Anti-trans rallies across Canada have been met with crowds expressing support for transgender youth facing a climate of growing hatred, as rhetoric and debate over s*x education curricula intensify.
Across Ontario, participants in rallies organized by the group “1MillionMarch4Children” – which says participants are “uniting against gender ideology in schools” – were met by counter-protesters Wednesday morning.
In Toronto, hundreds of people gathered north of Queens Park as part of the Million March, chanting “Leave our children alone,” while thousands gathered in opposition. Police officers were present on foot, on horseback and on bicycles.
In London, nearly 80 police officers were on hand as more than a thousand protesters and counter-protesters gathered on both sides of Dundas Street, outside the Thames Valley District School Board.
“We are concerned about education and what they teach children in education. That’s the most important thing,” said Lorraine Kane, participant and member of the Concerned Parents Association of London.
Counter-protester Elizabeth Dodman says national rallies violate the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ youth.
“We need to make sure that the world they grow up in is safe and that the world they grow up in doesn’t burn under their feet. »
Hundreds of protesters and counter-protesters gathered outside the Hamilton Public School Board offices, marching out of Education Court toward Upper Wentworth.
Tanya Logan, a grandmother and veteran, claimed she had gay children and friends and argued the rally was to protest “keeping secrets from parents” and to keep children safe .
“Teachers do not have the right to influence, to indoctrinate, to impose their ideology on children,” she argued.
Retired principal Rosemary Cooper attended the counter-protest in support of her granddaughter who is gay.
“I know there are a lot of positive things happening in school boards to support our children who identify as part of the 2LGBTQ+ community and I know they are working hard to make sure children succeed in school. school and (socially).
Cooper also noted that the study programs are approved by the ministry.
In 2018, following a majority victory for the Progressive Conservative Party in the provincial election, Premier Doug Ford ordered his education minister to repeal the “current inappropriate s*x education curriculum” and replace with a new “age-appropriate” version after consultation.
The overhaul outlined in the mandate letter was a nod to the social conservative wing of Ontario’s PC party, which helped propel Doug Ford to the leadership in March 2018. However, when the new system d he s*x education was announced, experts widely said it was the best choice. the same version as that presented by the former Liberal government.
In fashion now
Elsewhere in the province, Kingston Police reported that a total of 500 people attended the protest and counter-protest outside City Hall and Confederation Park, with the counter-protest making up a proportion slightly larger than this figure.
In Guelph, participants from both sides began streaming in around 11 a.m., with a few dozen people remaining outside Guelph City Hall.
These rallies took place amid a growing wave of hate crimes, threats and protests against drag queens and transgender people in particular.
Police-reported hate crimes based on s****l orientation increased by nearly 60 per cent between 2019 and 2021, reaching the highest level in five years, Statistics Canada reported in December. According to studies, transgender Canadians are generally much more likely to be victims of violence than cisgender people. A majority have also been victims of s****l violence at least once in their life.
In May, the small town of Norwich gained attention when it pa*sed a controversial bylaw banning non-civic flags, including Pride and Progress banners, from flying on municipal property.
In June, Windsor police charged a London-area man after a woman said she was constantly hara*sed on social media following the Wortley Village Pride event in London. The suspect drove to a Windsor hospital where he took a “selfie” with his dying father. .
Later that month in Waterloo, two students and a teacher were injured when a man showed up to cla*s on June 28 and drew knives after confirming it was a cla*s. second year gender studies. Investigators say the stabbing was a planned act motivated by hatred related to gender expression and identity, and in the months that followed, several universities began extracting course information from public websites, citing security concerns.
With files from Sean Boynton, Marianne Dimain, Lisa Polewski, Ken Hashizume, Amy Simon, Isaac Callan and Kevin Nielsen of PKBNEWS as well as the Canadian Press.
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