After contributing regularly for quite some time, here’s my first article for Torontoist as an official staff writer, a write-up of a Sunday afternoon rally in support of defunding the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Catholic schools are taxpayer funded throughout the province of Ontario–a reality that took me by surprise when I first moved to Canada in 2004.

The defunding issue, widely seen as political kryptonite (and, as such, left largely untouched on the campaign trail) has been put to the fore recently following controversy over one high school’s decision to ban its students from forming a Gay Straight Alliance on the basis of Catholicism’s anti-gay teachings (note: my private Catholic high school in comparatively conservative Wisconsin had a GSA. I digress.). More can be read about that here and here. But the rally turned out to be about more than emotions over exclusion and marginalization of gay students–it became a defense of pragmatism and choice, as well.

Props go to photographer Jonathan Castellino for letting us use his beautiful photos.