LGBT–inclusive activists gear up to protest anti-SOGI transgender speaker Jenn Smith on Vancouver Island

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      Supporters of B.C.’s SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) 123 in schools are gearing up to protest a speaker who is touring B.C.'s coast to speak against the LGBT–inclusive resources.

      Transgender public speaker and anti-SOGI activist Jenn Smith is currently touring Vancouver Island with a talk entitled “The Erosion of Freedom: How Transgender Politics in School and Society is Undermining Our Freedom and Harming Women and Children”.

      Jenn Smith visited Campbell River on April 28, is visiting Duncan today (April 29), and will appear in Nanaimo (May 1), Victoria (May 2), and Port Alberni (June 9), with possible future dates in Surrey and New Westminster.

      Although Smith identifies as a transgender male, Smith states on his website that while “transgender people are human beings deserving dignity and respect”, he is against “transgender ideology”.

      Smith will speak about “propaganda and information strategies by the media and government to manipulate public opinion” and “brainwashing in schools via SOGI 123 and other resources, the destruction of parental rights, and an exploration of related totalitarian laws that are being used by the state to enable children to transition against their parents’ wishes and criminalize any parents that fail to comply”.

      Smith, originally from Oliver, B.C., has previously participated in anti-SOGI events, including a Christian-based rally held in Victoria on September 29, 2018.

      Meanwhile, counterprotests are being organized.

      The Pro-SOGI 123: Oak Bay counterprotest will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on May 2 at Windsor Park Cricket Ground. A fundraising campaign has also been launched to help bring Vancouver transgender activist Morgane Oger to Victoria on May 2 to speak at the event.

      Organizer Ryan Painter explained on social media that this event was organized as separate from the one that Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch is organizing as Painter claimed the mayor couldn’t commit to having speakers.

      In September 2018, a conservative Christian petition was sent to the B.C. government to rescind SOGI 123 from all schools in the province. However, the B.C. government, backed by educational and First Nations organizations, stood its ground, as the B.C. Human Rights Code had been amended in 2016 to protect gender identity and expression.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at @StraightLGBT or on Facebook.