LGBTQ Rights Protest Montreal
Overview of the Montreal Demonstration
Hundreds gathered in central Montreal to express their views on sex education and LGBTQ rights in Quebec. The 1 Million March 4 Children supporters across Canada encouraged parents to let their children skip school on September 20 to protest against LGBTQ rights education in schools.
Location and Counter-Protesters
The demonstration in Montreal started near McGill University’s Roddick Gates along Sherbrooke Street West, where opposing demonstrators had already gathered.
Quebec’s Compulsory Sex Education Curriculum
Quebec’s compulsory sex education covers topics such as gender identity, gender roles, sexual stereotypes, and societal norms, as stated by Education Ministry spokesperson Bryan St-Louis.
Addressing Stereotypes from Early Education
From the first year of elementary school, students learn how stereotypes can affect both genders, for example, the notion that girls should play with dolls and boys with trucks. As students progress, they are encouraged to think beyond stereotypes and understand the repercussions of gender-based discrimination.
Advocacy for LGBTQ Inclusivity in Schools
Taylor Gilmore, an LGBTQ community member, joined the counter-protesters advocating for more inclusivity in schools, stating that understanding the community would dispel negative opinions against LGBTQ education.
Parental Concerns and Opinions on LGBTQ Education
However, several parents, including Scheherazade Zaafrani and Hanan Masuod, believe that discussions on gender identity and sexuality are inappropriate in schools and could confuse children, emphasizing that parents should have the right to decide what is suitable for their children.
Police Intervention and Separation of Demonstrators
Montreal police officers intervened to separate the opposing groups of demonstrators, with no reports of arrests or injuries.
The Importance of Supportive Education for LGBTQ Youth
Counter-protester Gabriel Nadeau, who experienced exorcism as a teenager due to his sexual orientation, emphasized the importance of supportive education for LGBTQ youth, stating that such education would have helped him accept himself sooner.
Montreal Mayor’s Condemnation of the Protest
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante condemned the protest as a “display of hatred” and emphasized the rights of trans and LGBTQ+ individuals to live with dignity, respect, and security, stating that discriminatory or hateful behavior towards them will not be tolerated.
Quotes Reflecting Diverse Viewpoints
- “If people actually took the time to learn about the community and understand the community, they wouldn’t have those opinions [against LGBTQ education].”
- “We have a right as parents to decide what is right for the children. They cannot decide for themselves. They need parents’ consent.”
- “Trans and LGBTQ+ people deserve to live with dignity, respect and security. We won’t tolerate inappropriate, discriminatory or hateful behaviour toward them.”