On Wednesday, thousands of Canadians gathered in cities nationwide to both oppose and support the LGBTQ+ community and the push for “gender ideology” in schools.
The “1 Million March for Children” protests were held peacefully across the country, from Vancouver to Ottawa. The website publicizing the rally claimed its goal was to fight for the abolition of the curriculum, which furthers the use of “pronouns,” gender ideology, and bathroom arrangements that favor a person’s “fluidity.”
Trudeau posted on X that transphobia has no place in Canada. He strongly criticized the marches.
He said Canadians of all backgrounds and identities who identify as two-spirit, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (2SLGBTQI+) have our unwavering support.
Protesters in numerous places carried posters reading “Protect Trans Kids” and “Leave our Kids Alone,” while counterprotesters held signs reading “Stop Gender Ideology.”
Transgender individuals do exist, activist Celeste Trianon said, and they should be treated with the same respect as everyone else. Montreal police reportedly interposed between Trianon’s counter-protest and the main protest outside Premier Francois Legault’s office.
A Toronto protester named Nathan McMillan voiced his fear that material dealing with gender identity is too advanced for elementary school students.
Conflicts in the United States between school boards and parents over classroom material have parallels in Canada.
Images of heated debates at U.S. school board meetings featuring parents protesting the inclusion of pro-LGBTQ+ materials in classrooms have gone viral. Republican governors have enacted various “parental rights” laws in response to a national campaign to increase parental involvement in schools.
Most notably, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis passed a measure that outlawed teaching about “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” in grades K-3. This law has been widely criticized as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Canada’s protests were largely peaceful; however, five people were arrested in Ottawa on Wednesday, according to police. Three people were taken into custody for “public encouragement of hatred,” while another was arrested for assault, and a fourth was detained for hindering police.