Protesters attended a national march called #1MillionMarch4Children.
A 16-year-old attendee, Mohammad Al Masri, said kids should not be learning about sexual orientation and gender ideologies at a young age and should be left alone.
“Leave them alone, they’re young kids. They don’t know what to do,” said Al Masri. “If they don’t want to learn the subject, just don’t teach it.”
Al-Masri said learning about sexual orientation should be geared towards an appropriate student level such as high school but still remains firm on his stance that it shouldn’t be taught anyway.
Regina resident Mark Newton has three children whom he homeschools “because the education system won’t do it.”
“It’s my right to decide what my children are going to learn,” he said. “Nobody else has the right to tell me what my kids are going to learn.”
“We’re not going to let you brainwash our children,” he said. “This is ideology.”
Regina resident and event organizer Tonie Wells said the event is to “push forward the safety of the children in the schools.
“This is only and strictly about the sexual ideology in the schools,” said Wells. “This is not transphobic; this is not about hate. This is about saying that our little ones are too young to understand this.”
There were met by counter-protesters, also present on the legislative grounds.
In Saskatoon, about 2,000 people demonstrated, protesters and counter-protesters combined, as they marched the streets.
Fran Forsberg planned an event for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. She’s the parent of two transgender children.
“We just decided that we didn’t want to give them any more attention with press than they’re getting,” Forsberg said.
“And we also thought we were kind of tired of all the negativity and the hate that’s been spewed.”
Forsberg calls the province’s new rules requiring parental permission for students under the age of 16 to change their name or pronouns harmful to trans youth.
Others also came out publicly against the rally.
“The so-called ‘1 Million March 4 Children’ is part of a growing and organized hate movement in Canada,” the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said in a release.
The organization said CUPE workers are seeing first-hand the toll of rising anti-LGBTQ2 hate.
“On Wednesday, CUPE members will show up to resist hate in all its forms. We will not allow these movements to attack 2SLGBTQI+ people who need safety, support and solidarity now more than ever.”
Wells said she ensured the movement remained peaceful and that the proper permits were in place.
“We have not had any incidents (and) it was all about the safety,” she said. “We’re not here to hurt anybody, we’re not here to say anything horrible.”
Various protests were heard across the Prairies from Regina to Prince Albert.
— with files from Global News’ Brooke Kruger and Brody Langager