The first court challenge of an Alberta law that bars schools from telling parents about their children’s involvement in gay-straight alliances gets underway today.

Arguments are to be heard in Medicine Hat today on behalf of dozens of parents and independent faith-based schools who want the legislation put on hold.

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Leading the challenge is the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which argues that keeping parents out of the loop violates their charter rights.

The group calls gay-straight alliances “ideological sexual clubs.”

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Gay-straight alliances are peer support networks that are organized by students and meant to help gay kids feel welcome and prevent bullying or abuse.

The challenge says parents are alarmed at what they call a “climate of secrecy” the legislation has created.

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