Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-Why we need GSA’s.An interview with a High School Student and Parent


Click this link for part 3 of our series of conversations around Gay Straight Alliances.

We heard from people who had some concerns about GSA’s. If you missed that, click here. It was with Jojo Ruba, Derek Fildebrandt, Terry Lo and Jeff Wilson.

The second was with Kent Hehr. If you missed that, click the link here.

This perspective is from a High School student named Caprice and her mother Diane. Caprice is in Grade 10. She is slowly opening up about who she is and her mom is there to support her.

We also heard from Kelly Hofer. If you haven’t heard his story, we touch on it briefly here. He is a Hutterite who, once he came out, cannot go back to his colony to be with his friends and family there. He has started a support group which he will talk about as well. Kelly couldn’t stay with us the whole time, but we did appreciate his perspective. If you wish to listen to his interview, listen to it here.

Oh, and Terry Lo is with us as well.

Topics we cover in our Podcast include;

Kelly’s perspective on GSA’s and the concerns from the religious community.

Diane’s experience dealing with teachers and principles in schools.

Caprice’s perspective.

A response to if an “anti-bullying” club solves the problem

A response to the parental concern argument.

Their impression on Gordon Dirks

Terry walks through how feasible Bill 10 would work with Caprice. And the logic behind it.

Follow Diane @Diegirl

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-Interview with Kent Hehr


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Kent Hehr and I discuss the recent issues around Bill 202 and Bill 10.

Click here to listen to the Podcast.

If you remember, Kent brought forward a private members bill Motion 503 which would make it mandatory for school boards to support students who want to form Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs)
Topics we discuss include;

-Kent motivation behind bringing Motion 503

-The process behind Bill 202 and the expectations of what would happen

-Bill 10

-The response to concerns that religious schools that this is a violation of their rights

-Gordon Dirks silence

-The hope going forward

We also spent some time discussing Provincial and Federal politics as well.

We discussed;

-the current perception of Alberta Liberal party

-his perception of the other parties

-the impact of oil prices and when Prentice could call an election.

-His nomination for Liberal MP

-Why he feels it’s important that we have a Liberal MP from Calgary.

Follow Kent on Twitter. He posts a lot of content.
@kenthehr

Check out his website
www.kenthehr.ca

Follow me on Twitter
@kevole
Agree or Disagree: The Podcast
@AorDThePodcast

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Kevin Olenick

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Agree or Disagree: The Podcast -An Adult conversation around GSA’s


Derek Fildebrandt, Terry Lo, Jojo Ruba, and Jeff White discuss the issues around the Gay-Straight Alliances, Bill 202, and Bill 10.

Derek wrote an excellent blog about having an adult conversation on GSA’s. You can read that here.

Terry, if you remember, left his role as VP of communications for the party Calgary- Glenmore constituency association. This was because WRP members didn’t pass an expanded statement on equality rights on their last meeting.

Jojo and Jeff represent Faith Beyond Belief. They exist to help Christians become effective ambassadors for Christ.

One of the observations Jojo made was that many moderate Christians voices haven’t been a part of the conversation. They feel that they have been shut out of the conversation.

Listen to the Podcast here

Topics we cover include;

Some benefits and concerns about GSA’s. Particularly those involved in a Christian school.

What was missing in this conversation?

Parental rights

Religious rights

The silence of Gordon Dirks and how it impacted both sides.

Why the PC government mishandled the situation so badly?

A possible solution going forward.

Follow Derek Fildebrandt at Fildebrandt.ca

Terry @calgarydreamer on Twitter

Faith Beyond Belief at faithbeyondbelief.ca

Follow me
@kevole
@AorDThePodcast
Add me on Facebook: Kevin Olenick
Like Agree or Disagree: The Podcast on Facebook.

Agree or Disagree: Bill 10.


The last week, there was a big controversy and discussion about Bill 202.

If you are not sure what Bill 202 is, you can read it here.

Many people are actually quite supportive of the concepts of Gay-Straight Alliances. However, this bill is not universally supported. There were two major concerns of this specific Bill. One concern has been from religious schools. They feel that Gay-Straight Alliances are contradictory to their religious conviction. (I’m just sharing the facts, not giving a specific opinion here). The other was from some parents. Some parents felt that these alliances were infringing on how parents speak to their children.

Enter Bill 10.

Today, the PC Party tabled this Bill. You can read Bill 10 here.

Now, I can see from Social Media that this is going to go a particular way. However,let’s try to be constructive. With that, I’ll ask some questions.

What works with this Bill? (If you say  nothing, at least back it up)

What doesn’t work with this Bill? (I imagine this will be obvious)

However, perhaps this is the tougher question going forward

Is there an actual way to get religious schools, parents, and the LGBT community on the same page on this issue? I’m on record that I support Gay-Straight Alliances.It is very clear that these are supportive.  I think Bill 202 is the right step.I’m quite confused and perplexed as to why this can’t go forward. But obviously, we can’t . There are still concerns.

