Reverend Jerome Lavigne, a homophobic Catholic priest and vicar for education at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary, has declared that the rainbow flag which serves as a symbol of LGBT pride, was invented by Satan himself and represents “lawlessness” and a “break from the natural order,” The Star Calgary reports.
Rev. Lavigne has a well-documented history of delivering homophobic sermons, according to the newspaper.
“These kind of comments make it open season on LGBTQ youth, saying it’s OK to openly discriminate against them,” said Kristopher Wells, an associate professor at MacEwan University who specializes in sexual and gender minority youth, education and culture.
“It’s not fine to bring those beliefs into a public school environment … These are the kinds of comments that breed hatred, violence and discrimination.”
Critics are now demanding apologies from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary and the city’s Catholic school board, because Lavigne, while not working for the Calgary Catholic School District, does visit its schools “for events and helps prepare their students for confirmation.”
Calgary Bishop William McGrattan said in a statement that the church “advocates that we live together in an atmosphere of peace, safety and respect for the dignity of one another regardless of age, ancestry, body image, culture, sexual orientation and religion”.
The Star adds:
In February 2016 — a year and a half before Goldy would appear on a neo-Nazi podcast — Lavigne invited her to Calgary for a panel discussion about sexual education in schools.
At the event, Goldy advocated against gay-straight alliances and referred to being transgender as a “mental illness,” a since-deleted video shows. She also discussed the sexuality of former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne, saying the openly lesbian politician is to blame for “forcing” her “beliefs” onto her son, who is openly gay.