A Vancouver mayoral candidate is vowing to fight the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in school programs.
Fred Harding has released a video criticizing the provincial government’s policy for SOGI to be referenced in learning and anti-bullying policies.
A former West Vancouver police officer, Harding is the standard bearer of Vancouver 1st.
“Vancouver 1st will defend Vancouver families, parents and guardians who demand more control over the education of their loved ones,” Harding said in the over one-minute video. [The video was taken down after this report went online.]
David Wong, a candidate for council with the Green Party of Vancouver, said that Harding is wrong to use SOGI as an election campaign issue.
“It really bothers me that people use these things to divide and create as a wedge issue,” Wong told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview Thursday (October 11).
According to Wong, that’s “gutter politics”.
“Everybody has their own biases, but, you know, don’t use this thing to appeal to the dark nature of humanity,” Wong said.
In the video, Harding said that the province “got it all wrong” with its SOGI initiative.
“We will advocate on behalf of parents who feel alienated by it,” Harding declared.
Claiming there was no public consultation about SOGI, the former police officer also said that it was “foolish” for the province to roll out the LGBTQ-friendly policy.
Harding promised that he and his party will “push back against an over-reaching province”.
On Twitter, Wong’s Green colleague and fellow council candidate Pete Fry denounced Harding’s attack on SOGI as “dangerous bullshit”.
“Inclusivity, rights are non-negotiable,” Fry wrote on social media.More