Love was in the air today as hundreds showed up to counter a right-wing demonstration against B.C.'s inclusive approach for LGBT kids.
They gathered outside the B.C. Teachers' Federation building (550 West 6th Avenue) holding placards demonstrating their support for the province's sexual orientation and gender identities program in B.C. schools.
The impromptu show of support for LGBT kids came after a right-wing group called Culture Guard announced that it would hold a "Stop SOGI 123 Rally" at the same location to demand an end to "extreme Sex Ed."
SOGI is an acronym for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, which is a provincial government policy developed to prevent LGBT kids from feeling discriminated against in B.C. schools.
Among those who showed up to support Culture Guard were members of the Soldiers of Odin.
The far-right Soldiers of Odin is an organization of mostly white, leather-jacketed heterosexuals who claim on their website to help any Canadian in need, "regardless of race, color or creed".
Its critics, however, note that the Soldiers of Odin showed up to oppose an antiracist rally last year in Vancouver, which was disrupted by a smoke bomb.
Meanwhile, the National Post has reported that the Soldiers of Odin "splintered in Canada after the two main factions turned against each other in a dispute over whether to remain aligned with their racist namesake in northern Europe".
One of the most outspoken critics of SOGI is 700 Club Canada broadcaster Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson.
"I'm not hateful and neither are those who stand up for their freedoms," she claims in one YouTube video. "I've been told by one gay man to move to Saudi Arabia or Russia if I want to be so conservative."
One of the leading voices against the attacks on SOGI has been Morgane Oger, an education activist who nearly became the first trans person to be elected to the B.C. legislature last year.
Here's what she had to say on her Twitter feed:More