Protests for and against so-called parental rights were planned across Canada Wednesday, including in Grey Bruce.
Organizers of The 1 Million March 4 Children protests say they want the “elimination of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) curriculum, pronouns, gender ideology and mixed bathrooms in schools.”
The Grey Bruce Pride Network called it an organized attack on LGBTQ2+ students, some of whom who were terrified to go to school Wednesday.
Grey Bruce Labour Council Bruce County Vice-President Dave Trumble said those who support the freedom of self expression should actively speak with their MPs and get out and vote.
"We have to be very much, you know, ready to go and cast votes for progressive candidates," said Trumble. "But when we have school boards and local governments, provincial governments, federal governments in place, we must interact. We must make it clear to people that we are not prepared to go backwards."
Trumble said people who think individuals have the right to identify themselves need to speak out.
"Those groups out there that want to push this agenda of hate and tolerance and marginalization, they have money, and right now they seem to have an awful lot of political clout," added Trumble. "So we need to exercise our political clout to turn the turn the tide back."
Trumble said the protests carry an agenda of hate and intolerance, which puts youth at risk. He pointed to statistics from the United Way Grey Bruce.
"Where 40 to 70 per cent of homeless youth are actually because their families have basically removed them from the family environment because the young person has said that they are gender diverse, that they are a part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community," explained Trumble. "We do need to have all those other parents that embrace their children, that encourage their children, we need them to stand up not only for their own children to make sure that they are not pushed back, but to stand up for those children that unfortunately have no-one to advocate for them now."
However, Trumble said there are also positive actions being taken in Grey Bruce.
"You know that horrible situation in Huron-Kinloss where one of the councillors wanted to stop the flying the pride flag, his motion was defeated," Trumble pointed out. "Similar organizations came to Kincardine and tried to have the policy changed and that was not acted on. The policy of flying the pride flag, the trans flags, the progress flags, are all still in place."
The Grey Bruce Labour Council called these protests a “dog whistle” approach.
"The entire premise is to capture the hearts and minds of people through these rallying cries and to garner support for the authors/organizations while they themselves are operating towards goals that are only very loosely tied to the truth of their real agenda," said a release from the Council. "The jingles and 'dog whistles' are being used in exactly the same way as the previous examples. Only this time it is hate and intolerance that is the agenda hidden behind the jingles. These are people who may go so far as to choose to disown their own children for identifying as part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community; they will have no sense of morals, conscience, or ethics in advancing an agenda that suggests that other parents do the same thing simply because a child chooses to be recognized by a pronoun that is an undeniable part of their identity."