The exterior of the Catholic School Board in downtown Calgary, Alta on Wednesday March 11, 2015. The Wells / Calgary Sun / QMI Agency
Officials in the district of the Calgary County Classic School confirmed that teachers are required to sign documents stating that sexual relations or sexual relations are in violation of employment contracts, with regional dispute over the practice.
But now that the Calgary Observatory has brought its case before the Alberta Human Rights Commission, LGBTQ advocates say the issue will continue to be challenged, especially since the NDP's 24 bill enforces all schools to create GSAs for students who want support.
"How can these contracts – these Catholic clauses – stand when they clearly discriminate," said Christopher Wells,Professor of Sociology with the Faculty of Health and Community University of McEwan.
"It's hard to believe that in 2008, same-sex marriages are legal in this country, because anyone can lose his job because of that."
Wells says that the provision of such clauses that require teachers to maintain "Catholic values," involving only involvement in relations considered by the Church, creates a dangerous environment of fear and exclusion, not only among teachers but also among young students.
"This is not a system directly supported by the Church, it is a public education system supported by taxpayers," Wells said.
"But do not have to ask, do not tell a mentality that creates feelings of stress and despair, where you have to keep silent to keep employment.This not only affects the teachers, but is misleading the young LGBTQ role models It is important that they should.
According to Calgary's classic school district, all teachers must sign a contract that presents a range of expectations, one of which includes "a lifestyle and expulsion in harmony with Catholic teaching and principles."
Richard Svoboda, human resources supervisor at CCSD, confirmed that "anyone who does not live a lifestyle consistent with the church, this piece of contract will affect them.
"Relationships that will be accepted are those recognized by the Catholic Church, which must be recognized by a Catholic priest."
Then Svoboda added, "That Shall not include relations of the same sex or common law relations."
The teachers are treated on a case-by-case basis and are encouraged to meet with a Catholic priest.
"It is not for me to determine whether they are right or wrong in the eyes of the Catholic Church," Svoboda said. "We provide them with ways to make peace."
Svoboda said he was aware of gay teachers openly in the system, but none of them ended.
However, the former head of the Calgary Catholic School, Barb Hamilton, recently took her case to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, claiming she had to leave her position because of her sexuality.
Wells said that there is also another ongoing complaint of human rights by a LGBTQ teacher in Alberta who does not want to be identified.
Last week, the teachers in Edmonton and Bad Deer also raised concerns about the need to sign Catholic clauses that dictate their choice of lifestyle and deter homosexuals.
Tonya Callahan, a professor of education at the University of Calgary's School of Education in Calgary, left her job as a teacher at the Catholic School for the Study of Institutionalized Homophobia in the Catholic education system.
These sections are used disproportionately to push LGBTQ teachers, she said.
Schools do not use contracts to blackmail teachers who use contraception or live with friends, she said.
"We do not see stories about it, these things do not happen."
Wells added if the Alberta Human Rights Commission reveals that LGBTQ teachers are actually being treated differently than straight teachers but living with out-of-wedlock partners, the violations will have to go before the high courts.
– With files from the French Annette, Edmonton, Journal