Prof won't let male student opt out of working with female classmates

York University sign on Keele south of Steeles. (Sun Media files)

York University sign on Keele south of Steeles. (Sun Media files)

Michele Mandel, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:28 AM ET

TORONTO -- Enough is enough.

It's all well and good to be a welcoming, multicultural society that bends over backwards to respect everyone's faith and belief. But there are certain inalienable, bedrock truths that go along with living here that cannot and should not be bent to "accommodate" different value systems.

Gender equality is one of them.

And so it's shocking that a secular, publicly funded school of higher learning such as York University would insist that a professor agree to a male student's request to opt out of a group project because he doesn't want to interact with his female classmates due to religious reasons.

To his credit, sociology professor J. Paul Grayson has defied the decision by dean Martin Singer, and, with the backing of his department, told the student he must participate with women in his focus group assignment.

"We have to make a value choice," he told QMI Agency. "What's more important -- the rights of females who make up 54% of the population, or those of individuals with religious notions incompatible with egalitarianism?"

Since going public about his battle with York, the 40-year veteran professor has been overwhelmed with hundreds of emails of support for not backing down and agreeing to the student's request.

"I think this case is the first of its kind in Canada. Everybody's absolutely astounded," he said.


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