Youth conference makes impact

ANTIGONISH, N.S. – A youth conference held at St. Francis Xavier University last year is still being felt in Christian communities in Nova Scotia. The conference, “Youth Challenging Youth,” featured the Radix youth outreach team from Lincoln, Nebraska, a group dedicated to Christ and His teachings. The conference, which attracted nearly 500 young people between the ages of 13 and 21, featured a number of pro-life, pro-family themes, including chastity, dating and relationships, a critical review of the influence of the entertainment media, and an emphasis on the sanctity and dignity of all human life. The success of the conference has led to plans to invite the Radix team to a follow-up visit in Antigonish this spring.

CARAL takes aim at Coren

TORONTO – Journalist and broadcaster Michael Coren was criticized for a newspaper column in which he argued that bubble zone laws infringe the rights of pro-life supporters. In a recent letter to The Financial Post, the president of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League (CARAL) disputed Coren’s claim that no pro-lifer has ever been convicted of a violent act. The CARAL president said injunctions and protest free zones are necessary “to ensure all women have equal access to abortion without the threat of anti-choice harassment.” Coren, who is getting used to attacks for his pro-life views, wrote that the Attorney General’s treatment of activist Linda Gibbons reveals how the law is stacked against pro-life supporters.

Petition would defend unborn

TORONTO – Progressive Conservation MPP Derwyn Shea (High Park-Swansea) introduced a petition to the Ontario Legislature February 24 calling on the provincial government to cease public funding for abortion until “such time as the law prescribes the appropriate limit to the Charter-guaranteed right to life.” Shea, who presented the petition on behalf of constituents, said abortion circumvents the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantee of the right to life for the unborn. “We petition the legislature to honor the guarantee of the charter in regard to an unlimited right to life for those unborn,” the petition reads.

Hospital forced to defend service

TORONTO – Officials with St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto are dismayed with the reaction of the local gay community to news St. Michael’s would take over the HIV and AIDS services formerly available through the soon to be closed Wellesley Hospital. Gay groups said people with AIDS will not feel comfortable seeking treatment at a Catholic-run institution because of the Church’s official stand against homosexual behavior. Hospital spokesmen however, countered that St. Michael’s has a long history of caring service to AIDS patients. The hospital was one of the first to offer an HIV/AIDS program, and it has been affiliated with the Casey House AIDS hospice since 1988.

Gay marginalization debated

SASKATOON – An official with Saskatchewan’s Health Board has taken issue with the argument that “homophobia” or opposition to the gay/lesbian lifestyle, results in stigmatization of the gay community. As reported in Western Report magazine, health board member Maurice Vellacott disputed claims that homophobia is at the root of homosexuals’ social integration problems. He was responding to claims that rejection of the gay lifestyle leads many homosexuals to withdraw from society, resulting in low-esteem, social alienation and a willingness to embrace promiscuous, casual sex. Vellacott cited studies showing arrested development, and an unwillingness to face the truth about the risks of homosexual behavior, are the real reasons for gay maladjustment.

Parents take issue with policy

CALGARY – The decision by Calgary’s public school board to adopt an anti-harassment policy for gay/bisexual students has created a storm with some local parents. The policy was prompted in part by studies showing homosexuals suffer increased problems of low self-esteem, depression and suicide. Parents’ groups charge the policy lends legitimacy to the homosexual lifestyle. They also argue the plan was primarily the work of gay activists, and those parents’ concerns over the issue were not addressed by trustees.

Pro-life women need not attend

VANCOUVER – The B.C. Coalition for Abortion Clinics is attempting to prevent pro-life women from participating in an upcoming International Women’s Day parade in Vancouver. The latest issue of the Pro-Choice Press warns that “anti-choice individuals” will not be allowed at the TWD event. This is the same group that assaulted two members of REAL Women of Canada when the pair attempted to attend a November 19 planning meeting for the event. “It is ironic that the organizers of a festival devoted to women would deny women the right to attend,” and Ted Gerk of the Pro-Life Society of British Columbia. “It is a tragedy that these same organizations would protect and de-fend the rights of thugs to beat up women who oppose them.”