The Ontario Federation of Labour, affiliated unions, and allies rally in support of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, workers, parents, students, and their families
For Immediate Release
September 19, 2023
(Toronto, Ontario) In response to the so called “Million Person March for Children” events planned by ultra-conservative forces on September 20, 2023, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), affiliated unions, along with labour councils, are joining with community organisations to plan province-wide events in solidarity and support of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
Last week, Premier Ford and Education Minister Lecce made harmful and irresponsible comments, suggesting that public educators are trying to “indoctrinate” kids who decide to use different pronouns. Their divisive actions are fanning the flames of these same ultra-conservative forces that are attempting to manufacture false divisions between parents, educators, and students over issues of student privacy and gender expression.
The OFL, member organisations, and community allies have a proud history of supporting the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and uniting against all forms of hate. Progressive organisations like the OFL are grounded in principles that oppose systemic oppression, foster community care, and celebrate love over hate.
“Let’s not forget, union members are parents too,” said Patty Coates, OFL President. “We want safe spaces for our children to learn and our family and friends to work. We will not allow hate to divide us, and we will not allow hate groups to spread misinformation and roll back the clock on human rights.”
Contrary to their public messaging, the “Million Person March for Children ” is not focused on safeguarding children; rather, the true intent of organisers is to protest the inclusion of all 2SLGBTQIA+ content in schools, foment fear, and divide working people for their own political purposes. We will not let them spread this vitriol.
Incorporating 2SLGBTQIA+ content into school curricula not only educates students about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, but also plays a vital role in fostering empathy and understanding, combating the rising instances of hate, oppression, and violence that Two Spirit and Trans individuals, and the entire 2SLGBTQIA+ community, continue to endure.
“Tomorrow, and until our members and their families are safe, we are organising in public, loudly and proudly, to condemn all forms of oppression and hate,” said Coates. “Particularly and in this instance, when they pose a threat to Trans students and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community at large, our members, and their families”.
As we witness an alarming surge in hateful rhetoric directed at 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, we are not deterred. In fact, we are emboldened to act with even greater urgency.
Together, we reaffirm our commitment to fostering safer spaces and building a future for all, based on compassion, truth, inclusivity, and the safety and well-being of every Ontarian.
All working Ontarians are invited to join us to oppose hate, wherever and whenever it appears!
More information on rallies in support of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities are listed here.
For more information, please contact:
Ontario Federation of Labour