Canadian AIDS Groups Ask Human Rights Commission to Investigate Catholic Church Policy Requiring HIV Testing
January 16, 2004
A coalition of Canadian AIDS groups has asked the Quebec Human Rights Commission to investigate a new Roman Catholic Church policy requiring all men who apply to the Grand Seminaire de Montreal to become priests to take an HIV test, saying that the policy promotes discrimination in the workplace, the CP/Toronto Globe and Mail reports (CP/Toronto Globe and Mail, 1/16). In announcing the new policy, which is set to begin this fall, Rev. Marcel Demers of the Grand Seminaire de Montreal said that a positive HIV test may indicate that an applicant could be a man who has sex with men. HIV-positive applicants will be asked how they were infected, and if they say that they were infected by having sex with a man, the seminary "will try to see what really is the person's calling," Demers said. Demers added that MSM would not be automatically refused admittance to the seminary but said that their chances for acceptance would be "slim" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/12). The new policy is a "public slap in the face to all Quebeckers living with HIV," the Quebec Coalition of Community-Based Organizations Fighting AIDS and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network wrote in a letter to the commission. "We are seriously concerned about a possible increase of discriminatory practices against people living with HIV should the commission decide not to investigate," the letter said (CP/Toronto Globe and Mail, 1/16).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.