cudgel to force others to do as they please.

In the same Manitoba city of Steinbach, a very conservative area of about 14,000 people, a Pride parade is being organized for the first time. With such rowdy displays of sexuality, of course, comes the demand that politicians show up to applaud and bow the knee to the rainbow flag. The idea that “the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation” is no longer one the gay rights activists are much interested in. Now, they want the nation, and especially the nation’s leaders, to be clapping wildly and approving what goes on in their bedrooms. If they refuse, of course, they are “bigoted” and “homophobic.” Again, they will cry “discrimination” not because they are being discriminated against, but as a way of forcing people who disagree with them to do as they say.

As I wrote yesterday, activists are already attempting to smear the blood of the Orlando murders onto bewildered Christians, claiming that Christians created a “anti-queer climate.” The Orlando murders, I wrote, will be used in every imaginable situation to demand that Christians agree with the agenda of gay activists. And so it is, even in sleepy Steinbach, Manitoba:

Conservative MP Ted Falk says he will not attend the first Pride Parade in Steinbach, Man., in July and is asking event organizers to respect his decision.

“I’ve been clear on this issue many times, and have made my position public on my values of faith, family and community,” the member of Parliament for Provencher, a mainly rural riding in the southeast corner of Manitoba, said in an emailed statement Monday. 

“I will not be attending the Pride march taking place in Steinbach on July 9, nor do I intend to participate in any other events organized by this group.

“Just as I respect the right of people to participate in this event, I am hopeful the event organizers will be respectful of my choice, and the choice of many others, not to participate. Even without a scheduling conflict, my decision to not attend would be the same.”

The statement did not elaborate on the reasons Falk is not attending the city’s first Pride parade. Some media reports said the MP was planning to attend the annual Frog Follies Agricultural Fair in St.-Pierre-Joly instead. Maria-Christine Bruce is the president of the Frog Follies Agricultural festival in St. Pierre-Jolys. She is calling on politicians to skip the event on July 9 and attend the Steinbach Pride parade instead…

“The politician being talked about the most right now is Ted Falk because he is the one who is attending our festival and is using that as a reason not to go to the Steinbach Pride parade,” said Marie-Christine Bruce, president of Frog Follies. Bruce said she wants people to attend the Frog Follies, but added she also recognizes the importance of the Pride parade.

“It’s a historic event, it’s for human rights, and human rights will trump everything,” Bruce said.

“This is the very first time that Steinbach is having this kind of event, and it was definitely an uphill battle for organizers to put this in place,” Bruce said.

“In light of the recent tragic massacre in Orlando, we just can’t ignore an important event like the very first Pride event in any municipality, any town, anywhere right now.” Bruce said.

Attending Pride is important, the CBC noted, because “human rights trump everything.”

Did you catch that? The statement seems benign but is incredibly radical. The political and social agenda of gay activists is now the equivalent with “human rights.” These “human rights” trump “everything.” That would include your right to educate your children as you see fit, your right to pass on your worldview to your children, and your right not to genuflect at Rainbow Celebrations. The language used may sound unthreatening, but totalitarianism bubbles just beneath the surface.

20 thoughts on “The Rainbow Wars hit Manitoba

  1. Kyle says:

    Excellent article Jonathon! I live in Brandon and I had the same sentiments when I heard Mr. Falk (and another MLA) being repeatedly pestered about their lack of attendance.

    Keep up the good work!

      • Jed says:

        Funny thing is if anyone actually investigated Michelle’s accusations of bullying they would find no evidence because her son was not actually bullied. I wonder why that has not come out in the media yet? One only has to convince her ex-husband to make a statement to discredit her. Also, she no longer lives in the Hanover School Division catchment area and she also for Pride Winnipeg and has made it vocal that Steinbach has been in her sights for awhile. Please Pray for God’s words to ring true and that this overblown issue goes no further.

        • Shelly says:

          100% Jed …. The media does not want to supply truth unfortunately, if they did report on the false stories behind all this… It would discredit everything being pushed for.
          It’s sad that poor boy is being used as he is just to push an agenda.

          • Ann says:

            I so agree. This woman is shamelessly using her son for her own slfish agenda. If this the lystyle she is choosing she has that right. Just as she has a right to disagree with my beliefs and choices as a believer I have the right right to disagree with her choices. If this does not make her a bigot neither does it make me or anyone else one. As for MP Ted Falk, he did not use the Frog Follies as an excuse to not go to the Pride Parade , he said his choice NOT to attend the parade would be the same without a conflict of scheduling. We live in a country where freedom of choice is for everyone, INCLUDING Christians .

        • Dave says:

          The father does not make a statement about the bullying due to the fact that his son is struggling with his moms coming out. His last name is the same as his father, and the father wishes to protect him from being put in the spot light.

        • Adam says:

          You’re 100% right, the only human rights violation was exploiting that poor child to push her own LGBT agenda.

