The Alberta government’s controversial Bill 10 was a trending topic on Twitter Thursday, with some big names weighing in, including comedian Rick Mercer.
The Progressive Conservative bill on gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in Alberta schools was expected to go to a third and final reading in the legislature Thursday afternoon, but the day’s session ended without a vote. Later in the afternoon Premier Jim Prentice announced Bill 10 is on hold.
The bill has caused an uproar in the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/queer) community and among its supporters.
Originally the bill stipulated students would have to file a court challenge if their request for a GSA was denied. On Wednesday night, Premier Jim Prentice’s government passed an amendment to the bill stating if a school rejects a GSA, the province will ‘facilitate’ such a group, although it may not be on school grounds.
That didn’t satisfy Bill 10’s critics, who include Calgary Stampeder running back Jon Cornish. Cornish is a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights – his mother is married to a woman.
Canadian pop duo Tegan and Sara, who were born and raised in Calgary and are both openly gay, also weighed in.
Legendary Canadian performer k.d. Lang, who grew up in the small Alberta town of Consort and is also openly gay, did not make a specific comment on Twitter but retweeted a Global Calgary story on a gathering in downtown Calgary Thursday morning to celebrate the strength of the LGBTQ community.
According to Trendsmap, there were over 16,000 tweets over a 24-hour period with the hashtags #bill10 or #ableg.
At one point Thursday morning the hashtag #abpride ranked number four in the country.