Monday, October 19, 2009

Case of Gender-Confused Teacher against Catholic School Board Accepted by HRC

By Patrick B. Craine

EDMONTON, Alberta, October 16, 2009 ( - The Alberta Human Rights Commission has accepted a complaint brought against an Edmonton-area Catholic school board by a substitute teacher who was let go after she announced she was 'becoming' a man.

Janet Buterman, 39, had been employed by the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board for about four months when, in June 2008, she informed deputy superintendent Steve Bayus that she was undergoing a 'sex change' and now wished to be treated as a man.

The following October, Mr. Bayus responded with a letter indicating that Buterman had been removed from the substitute teacher list because the procedures she was undergoing were in conflict with the Catholic teaching upheld by the school board.

"In discussions with the Archbishop of the Edmonton Diocese, the teaching of the Catholic Church is that persons cannot change their gender," he wrote. "One's gender is considered what God created us to be."

"Your gender change is not aligned with the teachings of the Church," he continued, "and would create confusion and complexity with students and parents as a model and witness to Catholic faith values."

Buterman maintains that she has a legitimate medical condition - gender identity disorder - and that the board has discriminated against her because of it...


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