Toronto, Canada, saw a significant turnout of more than 1,000 counter-protesters who gathered at Queen’s Park to oppose the anti-LGBTQ2S+ inclusive education demonstrations, part of a nationwide movement involving at least 80 cities on this Wednesday.
Nationwide protests operating under the banner “1 Million March 4 Children” advocate for the removal of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) curricula from Canadian schools.
Live coverage of these events as they unfold in Toronto:
Throughout the day, events unfolded as follows:
5 A.M.: Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce reaffirms the government’s commitment to the safety and well-being of all children in schools, regardless of their faith, heritage, sexual orientation, or skin color.
8 A.M.: Counter-protesters gather at Barbara Hall Park and begin their march to Queen’s Park. Simultaneously, the “1 Million March 4 Children” demonstration prepares to assemble at the legislature.
8:30 A.M.: Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow expresses her longstanding support for LGBTQ2S+ communities, condemning discrimination, hatred, and bigotry.
8:45 A.M.: Counter-protesters march towards Queen’s Park, bearing colorful signs with messages such as “Educators for trans youth” and “We will always exist.”
9 A.M.: MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam participates in counter protests, highlighting the harm caused by hostile anti-LGBTQ2S+ rhetoric in schools, especially for vulnerable students.
9:25 A.M.: During a transit event, Chow emphasizes Toronto’s inclusivity and support for LGBTQ2S+ individuals, affirming the city’s stance against hate.
9:30 A.M.: The 519, an LGBTQ2S+ support agency, reports over 1,000 counter-protesters at Queen’s Park, with chants of “Trans rights are human rights.”
10 A.M. – 11 A.M.: Demonstrators on the north side of Queen’s Park express concerns about the content taught in schools while asserting parental involvement in children’s transitions. The hashtag #1MillionMarch4Chidren trends on Twitter alongside #TransRightsAreHumanRights.
11:30 A.M.: Police officers monitor protests and counter-protests outside Queen’s Park.
12 P.M.: Chants of “Trans rights are human rights” continue as the crowd on the north side of the park disperses.
12:30 P.M.: Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton is temporarily closed due to escalating behavior between two protesting groups.
1 P.M.: In Hamilton, escalating tensions between protesters lead to the closure of Upper Wentworth Street for public safety.
As these events unfold, it is evident that the debate over LGBTQ2S+ inclusive education remains a contentious issue across Canada.