Wildrose leader says position on GSAs remains unchanged despite media report

Wildrose leader says position on GSAs remains unchanged despite media report

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean says he has always maintained it is not appropriate for schools to notify parents when their child joins a gay-straight alliance despite a media report Wednesday that suggests otherwise.

"My position has not changed. I firmly, personally, believe kids should not be outed," Jean told reporters at the Alberta legislature Wednesday.

Jean said the only time schools should get involved and talk to parents is if a student is at risk of self harm and if the student asks for help talking to their parents about their sexual orientation.

Jean publicly stated his position Monday, setting himself apart from PC Leader Jason Kenney, who had said last week in an interview with Postmedia that parents should be told when their children join a GSA, except in cases where the parent is known to be abusive.

But on Wednesday, a Calgary Sun column quoted Jean as saying parents could be told if their child was in a gay-straight alliance.

Jean, however, said text messages sent to the columnist led to a misunderstanding.

The NDP leapt on the issue, suggesting that Jean couldn't decide what his position was.

Premier Rachel Notley said Wednesday that the reaction of the PCs and Wildrose to GSAs reveals they are uncomfortable with them.

"The fact that the opposition parties are tying themselves in knots over this is because they don't actually yet believe the things the vast majority of Albertans do on this issue," she said.

Gay-straight alliances are voluntary student clubs for straight and LGBT kids. Advocates say the clubs help LGBT kids by giving them a safe place to make friends and talk through issues.

Alberta law requires schools to allow students to set up a GSA if they want one.