In February 2020, Switzerland will have a national referendum about whether to roll- back laws enacted in December 2018 that censor speech about homosexuality. Switzerland is the only nation in the world that is still a direct democracy. A citizen can trigger a referendum on any issue just by collecting signatures. 50,000 signatures are needed to trigger a referendum but 70,000 signatures were collected in March 2019 to put this vote to the Swiss people. This referendum is not about hating the gay community. The gay community is already protected by general laws about hate speech, which cover other minority community groups. The referendum is about protecting the delicate balance between one community’s freedom and another community’s rights.
In our beautiful country of Switzerland, where the United Nations also sits, we enjoy many freedoms and rights, including freedom of Conscience, freedom of Expression, and the right to Education.
I’m a Canadian by birth, and grew up in Canada, but have lived in Switzerland for almost 10 years. Canada is often looked at by the world as being a model of progressiveness and equality. There is a dark underside to Canada that the world is only waking up to, and I would like to make Switzerland aware of all this, ahead of the Referendum on Censorship Laws coming this February 2020, so that you may vote against censorship laws to preserve your freedom of Expression, freedom of Conscience, and rights to Education.
The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights proclaims rights to freedom of Expression:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers (Article 19).
The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights proclaims rights to freedom of Conscience and Religion.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom…to manifest his religion or belief in teaching… (Article 18).
The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights proclaims rights to Education:
Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children (Article 26.3).
Please understand that if you vote agreement with the censorship laws that all these freedoms and rights are at risk, and I only have to point to legal precedent for all of this in Canada so you may know that this is the future of Switzerland if you do not vote to preserve your traditions and culture, by holding onto your existing rights and freedoms.
Before I get into legal precedent in Canada, let me share you our family’s story, so that you may know why I am writing to support the UDF Referendum in Switzerland.
Our family includes 4 children and we had been very happy for six years at the International School of Lausanne (ISL)—-staffed mainly by British, American, and Canadian teachers. That’s 24 years of school experience over the six years.
I woke up one morning to realize that the school had taken a drastic change of direction to teach LGBT Sex Ed integrated throughout the primary and secondary school curriculum. This is how I found out:
In January 2018, my 13 year old son told me that he was in class with the school counsellor. He was to partner with a classmate and to find something in common with the classmate to share with the class. My son partnered with a girl. They told the class that they were both, “straight”. The teacher’s reply was, “Time will tell!” [You might turn out gay!] The class erupted in laughter and my son and his female classmate were the topic of discussion in the hallways.
About three years prior, my son was studying puberty in school and his gay teacher (who had told me via email that he was gay) read a picture book to the class about two gay penguins that adopt a baby. I was not happy about this, but I believed this to be a personal mistake of the teacher due to his own personal bias (What does homosexual adoption of children have to do with the topic of puberty?), so I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to get him into trouble.
So, when the incident with my son happened when he was told he could be gay even though he believed he was straight, I had run out of patience. I complained to a school administrator. I expected an apology and a promise that the school would talk to the school counsellor about how inappropriate her comment was. To our shock, the school administrator wrote back that he would ask the school counsellor what her philosophy was about for teaching sexual orientation. This was her reply:
My approach is based on the notion that sexual orientation is on a spectrum. On each side of the continuum you have straight and gay. People can fall at any point within that spectrum but most people tend to fall closer to one of the sides. There is another “category” known as Asexuality. All of these are natural and normal. Homosexuality can be found in nature in all sorts of species (dolphins, elephants etc…) and is as natural as heterosexuality and asexuality.
Placing sexuality on a spectrum rather than a dichotomy acknowledges the fact that some people may at different points of their life experience attraction to their same gender and still be predominantly straight or the opposite gender and still be predominantly gay. This doesn’t mean they must always act on attraction but it is a good thing to know for the following reasons:
People experience good mental health when they are most congruent. Congruence is when how we behave and who we are, are coherent and aligned. Research has shown that being open to oneself and the discovery of what that may be (non fixed mindset) will reduce the possibility negative self-judgement and incongruence.
As sexuality is now seen as at times fluid and on a continuum, it is important that we allow ourselves the space to be who we may be at the various points of our lives. That is not to say that people may not have clarity on what their sexual preference may be, but that with that, they may have to openness to future possible realities.