How can we actually deal with these issues?

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-Interview with Terry Lo aka @calgarydreamer


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Steven Britton and I interview Terry about his recent decision to resign from his position within the WRP.

One of the advantages of doing a podcast is we can spend more time discussing an issue more in depth. It allows us to get a full perspective on what happened.

The story of Terry’s resignation took a life of it’s own. As such, there were some issues that may have been missed. We cover these topics. Because of the nature and length of this conversation, we decided to break this up in 2 parts.

Click  here for Part 1 covers.

Terry’s background. Converting from Catholicism to Atheism. His previous views on LGBT.

His relationship with his son.

His reasons for joining the Wildrose Party.

Some conversations he had with some of the members of the Wildrose Party about “The Lake of Fire”

His reaction to the decision made at the Wildrose AGM.

Why the wording of the Wildrose Policy is important.

The importance of Gay Straight Alliances. The concern about the idea of religious exemptions.

Click here for Part 2 of the interview. In this portion, we focus on the fallout from his decision to resign. Topics include;

The process of his resignation.

The decision to go public.

How his blog post went viral and the media response to it.

His current relationship with friends of the Wildrose Party.

His current perspective of the Wildrose Party.

If he could do anything different, would he?

His advice to parents of LGBT children.

Normally, we would advertise Twitter/Facebook/Blogs. However, because of the nature of this conversation, I decided to leave that out. Let’s leave it in a reflective place.

Agree or Disagree: @calgarydreamer’s decision.


As I have been writing this, it has been 11 days since my last post. This is due to travel and illness.

But I’m back. It’s good too be back. And, it appears we have some catching up too do.

Now, last week, you may have seen this face on your newspaper, or your newsfeed.

terrance-lo

This is Terry Lo, or @calgarydreamer. He tweets a lot on the yyc food scene. He organized YYC Burger Week and YYC Pizza Week. You also heard him on Agree or Disagree: The Podcast.

Last week, he made some waves this week with this post. He resigned his position as VP Communications for the Calgary Glenmore Wildrose Constituency Association.   Here is a portion of his post that I would like to highlight.

This past weekend at the AGM, the party, either in the misguided misunderstanding that nothing LESS than the statement of equality would do after the Lake of Fire event, or out of genuine desire to swing far right, actually BACKTRACKED and voted out the 2013 statement that affirmed and protected HUMAN RIGHTS.

In that moment, the party actually went against their leader and the recommendation of the MLAs, and basically said “screw you” to groups that have never felt included, or protected adequately compared to the white, christian majority. And the sad part, the membership seems to be falling on the argument that the more generic “ALL” statement supported is more than adequate. It’s far from that. In an ideal world, where peace reigns and harmony rises upon the streets, then it would be. But not a single member can comprehend ever the fear of a LGBT or minority kid who’s been beat up by another kid who belongs to that majority. As this vote proves to many outside of the party, “All” in the context of a Wild “Lake of Fire” Rose means the same as the famous statement in Orwell’s Animal Farm: ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’

This vote confirmed to me that the misguided angry beliefs of a minority of the rank and file holds actual sway in party policy. I’ve since spoken to another notable ethnic member who confirmed a similar experience as well over years. Ideologically, I believe now that the party is swinging far right again on social issues, and as such, totally in opposition to my own beliefs. And ANY party that visibly does not protect my son, is one that has lost my support, and in fact, earned my opposition.

To specify what happened, and I imagine you know this part, the Wildrose Party voted 148-109 against adopting as policy a statement approved last year that affirmed the rights for everyone regardless of race, religion, and sexual orientation.

This led to a wave of criticism towards the Wildrose Party. Some of course questioned the leadership of Danielle Smith. Some wondered who’s voices are being listened too within the party. Some used terms like bigot and homophobic.

Today, things got worse for the Wildrose. Two MLAS, Kerry Towie and Ian Donovan announced they have crossed the floor to the PC Party. This, along with Joe Anglin who left earlier this month, knocks them down to 14 seats in the Alberta  Legislature. With rumours of more planning to cross the floor.

Now, I wasn’t at the convention or voted on this policy. I don’t know the debate or the discussion those that were at this convention had. What we do have however is a perspective from someone who was there.  But first, let’s read the statement up for discussion.

Wildrose will defend the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to freedom of belief, public expression, practice, and association. These rights and freedoms shall be protected, regardless of race, religious belief, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation of that person or class of persons.”

This is the perspective of Jane Morgan who’s blog is called Up Close and Personal. You can read her perspective here.

Now, Terry will be coming on the Podcast to discuss his perspective. It is fair to say that while Terry has received tremendous support for his decision, he has faced some criticism too.  Some have questioned his motivations. Was this his so called 15 minutes of fame? Was he really a member of the Wildrose Party? We will talk to Terry about both.

Of course, we will welcome you into the conversation as well. What questions do you have for Terry? Do you Agree or Disagree with his decisions? Do you admire his decision? Or, do you question his motivation?