Two conflicting rallies are scheduled to take place in front of the BC Parliament Building this Saturday — one against and another in support of the provincial Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI 123) educational initiative.
SOGI 123 was collaboratively created by BC and educators in the province as a curriculum-aligned resource.
Since 2016, school districts have had the option to bring it into their classrooms as a tool to help create an inclusive learning environment for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.
An event called “Truth is Not Hate: Free BC From SOGI 123” is scheduled to protest the initiative on Saturday morning, with the intention of defending Christian family values and protecting children in BC from “an insane ideology,” reads the event description.
Although the anti-SOGI rally, which is the second in Victoria this year organized by Jenn Smith, stated that the event was primarily intended for Christians, they welcome “all persons that still subscribe to truth and reality and thus are opposed to SOGI 123.”
In reaction to the anti-SOGI rally, a counter-protest has been scheduled for that same morning to show support for the implementation of SOGI 123.
“It has been proven that educating students of all ages with regards to language around gender and sexual orientation allows them to be more empathetic, understanding, and empowered—both with regards to their own identities and when faced with others,” organizers of the pro-SOGI rally said on Facebook.
According to the Pro-SOGI rally’s Facebook event page, over 600 people are interested in attending and nearly 200 have indicated that they will be there, as of the time of publication.
Though the event organizers said that it is “incredibly not fun” to be around the anti-SOGI protesters, they encouraged people to come out and help send a message about inclusivity in BC.
This will be the second SOGI protest in downtown Victoria this year. The first, in April, was also met with a counter-protest.
SOGI 123 Protest and Counter Protest
- When: Saturday, September 29th, starting between 10:45 and 11:05 a.m.
- Where: BC Parliament building