Moreover, the school administrator wrote me this:
…there is a current “working group” that spans the primary and secondary schools… We hope to embed much of our sexual education in a more comprehensive manner across the curriculum, homeroom, as well as well-being times.
Our response to the school was strong: Tell the parents! You MUST tell the parents and give them an anonymous way of feeding-back on this issue! If more than 50% of the parents want LGBT Sex Ed and human sexuality embedded throughout primary and secondary school curriculum, then we have nothing further to say about the matter.
What the school was doing was completely unethical. The International School of Lausanne is an International Baccalaureate school offering the IB curriculum for ages 5-18.
This is the Mission Statement of the International Baccalaureate Program:
High Quality International Education for a Better World:
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect [bold is mine].
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
The overall mission of the IB curriculum is to teach intercultural understanding and respect. Few people, including IB teachers, really understand what this means. I know what is means because I have university master’s level studies about IB curriculum. Two administrators at ISL completed the Masters degree, which required this same course that I took. One of the administrators who competed the Master’s degree is the same one that told me that the school has working-committees in place to embed the teaching of human sexuality throughout primary and secondary curriculum.
What does teaching intercultural understanding and respect mean? It means respecting people of other cultures, nationalities, religions who may hold different beliefs and values than you do. Therefore, LGBT Sex Ed is the complete opposite of respecting people of other cultures, nationalities, religions. Most non-Western nations do not accept LGBT Sex Ed for their children. You might be tempted to argue that Switzerland is a Western nation, which it is, so it should be fine for them to teach such sexual morals to its students, but the school has decided to call itself an international school and teach the IB curriculum whose overall mission is intercultural understanding. Therefore parents have certain expectations when coming to an international school that might be different from when sending their children to a public school or a “regular” private school.
You cannot be an International School whose mission is to teach intercultural understanding when you are teaching your students who come from and go to nations from around the world sexual morals that go against their nationality, culture, religion etc.
Aside: Though I just mentioned non-Western nations as not accepting LGBT Sex Ed, I do not forget that most parents in Western nations do not either.
It is particularly disrespectful if you don’t tell the parents that you are teaching their children to consider changing their sexual orientation and/or gender, which many cultures and all religions consider immoral. I emailed the school if they were going to teach anal sex and whether children can choose their gender and I received no reply, so I assume the answer to both questions is “Yes, but I won’t tell you!”.
Moreover, children who attend International Schools may come from countries or move to countries where sodomy is illegal. In some countries, sodomy is even punishable by death. Therefore, it is a SAFE-GUARDING issue that an International School tell parents that they are teaching their children sexual morals that may endanger them.
A private school has the freedom to teach any curriculum they want, but they can’t be an International School if they are teaching LGBT Sex Ed. This is because LGBT Sex Ed is the anthesis of respecting international cultures, religions, values, beliefs etc., and moreover they are endangering the welfare of children who come from countries where LGBT is not mainstream. Schools can be a LGBT Charter School, if they want, but not an International School. I would love the IB Organization, the professors that teach IB pedagogy in universities, the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) with whom international schools have accreditation with to weigh in on this. I would love those in the United Nations, responsible for the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights to weigh in on this.
Just to clarify, I’m not saying to stop LGBT Sex Ed in schools (though I obviously have an opinion on this). I’m only requesting the obvious that schools tell parents transparently what they are teaching so parents can exercise their choice, according to their moral consciences, which is their human right.
ISL did tell parents that they will teach the students that sexual fantasies are normal but do they know that this also violates the beliefs of all religions? This has nothing to do with sexual orientation or gender, even, but about freedom of privacy in our inner thought-life, and I believe privacy is an important value for the Swiss, too.
Article 3 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights says that Parents have a prior right to choose the nature of their children’s education. Parents can’t choose if schools are hiding parts of the school curriculum from parents.
So, besides violating parents right to choose the nature of their children’s education, the school has violated parents’ freedom of conscience to raise their children according to their family values.
This brings me to the question of how preserving Freedom of Expression has to do with the issue: Vote to cancel the censorship laws to preserve parents’ rights and freedoms to discuss, debate, and refuse LGBT Sex Ed for their children.
