Pickering Mayor reaffirms support for “all individuals” as anti-Trans march heads to City Hall


Published September 20, 2023 at 9:48 am

Police separate protesters from counter protesters during a protest against Pride in Ottawa in June. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Pickering Mayor Kevin Ashe has a message for participants – including some “far right hate groups” – of the Million March 4 Children that will soon be knocking on the doors of City Hall this morning: the City supports “equity, diversity, inclusion, and protecting of the human rights of all individuals.”

Marchers, which assembled at the Durham District School Board offices in Whitby at nine this morning, are calling for the elimination of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) curriculum and policies in schools, which would “foster discrimination, perpetuate stereotypes, increase bullying and causes tremendous harm to 2SLGBTQIA+ students,” Ashe said in a statement.

“It is important to shed light on the impacts of these nationwide protests. While the campaign claims to advocate for children’s rights, its underlying objective is the elimination of the SOGI curriculum and policies, which play a crucial role in promoting inclusivity and educating youth about diversity, respect, and acceptance,” he said.

“In depriving youth of education about diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions, it further hinders the development of empathy and respect among students and educators. It also limits access to critical resources and supports. The impacts of this agenda go beyond our schools and contributes to a long-standing history of exclusion that incites hate and marginalizes 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. This pattern cannot continue.”

Ashe said the City of Pickering “stands firmly” in its commitment to protecting of the human rights of all individuals and supports “comprehensive and inclusive education in our learning environments and beyond.”

“While respecting the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression, let us prioritize dialogue, understanding, and unity that reduces harm and fosters respect for all.”

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