Cheering and honking from outside the Yukon legislature rang out through downtown Whitehorse, where counter-protesters far outnumbered protesters who showed up for the nationwide “Million March 4 Children.”
Hundreds of counter-protesters waving colourful flags and signs in support of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community stood off across the street from dozens of protesters marking the “Million March 4 Children” on Sept. 20.
The protest planned for cities across Canada this week has been widely promoted as an event against pronouns, gender ideology, mixed bathrooms, and sexual orientation and gender identity curriculum in schools.
Shortly after noon, a relatively small group of about two dozen protesters marched down Second Avenue from Shipyards Park to the legislative building, where a few more dozen protesters who had already set up on the east side of the street were facing off against counter-protesters packed along the west side of the road from Hanson Street to past Hawkins Street.
Signs on the protesters’ side of the road bore messages like “leave our kids alone,” “parental rights matter” and “our kids are not for your agenda,” while a few flags, including a red-and-white Canadian flag and a yellow Gadsden flag with the words “don’t tread on me,” flapped in the wind.
Prior to the protest, position statements were rolling in, for example, from the Yukon Child and Youth Advocate Office, Mayor Laura Cabott and the City of Whitehorse, the Porter Creek Secondary School’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance and unions in support of the counter-protest.
While all three territorial caucuses marked Gender Equality Week, the Yukon Liberal and Yukon NDP caucuses explicitly sided with counter-protesters. The Yukon Party Caucus did not take a side, instead supporting free speech and Yukoners’ right to protest.
Some Liberal ministers and NDP MLAs showed up to walk the talk alongside students, parents and others attending the counter-protest.
At the federal level, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a stand in support of 2SLGBTQIA+ Canadians across the country.
“Transphobia, homophobia and biphobia have no place in this country. We strongly condemn this hate and its manifestations,” Trudeau wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sept. 20.
— With files from Matthew Bossons
Contact Dana Hatherly at firstname.lastname@example.org