Monday was a remarkable day at the B.C. legislature.
It had a little something for everyone: there was the ceremony for the outgoing Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon with its pomp, pageantry and military precision, there was a protest led by a Fraser Valley group against the Education Ministry’s support for the SOGI (Sexual Orientation Gender Identity) in schools, and there was the counter protest of educators and others arguing that the program is an appropriate resource for schools to use to create inclusionary practices.
Welcome to democracy in progress.
The fact Victoria is home to the provincial government means it is the de facto place for protests of all kinds from people looking to make a statement, usually against some policy or program the government has created.
In this case, a group of parents and grandparents who feel SOGI is the wrong way to inform young minds about questions they may have about their own gender identity or sexual orientation made the trek over from the mainland and the North Island to make their case.
With Greater Victoria among the B.C. communities that has worked hard to create a welcoming environment for students with questions about their bodies and feelings, those living with gender dysphoria, and to promote inclusion, it’s not surprising that a counter-protest group formed and fast outnumbered the mainlanders at the ledge in Monday.
Both sides in that discussion feel their points make the most sense. It almost seems symbolic that such a discussion was being had out in the open, at the home of the B.C. government, in front of the premier and others who make decisions for thousands of people.
It may be naive to think that future debates will take place on the lawns of the legislature, but we’re not betting against it.