LGBTQ2S+ advocates say the demonstrations are a violation of human rights, targeting queer and trans students
Hundreds of demonstrators across Canada took to the streets to protest LGBTQ2S+ inclusive education in school curriculums and they were met with thousands of counter-protesters advocating for the rights of queer people.
Organized by “Hands Off Our Children” and Family Freedom, the “1 Million March 4 Children” is an active protest against the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) curriculums in Canadian schools. On their websites, the groups say the march will “safeguard children from gender ideology teachings, sexual indoctrination, exposure to explicit sexual content, ensuring that parental consent remains paramount.”
Yet, LGBTQ2S+ advocates say the demonstrations are a violation of human rights, targeting queer and trans students.
Why counter the ‘1 Million March for Children’ across Canada? Because these protests seek to import hateful ideas from abroad. Because these protests were never for ‘children.’ They’re instead an attack on their autonomy on the principle of the ‘child’s best interests.’ Because these protests seek to eliminate altogether the idea of ‘trans kids’, further dehumanizing this incredibly vulnerable community. Because trans and 2SLBGTQ+ people, just like everyone else, deserve safety and dignity.
Celeste Trianon, a Transfeminist jurist and activist
The Hands Off Our Children website describes itself as a movement that embraces principles of human dignity, freedom of thought, and religious freedoms. “Our mission includes safeguarding children’s rights, nurturing their growth in a safe environment, and promoting critical thinking through quality education.”
Yet, online, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network described Hands Off Our Children and Family Freedom as groups hiding behind the illusion that they are just trying to protect children.
“These protests are supported by a big tent of far-right and conspiratorial groups, including Christian Nationalists, conservative Muslims, COVID-19 conspiracy theorists, sovereign citizens, anti-public education activists, and more,” the Canadian Anti-Hate Network tweeted.
It’s a belief that the Elementary Teachers of Toronto and Toronto District School Board (TDSB) are echoing.
“We want to make it unequivocally clear that TDSB stands with our trans, Two-Spirit and non-binary students, staff and families, and we support everyone’s human rights and expression of gender.
Harassment, discrimination and hate have no place in TDSB. In our schools, we do not tell students who they should be, but welcome them as they are,” the TDSB wrote in a statement.