Ontario parents protest inclusive sex education
Out gay Premier of Ontario says protests are motivated by homophobia.
Several hundred people protested outside Ontario’s government buildings this week, objecting to changes in the sex and relationships curriculum.
The protest, organised by conservative groups, is concerned about what they say are liberal influences in the school system.
Children will now be taught about same-sex relationships and transgender identities in lessons. Existing topics in the curriculum will be taught to younger age groups.
Amina Yonis is a mother concerned that the new lessons conflict with her Muslim faith. She told Toronto’s CTV News: “This is ridiculous what they want to teach our kids and poison their minds and we don’t accept this.”
Rose Nadeau, who is Catholic, agreed: “I don’t believe in teaching children about different ways of having sex and about masturbation and all of that.
“That’s something that a child is going to learn on their own despite what anybody teaches them anyway.”
Ontario’s out gay Premier Kathleen Wynne said of the objections she had read: “The correspondence that I received initially on this issue was very much parents who might have been misinformed about the details of the curriculum, but who were genuinely concerned.
“I also got a lot of extraordinarily offensive homophobic correspondence, which I would not repeat in public.
“But the last week or two, the correspondence I’ve been receiving from some of the groups that are out there organizing the protest have turned into, ‘We have to fight the Liberal curriculum because the Liberals didn’t consult with Conservative groups.'”
The protest called on Ms Wynne to come out speak to them, but she was in Quebec at the time.
In the UK, sex and relationships education is a contentious issue. Labour back plans to make it compulsory, and the Liberal Democrats have accused the Tories of blocking plans for it in the last government.