A group of demonstrators took to the sidewalk outside Richmond city hall in a protest against the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI 123) curriculum on Wednesday.
The group comprised about 20 people holding signs with slogans such as, “Don’t mess with our children” and “Parents have rights.”
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At least one driver yelled out in support of the group as his car went by.
They gathered as the Richmond Board of Education was readying to vote on the curriculum at a meeting on June 27.
SOGI 123 is an educational resource that is designed to support marginalized LGBTQ students.
Developed by the ARC Foundation and B.C.’s Ministry of Education, UBC’s Faculty of Education and the BC Teachers’ Federation, it has lesson plans that emphasize topics like “family diversity,” teaching children about households with two fathers or two mothers.
At the rally on Wednesday, demonstrator Laura Lynn Tyler Thompson said SOGI 123 would teach “gender-fluid ideology to all children in British Columbia.”
She said schools would be “letting all children know they can choose their gender,” and that they’ll have gender boards “where they want to tell every little boy they can be a girl if they feel like they’re a girl.”
“It goes culturally against teaching that most people believe they want their little boy to grow up to be a strong and healthy man, not to think he can wear a dress,” Thompson said.
While the school district is expected to vote on the curriculum on June 27, Thompson said an information meeting will be held that day, and that SOGI 123 opponents would be there, “asking that it not be put into the Richmond School District.”
The rally was smaller than previous ones.
In April, two competing rallies outside the BC Teachers’ Federation office drew hundreds of people — one group supported the curriculum, the other opposed it.
That rally drew extra attention after it turned out that the Hells Angels had been invited to attend by Kari Simpson, of the Culture Guard group that opposes the curriculum, Black Press reported.
Members of the Soldiers of Odin group, which has been noted with concern over “anti-immigrant vigilantism,” were also present at that rally.