Few people actually know what LGBT Sex Ed really means. Please refer to Canada’s LGBT Sex Ed curriculum:
- Age 6: Genitals and Consent
- Age 8: Gender is a socially-constructed idea and is not linked to biology
- Age 8: Homosexuality
- Age 9: Romantic Dating
- Age 11: Masturbation
- Age 12: Anal Sex & Oral Sex
- Age 12: Sexual Pleasure
- Age 12: Keep a Condom with You
- Age 13: “Make a personal plan about your sexual activity”
Canada is exporting its LGBT Sex Ed curriculum to other nations through the United Nations.
If the curriculum was about teaching tolerance, I would not have a problem with it. In fact, I believe teaching respect for the LGBT community should be a part of general teaching that teaches respect for different races, religions, cultures, minority-groups etc. Unfortunately, as you can see from Canada’s curriculum (which parents protested and it was cancelled after only 3 years) and from what our experience was at ISL, it’s not about tolerance. It’s about social-engineering children to be fluid about their sexual orientation and gender.
Parents, by definition, are heterosexual as that’s how they became parents (with some exceptions as you know). Parents all want their children to not be fundamentally different from them, including huge values differences, because the other scenario means a breaking of those precious family-bonds. As well, most parents want grandchildren.
Therefore, it’s imperative that Switzerland vote to protect parents’ rights to disagree with LGBT Sex Ed without fear of the penalty of jail.
The school was unresponsive to my demand that they do the ethical thing which is to tell the parents that they are teaching LGBT Sex Ed, and that they will be embedding the teaching of human sexuality throughout the primary and secondary curriculum; and to give parents an anonymous method of weighing in on this. I therefore went to the Chairman of the Board of Governors to complain. He is a medial doctor so I hoped he would side with the parents that sexual orientation is not fluid. Unfortunately, he did not. The Board of Governors came back with the reply that they will choose what they will tell parents. Then, I watched the school for the next school year NOT tell the parents.
February 14, 2019 was Gay Pride Day at ISL, but they didn’t tell parents. They posted a picture of their gay rainbow balloon that flew inside the school in their weekly school newsletter but they didn’t caption it as “Gay Pride Day”. They captioned it “ISL Pride Day”, so parents (especially primary school parents) missed it. I know it was actually ISL Gay Pride Day because my son told me that in a secondary school assembly that day, that the gay members of the community got up on the stage and bragged about how there were new censorship laws in Switzerland that would throw them into jail for 3 years if they were rude to them.
Oh, so this is an example of how LGBT Sex Ed is encouraging tolerance and respect? It seems to be going the other direction, where the “straight” majority are being aggressed and then are being stripped of power to push-back without fears of being called homophobic. I’m all for a level playing-field but we know that the balance has tipped entirely in favour of the powerful LGBT political lobby groups. Instead of speaking in generalities, let me point to Canada’s experience:
Alberta Bill 10: There must be Gay-Straight Alliance clubs (GSA) in all schools, including religious schools, if only 1 student requests for it. The overseer of the club can be from outside of the school.
Alberta Bill 24: Teachers are forbidden from telling parents if their child has joined a GSA club, or has “come out gay”. This is a legal wedge put between parents and their children. Parents love their children the most and they are on the front-lines in terms of advocating for the welfare of their own children, yet the state would be a legal wedge between parent and child, to hinder parents’ abilities to care for their children?
This year, a clinic in Canada had 189 cases of children wanting to change their gender. They usually have 1 or 2 cases. Could the reason for the spike in numbers be due to the school curriculum that taught children in grade 3 (age 8) that they can choose their gender?
Parents in the UK and USA who do not agree to their child changing gender are having their children taken away by the State.
There is talk in the UK of not allowing parents to remove their children from Sex Ed classes.
These bills in the province of Alberta, Canada are in the process of being over-turned because we kicked out the government that enacted these laws, and we have a Conservative government in Alberta, now. If our provincial government was Liberal, under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, those laws would never be removed.
Switzerland is blessed to be the only country in the world that still practises direct democracy. An individual can make a difference by triggering a referendum. Don’t waste this opportunity that does not exist in the rest of the world.
