An inquiry into two independent Christian schools that have refused to follow the law and allow gay-straight alliances has unearthed unexpected legal implications, Alberta’s education minister says.

For more than two months, Education Minister David Eggen has had a copy of a report and recommendations from inquirer Dan Scott, whom Eggen hired to investigate two Edmonton-area private schools.

“Yes, we are working with it, but it’s more complicated than we had originally foreseen,” Eggen said Wednesday. “We want to make sure that we are following the law, but also protecting families and individual students in a safe and caring model.”

In August 2016, Pastor Brian Coldwell, chairperson of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society, said private schools Meadows Baptist Academy and Harvest Baptist Academy would not allow gay-straight alliances. Although his stance clashes with the Alberta Human Rights Act and the School Act, Coldwell said the schools have a charter right to freedom of religion.

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