Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
February 9, 2009
PSAC creates anti-Catholic work environment at Treasury Board
BY DEBORAH GYAPONG
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
OTTAWA — A Treasury Board employee has told the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) his union’s anti-heterosexism policy creates a hostile, anti-Catholic work environment.
Dave MacDonald said the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s (PSAC) “zero tolerance policy toward heterosexism” is a “personal affront to my security in the workplace and to my beliefs as a Catholic,” in a written brief to the CHRC filed Dec. 23.
“This policy not only states that there is zero tolerance for behaviours that are determined to be heterosexist, but that there is zero tolerance for holding beliefs determined to be heterosexist,” he argued.
“As a Catholic, faithful to the teaching of the Church, I am by their definition a heterosexist.”
As evidence of the toxic work environment, MacDonald filed pictures of anti-Catholic and anti-Christian artwork that he found on a website the PSAC recommended for those wishing to find out more about same-sex marriage.
One shows half a dozen corpses tied to burning stakes with the caption: “The Inquisition targets same sex marriage. Rome is where the hate is” along with an anti-Catholic essay. It can be found at www.samesexmarriage.ca/equality/vatican_considerations.htm.
Another shows a can labeled “Toxic faith-based bigotry” with the caption “Purging toxic religion in Canada: Gay marriage exposes faith-based bigotry” at www.samesexmarriage.ca/equality/toxic180105.htm illustrating an article attacking Calgary Bishop Fred Henry.
BLINDED BY HATE
“I am certain there are quite likely very many intellectual websites out there that argue for same-sex marriage that don’t contain this kind of vile hatred like this website does,” MacDonald said in an interview Jan. 26.
“Only someone who is blinded by hate could find this material acceptable.”
MacDonald said the PSAC’s policy of eliminating heterosexism from the workplace, knowing that people holding traditional religious faith “subscribe to these views” creates an atmosphere that leads religious believers to ask, “Are they trying to rid us from the workplace?”
A few years ago, a member of The Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) complained about these posts said executive director Joanne McGarry in a Jan. 26 interview from Toronto.
“If my union dues were subsidizing something like that I’d be really angry,” she said.
“Those articles were hateful and very misleading. And some of the accompanying art work was inflammatory.”
The CCRL did not file a human rights complaint because it opposes the CHRC’s suppression of freedom of speech and religious freedom, she said.
“To me, sometimes it’s the price you have to pay for free speech,” she said. “But you should not have to subsidize it.”
THWARTED IN THE COURTS
The CCRL has supported MacDonald and former Treasury Board employee Susan Comstock, a Catholic who also requested her dues be diverted because of the PSAC’s public fight in favour of same-sex marriage, contrary to her religious beliefs. The CHRC dismissed her case. She appealed and lost, appealed again and lost again last May.