There are many more legal precedents from Canada that would take too many pages to explain, but know that 50 years ago, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the father of our current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said that the state has no business in our bedrooms. Justin seems to have father-approval issues because he is determined to exceed his father’s legacy. Justin, through his LGBT Sex Ed, has forced the state into our children’s bedrooms.
Through Bill C-16, Justin Trudeau has made world legal- precedent by putting enacting laws censoring speech about gender-identity, therefore a Canadian was fined $55,000 Cdn (42,000 chf) for using the wrong pronoun when referring to a transgender man-turned-woman who was running for political office. The Transgender community insisted that this would never happen when fears about this possibility were raised in protest to Bill C-16 (google Jordan Peterson). The Transgender community have now been proved wrong.
500 years ago, Switzerland unleashed the Swiss Reformation around the world which helped birth modern human rights, social welfare, and public education, amongst many other things. How proud you must be to have such a legacy! Please take time to educate yourself on what is happening in the rest of the world so that you can always vote to preserve the conservative, family- oriented, traditional Swiss society that I have come to love.
I would love to vote in the referendum in February but I can’t because I am not yet a Swiss national. I am being so out-spoken because I know how LGBT politics has completely changed the nature of my home country, Canada, in only 15 years and because of what our family personally went through in the international school in Switzerland. ISL has been forced to be more transparent with the parents due to pressure from our family, but I’m still waiting for the day that that they give parents an anonymous way of feeding back on this issue, and then impartially look at the feedback and respond accordingly, to meet the desires of parents who pay tuition-fees.
Switzerland, —-know that this is happening right in your country!
It was a huge shock to someone like me who grew up experiencing freedoms of conscience and expression to realize that the Canadian state is now actively and covertly working against parents. This should not be, because this is a hallmark of a totalitarian regime. In the past, totalitarian governments sent their people to re-education camps, hi-jacked school textbooks and curriculum, and removed children from their parents. Are we going to let a newer form of all this take place in the 21st century, under the guise of teaching for diversity and inclusion?
Remember, if you allow governments to censor parents who don’t want sexual morals taught in schools, the government may one-day change and want to impose a different set of sexual morals, and one that violates your conscience. Therefore schools have no business teaching their students their sexual morals. This is the prerogative of parents. It’s in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights!
During the 500th anniversary of the Swiss Reformation, please vote to preserve your hard-fought freedoms. Vote to preserve your freedom of expression, which will protect your freedoms of conscience to choose the nature of education of your children. The entire world is watching and may you unleash another Reformation where parents take back the governance of their children’s sexual morals. It is, after all, the parents who really love the children and will be around for their children, for life.
I’ve been writing mainly as a parent, but I need to leave one thought, as a school-teacher, myself. There are many teachers who will not want to teach LGBT Sex Ed, and it is a violation of their conscience to ask them to uphold such an ethos in a school.
The voice that will make the biggest difference in this debate will not be parents or teachers, though. It will be the LGBT community itself. I know that there are members of the LGBT community that don’t believe that schools should be interfering in the sexual morals, gender-identity of their students. They understand the brokenness that comes from being a sexual- minority. They know that their sexual orientation was not out of choice, is not fluid, and is therefore, not an equal choice for children. Please speak out for the sake of children around the world, because your voice will make the biggest difference.
- https://www.censure-non.ch (Referendum website)
- https://www.campaignlifecoalition.com/clc-blog/id/66/title/canadian-bureaucrats-at-the-united-nations-take-cues-from- kathleen-wynne-to-force-controversial-sex-ed-on-other- nations
- http://isaacsonofpromise.com/international-school-of- lausanne/
- https://education.alberta.ca/media/158726/ act_to_amend_the_alberta_bill_of_rights_to_protect_our_chil dren.pdf
- https://education.alberta.ca/media/3704447/bill-24- web_legreqs.pdf
- https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/trans-teens-ottawa- cheo-demand-1.5026034
- https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/ 2018/04/10/why-parents-losing-custody-trans-and-gender- non-conforming-kids/485928002/
- https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/22/parents- fear-transgender-children-will-be-taken-away-after-court-ruling
- https://www.dailysignal.com/2017/06/27/new-law-canada- remove-kids-parents-reject-transgender-ideology/
- https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/anti-gay-activist- ordered-to-pay-55000-to-b-c-trans-activist-in-fight-over- hateful-flyer