UPDATE: The Million March For Children protest in Quesnel has reportedly been cancelled, with a call for supporters of that view to attend in Prince George, instead.
Cariboo residents are part of a communication network promoting backlash against education that discusses sexual orientation and gender identity - so-called SOGI topics.
The national campaign has been carried out under the banner Keep Your Hands Off Our Kids and calls for a day of protest on Sept. 20 they are calling the Million March For Children. One online post made by the Campaign Life Coalition that advertised the events called for the local protest to take place at Quesnel City Hall at 11 a.m.
“I am aware of a potential march as advertised on various social media sites,” said Quesnel’s superintendent of schools Dan Lowndes. “There is a lot of misinformation circulating about SOGI in schools. SOGI is not a defined curriculum, but rather a resource to support diversity seen in society. I encourage any parents who have questions about this work to contact their child’s school to learn more. The school district will continue to educate and will not engage in any counter campaign.”
Just up the highway in Prince George, these protests of SOGI elicited a retort from a group of doctors. PG Physicians Against Hate rebutted that the SOGI topics were in fact important for children to be aware of.
“In recent years, gender diverse children and youth have been targeted by hate-based anti-trans groups, who are spreading harmful misinformation,” said the physicians in a joint statement. “This upcoming protest and the movement behind it are spreading dangerous and harmful rhetoric.”
The Coalition Life Campaign’s national president, Jeff Gunnarson, posted on the group’s website “The goal is to protect our kids from the dangers of the LGBT indoctrination that’s been taking over their schools,” and added, “The goal, like I said, is to safeguard all children from the propaganda of the LGBT activists, and their gender-bending ideologies, in the education system. To make sure no child is ever exposed to explicit sexual content in their schools, nor the corrosive suggestion that they might be ‘trapped in the wrong body’ and should consider whether he or she is ‘transgendered.’ This march is also to let our elected officials know – from the school boards all the way up to Justin Trudeau – that parental rights and consent are paramount when it comes to our children.”
The Prince George physicians group countered that SOGI topics were there for the safety and health of those who actually are built differently than the simple male-female framework that is not the reality for everyone.
“A solid body of reputable evidence shows that gender affirming care can save lives, significantly improve mental health, and reduce suicide attempts,” said the group. “Contrary to common misconceptions, gender affirming health care is a gradual, patient-led, and largely reversible process. Support at school and at home are crucial for the wellbeing of trans youth and children, as with all children. Creating safe spaces in schools fosters positive outcomes for all youth across Canada. People can also contact their MP and MLA to speak out against this movement. It is important for all of us to embrace human diversity and promote Canadian values of equity and inclusion for all.”