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EDITORIAL: Effects of rallies will linger

The events of Sept. 20 have heightened what was already a polarizing issue in Canada
Protesters and counter-protestors share their polarizing views on the contentious SOGI 123 curriculum at the B.C. Legislature. (Keri Coles/News Staff)

The anti-SOGI protests of Sept. 20 are over and the protesters have gone home, but their impact will linger.

The 1 Million March 4 Children, in opposition to the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity program, held protests in communities across Canada.

The march was promoted by Hands Off Our Kids, a national organization whose stated aim is “advocating for the elimination of the SOGI ‘curriculum’, pronouns, gender ideology and mixed bathrooms in the school.”

In response, counter-protests were held in some locations, sometimes across the street from these protests.

READ ALSO: Hundreds turn out in clash of support over SOGI in Vernon

READ ALSO: SOGI 123 allies fly rainbows in protest of Salmon Arm ‘march for children’

The events of Sept. 20 have heightened what was already a polarizing issue in Canada.

The 2SLGBTQ+ population in Canada consists of more than one million people, or four per cent of the Canadian population at present. This is a demographic already facing some challenges, including a greater threat of violence than the rest of the Canadian population.

Rainbow crosswalks and other Pride-themed symbols have been vandalized in some communities. These incidents happen far too frequently.

These anti-SOGI rallies simply add to the unfortunate pre-existing intolerance towards those who are 2SLGBTQ+.

No one deserves to be targeted because of who they are. The concept of tolerance and respect for others is a fundamental Canadian value.

This leads to the question of what could happen to those who express a message perceived as intolerant.

The organizers and participants in the Sept. 20 protests may later experience some repercussions as a result of their role in the rallies.

READ ALSO: Love is Louder drowns out Hands Off Our Kids protesters in Penticton

An anti-SOGI protester’s child or grandchild may develop a close friendship with someone who is 2SLGBTQ+, or a protester’s neighbour may have a transgender family member. The protester’s actions on Sept. 20 could result in some uncomfortable family or neighbourhood dynamics. The participants may end up losing some cherished relationships because of the actions they have taken.

The rallies of Sept. 20 are over, but the repercussions of the day will continue.

– Black Press