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Antigay Group Protests Pro-LGBT Policies in British Columbia Schools

Rick Glumac

The conservative group hopes to take legal action against pro-LGBT policies that have been in place since 2016.

An antigay group is pushing against implementation of LGBT-friendly policies and curricula in schools in Canada's British Columbia province.

Culture Guard has been raising funds to set up offices in British Columbia and take legal action against the policies surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity, which are formulated by British Columbia's public schools in accordance with the recommendations set by SOGI 1 2 3, an organization created by the Vancouver-based ARC Foundation and the B.C. Ministry of Education.

Since December 2016, British Columbia schools had to "reference sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in district and school codes of conduct," according to SOGI 1 2 3. The Ministry of Education SOGI Working Group compiled a list of components to be included int public schools' policy, including antiharassment measures, students' right to self-identify, and students' right to confidentiality about their preferred name, pronouns, and sexual orientation or gender identity.

Culture Guard spokeswoman Kari Simpson said that SOGI policies conflict with current education laws and that the organization has raised enough money to hire a lawyer.

"We're rallying people together because we're going to take the government to court for bringing in SOGI illegally," Simpson told the right-wing outlet LifeSite News. "Here, the law is that parents have to be consulted with regards to educational goals."

The funds raised so far secured Culture Guard 2,500 square feet of office space in Langley, B.C., where the school district adopted an antibullying policy in 2014 that included language that addresses bullying of LGBT students.

The text reads, "Individuals who are dealing with, or those perceived to be dealing with, issues of gender identity, gender expression, inter-sexuality or sexual orientation, as well as their families, are frequently the targets of homophobic, trans-phobic and/or heterosexist behaviours. This may have profound social consequences including discrimination, harassment, physical and sexual violence, social and emotional isolation, substance abuse, homelessness, school truancy and drop-out, self-harm and suicide."

Culture Guard has organized rallies protesting implementation of LGBT-supportive policies, the most recent being the July 14 Stop SOGI rally in Port Moody. The group's permit for the rally had been revoked, and when members went ahead with the event anyway, they were met with counterprotesters, Tri-City News reports.

The group also called for an initiative to vote out members of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly who support SOGI policies. Among those members are Rick Glumac, who represents the Port Moody-Coquitlam area and was among the counterprotesters.

The SOGI policy "protects all students and makes our schools inclusive places," Glumac told Tri-City News. "That's what this is all about."

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