Following two cross-country protests against the SOGI 123 curriculum in schools, Victoria and Nanaimo councils have declared their support for the LGBTQ+ and gender-diverse community.
On Sept. 20 and Oct. 21, there were protests across the country against SOGI 123 curriculum, including at the B.C. Legislature.
- Sept. 20: 2 arrested, demonstrators asked to leave as anti-SOGI protests, counter-protests ‘become unsafe’: VicPD
- Oct. 21: Rally in support of SOGI education in schools runs unopposed at B.C. legislature
SOGI stands for sexual orientation and gender identity, and is a program to make schools an inclusive and safe space for students of all sexual orientations in schools.
The goals of the curriculum is to increase the visibility of the diversity of sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions being recognized and valued; protecting the dignity of all people across the sexual orientation and gender identity spectrum; and equitably treat and include people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.
Now at least two Island communities, Victoria and Nanaimo, have declared their support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Victoria’s motion, put forward by Coun. Susan Kim and Mayor Marianne Alto, was discussed in the Oct. 26 Committee of the Whole meeting.
“I think there’s always an opportunity for us to reiterate our commitment to equality,” Alto said in the meeting.
- declares the city’s “unwavering” support for all gender-diverse members of the community,
- condemns any and all anti-SOGI mobilizations,
- reaffirms the city’s commitment to promote and support inclusive education,
- encourages community dialogue and education to foster understanding and acceptance,
- calls on community leaders to denounce attacks,
- continue to work to enact policies and initiatives to protect and promote the rights of all residents,
- and urges residents to be in solidarity with transgender and gender diverse community members and to intervene in instances of anti-SOGI discrimination.
On Oct. 17, Nanaimo council issued a statement that the council is committed to ensuring the city is an inclusive, welcoming and safe place for all.
“We stand in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and condemn all acts of hate and violence towards members of their community,” the statement says. “The city remains committed to identifying, removing and preventing barriers to inclusion and accessibility and we thank those who have reached out to share their experiences and concerns.”
“Every person deserves to feel empowered to express their true self, but we recognize that many individuals within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community have been faced with hatred, ignorance and bigotry. Today, we wish to make it clear that this is not okay. Diversity is the heartbeat of our city, and hate has no place here.”