Ken Denike and Sophia Woo only Vancouver trustees to vote against gender identity amendments

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      Vancouver school trustees have voted 7-2 in favour of revisions to the sexual orientation and gender identities policy and regulations.

      The amendments give trans students the opportunity to choose washrooms and change rooms that suit their gender identity.

      In addition, students' confidentiality will be respected by the Vancouver board of education if they're experiencing gender-identity issues or wanting to express their gender openly in schools.

      After the vote, Vision trustees took to Twitter to express their pleasure over the outcome.

      Patti Bacchus, the chair, declared: "PROUD to be on the right side of history with @VSB39's revised Sexual Orientation & Gender Identities Policy & Regs. #vsb"

      Board of education chair Patti Bacchus tweeted that she was "proud to be on the right side of history".
      Charlie Smith

      Mike Lombardi tweeted: "Proud that the VSB has made our schools safer & more inclusive by adopting the rev LGBTTQ policy."

      Cherie Payne sent the following message over Twitter: "Danced on my first float in my first Pride Parade in 1994. Voting yes on VSB LGBT policy? Great way round out 20 yrs!"

      A large crowd showed up at the board offices to witness the vote, which came after more than 90 speakers appeared at three meetings in May.

      Every seat was occupied at tonight's meeting.
      Charlie Smith

      All six Vision trustees and the NPA's Fraser Ballantyne voted in favour.

      Trustees Ken Denike and Sophia Woo were opposed. The NPA caucus expelled both of them on June 13 after they held a news conference criticizing the policy amendments, claiming that support for LGBT students could have an impact on the West Side real-estate market.

      Sophia Woo and Ken Denike were the only trustees who voted against the changes.
      Charlie Smith

      The Vancouver board of education's policy statement declares that it's "committed to establishing and maintaining a safe, inclusive, equitable, and welcoming learning and working environment for all members of the school community, regardless of real or perceived sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, which include lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, Two-Spirit, queer, and those who are questioning (LGBTTQ+)".

      The board has also committed itself to "ensure that complaints of discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression are taken seriously and dealt with expeditiously and effectively through consistently applied policy and procedures".

      Veteran activist Kimball Cariou let his sign to the talking.




      Jun 17, 2014 at 9:18am

      Hooray Hooray Hooray! Intelligence and compassion has won the day!


      Jun 17, 2014 at 11:01am

      Such great news that this policy passed.

      Victor Wong

      Jun 17, 2014 at 11:07am

      But VancouverSun, what about the feelings of the "400,000 Ethnic Chinese"?

      The sad pathetic VancouverSun racialized this issue to hide their own transphobia and they were caught...that is the story here.

      David Ng: "why is it that when white Christians are homophobic and transphobic, they are “homophobic and transphobic Christians”, but all of a sudden, when Chinese Christians are homophobic and transphobic, they are “Ethnic Chinese” Christians who are homophobic and transphobic?"

      Jen Sung: "The Vancouver School Board meeting I attended on May 21 was traumatic, not only because I was so viscerally impacted by hate speech in my own language, but more than anything, it was the hatred that some folks in white communities, both LGBTQ and “allied”, were so quick to direct to Chinese communities, that hurt me most of all."


      Jun 17, 2014 at 12:03pm

      Congrats Ken and Sophia: you've lost every thinking parent's vote.

      Steve McKay

      Jun 17, 2014 at 12:33pm

      I'm not sure where you're getting the "400,000 Ethnic Chinese" in that Vancouver Sun article link Victor.


      Jun 17, 2014 at 5:48pm

      Ken Denike is white. So why this "omg them chinese are doing it" reporting?

      Abu Bakr

      Jun 18, 2014 at 6:34pm

      ISIS wouldn't put up with shit like this.