Censorship Gone Too Far? Canadian Catholic School Bans Rainbows

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When it comes to (man-made) rainbows, students are told to stick it where the sun don’t shine.

An Ontario Catholic high school is so adamant about pushing gay issues under the rug that it’s banned rainbows. According to Xtra!, a Canadian gay and lesbian news site, the multicolored motif is off-limits because of its association with LGBT rights and Pride.

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“There’s so many other things that a rainbow could be. It’s ridiculous,” says Leanne Iskander, the 16-year-old founder of St. Joseph Catholic Secondary School‘s unofficial gay-straight alliance group. (Official LGBT groups are prohibited at the school.)

Historically, censored groups have relied on creative and covert techniques to secure their right to free speech. These Catholic high-schoolers are no exception. When the school said they could hold an anti-homophobia event on June 3—but prohibited the use of rainbow banners and posters—the members combated the multi-hued embargo by turning up the heat. Literally. They baked cupcakes to sell at their information booth, using rainbow-colored batter.

Each cupcake sold for 50 cents and the proceeds went to charity. The student group, however, was prohibited from donating to any gay, lesbian or transgendered charitable organization. Instead, the school told them to donate the money to a Catholic homeless shelter. The students are also barred from distributing literature about gender identity, AIDS awareness and safe sex.

Back in April, Xtra! reported that when the students at St. Jo’s tried to name their group Rainbow Alliance, the principal rejected it, claiming the name was “too LGBT-sounding.”

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