  2. Laurie says:

    I agree with the basic belief that we are all equal before God.
    I am a free citizen in Canada who practices my faith which states.. Love others as God loves you.
    Love is not false or manipulates , doesn’t demand its own way…
    Is gracious and kind but speaks the truth. No group has the RIGHT to dominate or intimidate. Or else we’ll become like Theives that take what doesn’t belong to us….
    in our own ways becoming wise… Without wisdom.
    Our communities need diversity but truth. We need to be free to choose. That’s what God does for us everyday. Respects our differences and Hives us opportunities to be patient and kind within a harsh world.
    I am free to speak what I believe …. Not to dominate, manipulate … Seek legal action against those who force their lifestyle on me, my family or my community.

  3. Angel Peterson says:

    As a Christian, and a supporter of knowledge, I find that we need to force some people to learn things as they won’t willingly take their heads out of the sand by themselves. It often takes a major wake up call to get people to question their long standing beliefs. Some times finding out your christian son or daughter is gay is that wake up call for some of us.

  4. Dave says:

    The ex husband wishes to keep his boys name from becoming public knowledge. The boy was not bullied and is struggling with his mom being gay. Last thing he needs is media attention.

  5. Sally says:

    It is another attack on Christians to shut then,up so that those who rebel against God and His Word can have free reign to promote their agenda without opposition. The very idea of using the rainbow as their symbol and flag is the ultimate opposition since God’s design of the rainbow was to say he would not judge the earth by flood anymore. And another way to do this is aim for a gender less society. Then God can be totally put out of the picture and his Word that marriage isbetween one mam and one woman can be put aside because there “is no gender”
    Christians are indeed being targeted but we must continue to stand up for what is right and stand up for truth and righteousness!

  6. Shaymos says:

    Using the guise of human rights and political correctness to bully someone to agree with you is akin to using violence to accomplish the same goal.

  7. Jeffrey Olsson says:

    I read your article and I have a few problems with it. In it you state that Christian teachers are being silenced by gay activists. You cite recent human rights commission action as evidence of this occurring.

    What I don’t understand is why you think that a teacher who is a Christian has the right to pass on their personal Christian beliefs in a public school setting. Could you imagine the reaction if a teacher who is a Muslim was to tell all the kids in a Steinbach area grade two classroom how important it is to bow before Allah? What if that same teacher told the children that the religion their parents follow is “just wrong”, “it’s not normal”. There would (rightly) be public outrage and we would see parents pulling their children from the class. I would expect the parents of those children to file their own human rights complaint.

    Clearly, most Manitobans do understand that is not acceptable for bullying to occur because of differences of faith, ethnicity etc.

    Like it or not, it is a fact that Canada is a secular democracy, in which many faiths exist. If parents want to teach their children their own faith and values, they are in no way “silenced”. Parents have every right to send their children to a appropriate religious school, or to an appropriate Sunday school. They even have the right to teach their children at home. After all, we are talking about teaching your children your own religion, It’s not so hard to do. It does not need to be done in a public school or even at the taxpayers expense. For centuries before public schools existed, parents taught their own children about Christ. I would suggest, that they might even have taken them to church on Sunday for lessons. Not such a radical idea is it?

    But in the public realm, in a public school, telling kids that there are families that have two moms instead of a mom and dad is also not radical at all. It’s no different than telling children that there are people who are Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Baha’i, French, Italian, Swedish, or British, Black, yellow, or Caucasian. Telling those same school children that is not OK to berate, tease or otherwise bully children based on these differences is not an endorsement of any particular faith or attribute of the minority children in their school. It is merely a recognition of their existence, and their right to live an unfettered, unmolested life.

    Many people in the Steinbach area seem to of forgotten the greatness of the multicultural experiment that Canada is. This is the same experiment that allowed many different faiths to settle here, raise their children as they wanted to do and form communities. As communities grow we have to recognize that differences are still allowed. And that no one community gets to define for another what “normal” is.

    All anyone is asking for is for their children not to be bullied at school. There is nothing radical about that nor will there ever be. It is you who frames the argument as “normalization” of the “gay agenda”. In reality, parents will still have the right to pass their personal beliefs on to their children.

    • Jonathon Van Maren says:

      That’s not what the article addresses. The school avoids the topic of sexuality either way–it actually remains neutral and leaves the task of educating their children on such matters to the parents. That’s not good enough for the lesbian couple in question–one of them is the Pride organizer for Steinbach–who thinks relationships like theirs should be discussed in the schools, rather than leaving it to the parents to educate their children as they see fit.

      • John says:


        I’m a Christian and can understand that public schools are not pulpits for pushing our faith. However, as Johnathan rightly points out above, this is not what this story is about. Also, I’d like public schools to respect the other part of the agreement: not to push secular propaganda on to my kids: It’s great that current issues are discussed. However, I expect them to be presented in a balanced way. I don’t expect my Christian views to get chief billing in a public school but neither do I expect to hear a teacher’s personal views on climate change, Donald Trump or transgenderism. Best wishes.

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